Cover of Call Forth a Fox, featuring two young women's faces, a fox, a bear, and an owl surrounding the title

About the Book

Title: Call Forth a Fox
Published: 2024
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Sweet
BFF Charm: Yay
Talky Talk:  Too Slow
Bonus Factor: Bisexual Representation
Factor: Faeries
Relationship Status: A Little Cold

Cover Story: Sweet

Another instance of a unique illustrated cover, this one fits nicely with the historical fantasy feel of the story within. I love all the details of the story, too.

The Deal: 

The clock is ticking for Ro and her sister. As soon as the thaw comes in Spring, their mother will return to their small village from the city and take them both back with her. Ro wants nothing to do with the plan, even though most of the villagers make her feel strange and ostracized; the western woods that their cottage sits at the edge of is her home, and she feels safe there. It feeds her and warms her, and the stories of the faeries that live there are nothing but stories. 

But then Ro has to save a fox from being killed by a bear … and the bear turns into a young man who’s memory is lost. Turns out the stories about faeries might actually be true, and Ro’s more involved than she could have ever expected.

BFF Charm: Yay

Yay BFF Charm

Ro is a very cool girl. The people of her village misunderstand her and/or don’t bother to even try to befriend her, but she’s someone who people ought to give a bit more time. I get how her introverted nature turns some folks off, but underneath the social anxiety is a strong willed, dedicated person who can be a bit too stubborn and nearsighted, but she’ll grow out of that. I’d give her a BFF charm for sure.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Ro meets Colette, a girl from the village, when they’re both our foraging in the western woods. There’s an immediate connection … or so we’re told. The chemistry between Ro and Colette never really lights, if you’ll excuse me a match metaphor, and it seems very one-sided. The two also have a lot to work through, and there’s no amount of swoon that will override the need to actually talk things out.

Talky Talk: Too Slow

Grabo has a good handle on old-timey fantastical language, and her world-building and characters are great. But the plot of the story dragged on far too long for something that could have been a lot more punchy and to the point.

Bonus Factor: Bisexual Representation

Pride flag being waved in a parade

In the village in which Ro lives, people are OK with same-sex relationships, but they don’t understand Ro’s bisexuality. It doesn’t quite make sense to me, but it’s a good example of bisexual erasure, which I know is a problem for a lot of folk.

Factor: Faeries

Faeries Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty

The faeries in Call Forth a Fox, while very cool looking in description, are not the Rhysand sort. They’re the jerky, xenophobic, judgemental type. And as much as I enjoyed reading about them, I really didn’t enjoy them as people.

Relationship Status: A Little Cold

I wish I could say that we sizzed, Book, but it was more like we fizzled. I liked the idea of your story more than the execution, and I had to stop myself from jumping in a few times and asking you just to get on with it already. There are folks out there for both of us, but I don’t think we’re that for each other.

Literary Matchmaking

A Study in Drowning

The faerie king in Ava Reid’s A Study in Drowning is just as much of a creepy jerk as the one in Call Forth a Fox.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)

Speaking of stuck up, stubborn faeries … Cardan from Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series is the posterchild for both of those terms.

Gilded (Gilded #1)

Marissa Meyer’s Gilded duology also features faeries who are using humans for their games.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Page Street YA, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Call Forth a Fox is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.