Fox’s Tongue and Kirin’s Bone

Fox’s Tongue and Kirin’s Bone

by MuffinLance

Humanity is dying, hunted to extinction by creatures of legend. One boy was born to save them all.

That boy just got knifed in the back. He looked a bit too much like Aaron, you see.

Now it’s Aaron’s job to step up, lest his Death correct that little mix-up. But Aaron’s skills as a street rat run more towards stealing and stabbing than towards saving. And the more he learns of what brought dear dead Markus to that fatal alleyway, the more he has to wonder just what the world’s savior was really up to the night the wrong boy died.

Cover art by the incredible Lakatos Csenge (@art-emisz)

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MuffinLance

MuffinLance

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Table of Contents
56 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
1. A Death Misplaced ago
2. What's a Little Corpse Looting Between Aarons ago
3. Friendship First, Introductions to Follow ago
4. The King's Heirs, Long May They Live ago
5. Books and Bodies ago
6. Taking Advice From His Death May Have Been the Problem ago
7. The Good Lieutenant ago
8. Maybe-a-Fey ago
9. On a Roll ago
10. Faces and Fey ago
11. Can't Trust an Enclave Boy ago
12. Hiding a Body and Other Relatable Crimes ago
13. Fox at the Door ago
14. Come Out, One King ago
15. The Value of a Lie ago
Folktale: The Fox and the Kirin ago
16. The Lady ago
17. Be Polite ago
18. Clever Hands ago
19. John Talks Lots (The Cat Does Not) ago
20. Can’t Talk Treason if There’s No Royals To Hear ago
21. The Wake for the Old Year ago
22. The Girl in the Mirror ago
23. Assassin ago
24. Suspicions ago
25. Fever Dreams ago
26. Awake ago
27. Eight Weeks: Start ago
28. Three, Four— ago
29. —Five, Six— ago
30. —Seven— ago
31. —Eight (...Nine, Ten) ago
32. The Immense Satisfaction in Simply Hitting Things ago
33. Aaron Indulges His Inner Stalker ago
34. Press Your Blood Up on the Wall ago
35. Sweet Dreams and Other Opening Pleasantries ago
36. May Their Souls Not Wander ago
37. Disowning Speedrun ago
38. Two Deaths and a Lie ago
39. The Lady and Liam ago
40. Have you considered dying in this fight? ago
41. Blood Knows Blood ago
42. Dead Men ago
43. Father and Son ago
44. Father and Son and Little Cousin ago
45. Feill Fadalach ago
46. The King's First Act ago
47. Why He Shouldn't Talk to Kings ago
48. Markus ago
49. It's Not Murder If a Wolf Kills You ago
50. Murder Methods ago
51. Do Keep Up ago
52. The Fey Child and Her Wolf ago
53. Pyre for an Owl ago
54. Choice ago
55. Night Terrors ago

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Reviews
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Daja_Kisubo
Overall

Basically just a very good story. Spelling and grammer are excellent, the plot is interesting and intricate, its worldbuilding is original and engaging whilst at the same time not making you feel like you are reading a wikipedia article. The characters are interesting, have their own motivations and worldviews and aren't dumb just to progress the story. To sum it up, a fun story to read, I can't wait for book two!

Thalion
Overall

The world building was fascinating and well done. No info dumps, just slow-growing understanding of how it is different from ours even as it was VERY clear from the beginning that there were strong fantastical elements. I still don't quite understand the how/why of the doppels but I suspect a re-read would help.

 The layers of story as Aaron learns more about what is going on while trying desperately to avoid being found out keep you guessing. Street smarts get him pretty fast but there's always an edge of "will it work?"

 And then the end. Yipes. It ties back beautifully to the beginning, sums up and explains all the intrigue we've seen while not letting the tension down AT ALL and setting up new conflicts to be wary of.

Stylistically, I get a mixed distant and close feeling to Aaron. Which lends a surreal air to the whole thing that suits Aaron's attitude really well.

I would DEFINITELY buy this book for re-reads and wait eagerly to see where the next part leads. 🤩

AqueousSolution
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

TL;DR : One of the best stories I have ever read. I implore everyone to give it a chance, as you will quickly find yourself hooked.

