The Fox's Mask is set in a mythical world based on Japanese culture and folklore. Parts of it felt like I was reading the light novel version of a manga, but eventually I was drawn into the story and stopped thinking about the book like that. I'm always a huge fan of anything kitsune, but this book was enjoyable, even without the influence of magical fox people.
Though ninjas vs kitsune battles - I'm just sayin'. It's hard to deny the awesomeness of that combination. Oh, and there were demons, too. I swear, it's like this book was written just for me.
The story is told from the...not so much point of view of various characters, but...it was all written omniscient third person, but each chapter would be about what a certain character was doing. There were five characters the book followed, in total: Akakiba, Yuki, Sanae, Jien, and one of the shinobi. I forget his name. It started with an "m". Each chapter announced whose story was being followed. I'd have loved to just follow Yuki and Akakiba, but I see why all five of those characters were included in the rotation. Each holds a piece of the overall story.
I really enjoyed the carefully balanced relationship between Akakiba and Yuki. It was very well-written, and done fairy tastefully. It also wasn't a story where the relationship happens instantly, love at first sight, you know they're going to be together by the end of the book sort of thing. I was a bit irked at the cop-out at the end, but it made sense based on what you were told about the Fox clan's traditions, dialogue between Akakiba and his mother, and the fact that kitsune are shape shifters. It's just...would it have been so terrible to leave that relationship alone?
The Japanese names were fun. It added to the immersion of the story. Sakura and Yuki, though...really?
I loved the folklore behind the story. It was all heavily based on Japanese/Chinese stories, of course, but there were little twists thrown in that helped make the world unique.
There's not much resolution by the end of the book. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger, but not much actually gets done. However, I just noticed that the second book came out on March 1st. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to my kitsune now.