by Kevin Sands
*cover and synopsis from Goodreads*
Five kids with unusual talents are brought together to commit an impossible crime.
A magic-infused fantasy that brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed. Lured by the promise of more money than they’ve ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city.
There’s Callan the con artist, Meriel the expert at acrobatics (and knives!), Gareth the researcher, Lachlan who can obtain anything, and Foxtail, whose mysterious eyeless mask doesn’t hinder her ability to climb walls like a spider. Though their shadowy backgrounds meant that they’ve never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other in order to get the job done.
But as Callan has been warned most of his life, it’s best to stay away from magic. It can turn on you at any moment, and make you think you’re the one running the con game, when in reality you’re the one being fooled. Faced with these unsurmountable odds, can the new friends pull off this legendary heist, or has their luck finally run out?
Children of the Fox is a great fantasy heist novel.
Going into this book, I had some pretty high expectations. My brother loves Kevin Sands’s Blackthorn Key series. Children of the Fox was being given comp titles of The False Prince and Peter Nimble (two of my favorite books) and Ocean’s 11 (I enjoy a good heist). So I was very excited to read it.
Did it absolutely stun me and completely blow me away? No. But it was really good, and I will be reading the rest of the series. It was a solid 4-star read.
The characters were all nicely well-rounded, and they all worked together well. I would have actually liked to see a little bit more initial friction between the crew members and how they could play off of each other in other ways.
The plot was great. The heist was done really well, and like in every good con story, the reader doesn’t know everything that is going on. Sands also did a nice job of tying the story world mythology and plot together.
While the ending resolves the plot question, it definitely sets things up for the next book and the rest of the series.
The worldbuilding was a neat blend of steampunk and fantasy. For those of you who are wary about what types of magic systems you read, the magic system does have to do with using someone’s or something’s energy/soul.
If you enjoy a good heist story or fantasy, consider reading Children of the Fox.
Cautions: moderate, non-graphic violence; see magic note above