Style : The style is consistently mystical and introspective. There are many hints of information scattered throughout the story, but they always get pieced together later on, making rereading this a treat; you notice the hints in the context of later events, and then pay more attention to more recent information accordingly. It's like a perfectly seasoned multi-course meal. 

Story : The plot tends to meander about in obscurity until it reaches critical points, in which you realize that the meandering was the plot all along. There are several overarching themes, so there is little chance of the story losing direction in the long term.

Grammer : No issues that I could notice. I only have praise for creatively weaving original ideas into terms that are understandable in the context of dialect.

Character(s) : The characters are all well developed, and flourish in the rich setting. Motivations and actions are meticulously planned ahead, and not a single character has come across as contrived or one-dimensional.

Overall : The narrative is captivating, the characters are adorably unique, the setting is grandly vast. Conversations are sharp and intelligently written, and introspective thoughts fill out the experiance. Well worth a read or two. 

NocturneCaligo
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Well constructed narrative to my un-expert eyes. Author doesn't bore you with info-dump exposition and has created interesting and distinctive characters with a healthy dose of mysterious background.

I'm especially fond of the protagonist's character, so very practical but also a little bit impulsive at times. Knows when he's in deep shit but is decisive and finds a way to deal anyways. He's also snarky in a not overdone way which makes for very entertaining character interactions.

Anyways, I love the prose to bits - the way it describes the world and events is almost beguiling, as the reader is progressively given terms and bits of lore to piece together. Each chapter brings out new revelations and character development with every scene serving more than one purpose. Mysteries abound but while more questions are raised with every revelation, they're not infinitely expanding in a way that makes you feel absolutely lost.

In terms of tension, there is a good balance between competency of the protagonist and the challenges he faces. Aaron is thrust into an entirely different ball court than the one he is used to, but he is by no means starting from nothing.

Oh, and as an aside, have I mentioned the amusing chapter titles? They're very apt - catchy, descriptive and sometimes amusing. Oftentimes I'll look in the TOC of a novel and struggle to remember what happens in each chapter based off the chapter name, but I don't think that will apply for this novel when I inevitably come back to read my favourite bits.

Give it a try, or don't. I personally rank it as one of my favourite fictions and I sincerely hope to see it through to its end (too many stories end up never finished D:). Maybe you'll like it as much as I do.

Many thanks to the author for all your work! Been looking for a new story to follow and curb my reading addiction and this one is looking very promising :)

Aryana qr
Overall

Best. Thing. EVEEERRR

Reviewed at: 16. The Lady

Even though the story isn't finished yet, you can tell what a fantastic plot it's going to have. It's very very well written, and you can't help but to fall in love with each and every character, important or not. The punctuation is flawless, and the way author describess the scenes, the way they make you feel everything, is truly magnificent. I'd read the hell out of their work even if the plot was not interesting at all. Which is. Interesting. Very much.

HalaNisu
Overall

An Interesting World

Reviewed at: 8. Maybe-a-Fey

Lovely worldbuilding and excellent style. I love how most of the worldbuilding is implied rather than outright stated; the story flows extremely well in general.

Writing style is excellent - witty, expressive, and entertaining, I couldn't ask for more. 

I do wish the chapters were a bit longer - makes it a bit difficult to maintain continuity week to week. Can't wait to see where this goes!

KoboldPatrol
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

(as of chapter 49)

This is a story of mystery, of truths hidden through omission and lies spoken through the fog of misdirection. Who is real, who is fake, who is real but acts as if fake, and who is in truth a what instead of a who? Monsters appear as human, but are those who seem to be monsters in disguise really such? Aaron knows that he is Aaron posing as Markus, and that some think he's Markus posing as Aaron, but who was Markus and how were they connected? Aaron knows that he doesn't want to die and that's the only thing he is certain of, even though both his and Markus' personified Deaths are hanging around near him.

