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Literature / A Fox's Tale

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A Fox's Tale is a fantasy series written by Paul Naughton. It's published through Amazon Kindle and Createspace.

The story focuses on a young woman named Ember Wulf, who gained a measure of infamy as the woman who killed Lord Drake. A traveling historian named Marcus Minev meets up with her, and interviews her, hoping to discover how she became the person she is today.

Currently, there are two books in the series- The Warden's Daughter and The Smith's Son.


The series contains examples of:

  • Amazon Chaser: Werner Macht is initially attracted to Ember because she killed a troll.
  • Anti-Hero: Ember, at least in the present day. She doesn't have any qualms with killing people, but she does prove to be a better person than Marcus thinks at first.
  • The Atoner: Ehren Lorelei wants to atone for what she did as part of the Order of the Dragon.
    Ehren: Lord Drake's end didn't end the Order, but it’s different now, a lot different.  We're not some noble's private army anymore. A lot of us are trying to make up for what we did in the war... Helping out where we can, as a sort of penance.
  • Benevolent Boss: Macht proves to be a fair employer to Ember and Jona when they become his apprentices.
  • Big Bad: Lord Drake is the apparent main antagonist of the series, as well as the man Ember ends up killing.
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  • Blunt "Yes": During the argument between Ember's father and the sheriff, the latter mentions that the bandits and hunters (the people Cane is fighting against) are important to the local economy.
    Cane: You're saying the town is against me?
    Seamus: Yes, it is.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Ember accidentally reveals her powers while trying to chase down Jona in the first book.
  • Dirty Coward: Some of the authority figures, such as Seamus and Mayor Resin, are portrayed this way due to their willingness to hand over talented individuals to Lord Drake in order to stay out of trouble.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Ember has this problem, which is why Jona "mothering" her when she's recovering from nearly dying in her fight with the troll rubs her the wrong way.
  • Dragon Rider: Some of the Order of the Dragon ride drakes into battle.
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  • Extra-ore-dinary: Jonathan's powers allow him to manipulate metal.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Zig-zagged. Marcus, the first person narrator for the present day segments, is an outsider who gradually learns more about Ember, the protagonist. However, Ember herself is the narrator for the past segments.
  • Framing Device: In the present day, Ember and her companions tell her story to Marcus.
  • The Heavy: While Lord Drake is the main antagonist, Rodric the Raven is the most immediate threat to Ember and her companions, since he pursues her and ultimately kills her parents.
  • How We Got Here: Marcus meets Ember some time after Lord Drake's defeat.
  • Jerkass: Werner Macht. He seems reasonably polite to Ember, but only because he's trying to win her over, and he's nothing but hostile toward Jona. He stops being nice to Ember after finding out that she can turn into a fox, to say nothing of betraying the town to Lord Drake's forces and murdering two guards.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Present day Ember isn't completely heroic, but she cares for her friends and is compassionate enough to spare and rescue a former enemy.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of Ember's two talents is the ability to manipulate flames, which she inherited from her mother.
  • Love Triangle: Ember becomes the center of a romantic rivalry between Jona Silber and Werner Macht. The former wins very quickly, making this a Type 4.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Lord Drake is the leader of the Order of the Dragon.
    • Ember's family name is "Wulf," and her father, Cane, can transform into a wolf.
  • Making a Splash: Kin can manipulate water.
  • Motive Rant: Averted with Werner Macht, who refuses to reveal why he set a fire that caused an explosion that breached Dreipasse's walls before Ember kills him.
  • Mundane Utility: Jona's ability to manipulate metal and Ember's ability to manipulate flame make them both well-suited to work for a blacksmith. In Jona's case, it helps that he's a blacksmith by trade.
  • Mutant Draft Board: Lord Drake wants to register all known "talents" in order to form an army out of them.
  • Near-Death Experience: After nearly being killed by the troll, Ember sees her dead parents in the afterlife.
  • No-Sell: Some arcane mages, like Lorelei, can enchant metal to protect it from Jona's powers.
  • Parental Abandonment
    • Ember's parents are killed in the climax of the first book.
    • Jona's parents died in a fire some time ago. He later found out that a knight hired a thug to set the fire.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Drake's forces prefer that the towns they invade surrender, since they want to take them with their fortifications intact.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The author frequently makes mistakes like this, particulalry using "then" when he should use "than."
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Despite being a spiritkin, a talent and an arcane mage, Lord Drake never registers himself, as Ember points out. Lampshaded by Jona
    Jona: Of course not, who makes laws and follows them himself?
  • Story-Breaker Power: Subverted with Jona's talent. In a world where most Muggles rely on metallic weapons and armor in battle, and even small pieces of metal (e.g. belt buckles) can be manipulated, it seems as though Jona would be practically unstoppable, a bit like a medieval Magneto. However, it's revealed in the second book that arcane mages can place enchantments to protect against his powers.
  • Third-Person Person: Drassus the Kobold uses this means of speaking, along with You No Take Candle.
  • Title Drop: Werner Macht is occasionally called "the smith's son," the title of the second book.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Ember is noted as being far more pleasant as a child.
  • Wham Line: In the last present-day chapter of the second book, Jona calls Ehren "Lorelei", revealing that the two characters, one introduced in the past and the other in the present, are actually one and the same.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Quite a few talents have the ability to take on such an animal's form. In Ember's case, she can transform into a fox.