“Just because you escape one trap, doesn’t mean you will escape the next.”
With Leigh Bardugo announcing the upcoming release of her new short story collection, The Language of Thorns, I decided to take my shot with this swift tale in the meanwhile.
The Too-Clever Fox is told through the eyes of Koja, a clever and quick-witted fox. We follow his journey of outsmarting his enemies, until his trust and cunningness is bestowed upon the wrong person.
“It is always the same trap,” she said gently. “You longed for conversation. The bear craved jokes. The gray wolf missed music. The boar just wanted someone to tell her troubles to. The trap is loneliness, and none of us escapes it. Not even me.”
I loved the writing in this tale and how it put us in the mindset of the bright fox. And it helped a lot that I adored the voice of Koja with the subtle humor thrown in.
“What would he want with me? I’m too scrawny to eat and too ugly to wear.”
Sofiya smiled slightly. “Your coat is a bit patchy, but you’re not so bad as all that.”
“No?” said the fox. “Shall I travel to Os Alta to have my portrait painted?”
But I had a few issues with the ending and how the tale rapidly wrapped up. The conclusion was something I’d been thinking would happen, but since the motives weren’t that well explained, I was left a bit bewildered. I mean, I still loved the aspects of introducing a female antihero, but because of the length of the tale we didn’t have the time to fully explore the concept.
But since it’s Bardugo, I still immensely adored the writing, ideas and characters. And I can’t wait to pick up more of her stories.