This story is about a confusing silent battle between humans and the creatures of legend, among them doppelgangers and changelings. Humanity is isolated and on the brink of defeat, but they have not fallen yet, even though the lines of battle are blurry and crisscross through places nobody would expect. Aaron takes the place of his dead look-alike and ends up in the king's castle, where he meets friendly workers and suspicious guards and a... no, that would be a spoiler.

'Fox's Tongue and Kirin's Bone' is prose that flows through your mind like warm, melted honey. The setting of scenes is immensely immersive, much better than in most of the stories I've read. Small actions and tiny details of the surroundings are described to create vivid scenes. No, they are not filler, more like lovingly crafted theater props that are so finely detailed that you can't even appreciate it from the distance the audience sits at. Despite all this, the pacing is still excellent. World building is highly advanced and how it is presented is incredibly sophisticated. There are lots of subtleties growing into a natural-feeling world; from non-human parallel societies to strange ways of living, as well as a magical world outside that is narrowing in on the humans. Humans from different places have different habits and the humans as a whole have customs that clearly grew from the difficulties of their lives. All that lore is presented in a totally natural way, half a hint here and an offhand reference there, no info dumps at all. The downside of that is that the readers don't understand even half of the references at first, which makes it a bit difficult. On the other hand, this is 100% the correct way, because how often do you give a lecture to your friends or family about things everybody already knows? Ten chapters later, after the third small piece of information (or twenty chapters, if you need until the seventh hint), it will click and you will be: "Oh. Ooooh, so that's how it is! Wow!" 

The characters feel completely real, with strengths and faults that totally fit their personality. Aaron grew up in the criminal underbelly of the city, so his distrust and paranoia lead to actions which a normal, law-abiding reader can easily recognize as severely detrimental. But he has his own morals and will not sacrifice innocents, growing in the process. Other people have their own personalities and pursue their own goals, for better or for worse, yet they also act in ways congruent to their motivations and character. The story is told in third-person style from Aaron-Markus' POV and the limited knowledge keeps the readers gnawing at the edge of their electronic reading devices. Grammar is excellent. 

All in all, this is not a simple storyline that is easy to understand, where information will be spoon-fed to the reader, or with clear delineations between good and bad. You will have to stay on your toes and be ready to navigate the conspiracies and untruths. But it is totally worth it!

Sylaise
Overall

Fables in a Thriller or a Thriller in Fables?

Reviewed at: 48. Markus

Devoured the whole first volume in a single night. Then woke up and re-read the last 10 chapters because, in the first pass, sleep deprivation made me miss a lot of details.  


And the devil's in the details innit? What I found astounding is how short the text is. There's no fat here, no wastage. It's all pertinent, it's all delightful. What a rare treat!  


As for what to expect? A damn good thriller. A competent tapestry of political mystery wrapped up in good old-fashioned cloak and daggers shenanigans. That in itself is already a fair proposition and a bloody effective hook. What elevates the story further is the whole fairy tale atmosphere weaved around it. Exposition reads like a fable here. And in small chunks, carefully arranged small chunks that further add to the overall mystery. 

Word of warning though: While the serial format is great for bouncing theories between chapters, I still think this is best experienced in full settings. If you are the type that loses engagement between weeks, it would be better to wait until a volume is done and then burn your eyes squinting at a screen way past unmentionable hours in a single good lengthy session. 

neuronary
Overall

i really like this! even though it's only the first chapter it draws you in immediately and all of characters so far are very engaging. aaron paying half-attention to the discussion going on around him while the two deaths bicker and he attends to the body is both very interesting in the way it speaks to his character and very fun in the way it hides information from the reader until later on. :)

cafe_666
Overall

A great start, earned a follow

Reviewed at: A Death Misplaced

I loved the style that this was written with, and it pulled me in with the first line. Although this is only the first chapter, the world presented is intriguing and described in a way that flows with the story. The way Aaron acts, talks, and speaks around his Death all give me a good sense of his character so far. It may be helpful to show a bit more contrast between the two Deaths more, because I did feel like the other boy's Death wasn't described quite as much as Aaron's. So far, the premise for the story seems interesting, but since this was a very short chapter, there wasn't much opportunity for a ton of different things to happen. I'm definitely looking forward to the next the part!