Little Foxes Took Up Matches by Katya Kazbek

Little Foxes Took Up Matches by Katya Kazbek is a sometimes dark, sometimes sweet coming-of-age tale.


When he was just a toddler, Mitya swallowed his grandmother’s sewing needle. His family believes that it will eventually harm him irreparably. But Mitya thinks it will keep him safe.

Mitya is too young to remember what his country was like before the Soviet Union collapsed. His family often misses the Soviet Union, stating that they were better times for their family. But Mitya couldn’t say for sure because his world is limited to his family’s apartment in the middle of Moscow. As he grows older, he dabbles in his mother’s cosmetics when no one is around and explores his own gender identity.

After suffering horrific abuse from his older cousin, Mitya decides to see more of the outside world. He befriends an unhoused man who has ravens as his constant companions. He wanders underground Moscow and sees the brutal effects that war has had on its citizens.

Mitya endeavours to make sense of everything and find his place in a country trying to rebuild itself while still dealing with corruption and violence.

Review of Little Foxes Took Up Matches

Little Foxes Took Up Matches is a beautiful but grim story about gender identity, and one that I took my time reading. I could read about Mitya for days and days. It was a bit odd reading this, given the current situation.

Mitya is a character that will stick with this reader for sometime to come. I look forward to reading more from this author. Also, can we have a moment for that absolutely stunning cover?

CW: sexual and physical abuse of a child.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 5 April 2022

Thank you to Tin House for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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