Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Foxcraft: The Elders - Inbali Iserles

Isla's search for her missing brother, Pirie, has brought her to the vast Wildlands. The forest is a treacherous place for a fox cub, but Isla is talented in foxcraft - ancient arts of cunning known only to her kind.

Skilled though she is, Isla's grasp of foxcraft is still new. And she's not alone... A cruel and mysterious fox stalks the forest, with the power to enslave others to his will. In order to survive, Isla must learn to trust in the rustic Wildlands foxes.

But there are tales of others - a council of Elders who are masters of foxcraft, and who warily guard its most potent secrets. If Isla wishes to master her gifts and find her brother, then the Elders may be her only hope.

Following on almost directly from the end of Foxcraft: The Taken Isla is heading into the Wildlands still desperately searching for her brother Pirie. Alone on her travels, she stumbles across a young grey fox named Haiki who also appears to be searching for the Elders. Having been fooled (or so she thinks in the first book) Isla is slow to trust but lets her guard down and they venture further into the Wildlands.

Stumbling across another skulk of foxes the Taken are soon hot on their heels again and joined by new traveling companions after tragedy strikes Isla is sure she's close to discovering her brother. Things aren't that simple, especially not for our plucky heroine and she faces more betrayal, finds the elusive Elders and finally begins to get a grasp on her Foxcraft.

It's difficult to review this without giving too much away, especially from the first book. Needless to say, I absolutely adore foxes so reading about magical foxes? Definitely my cup of tea! Isla is a young cub who has gone through than most cubs, her family is gone and she has no idea where. She has had to learn to rely on herself and as a result has started to mature. In the first book, Isla did a lot of impetuous thinking and landed in hot water more than once. Now she (mostly) thinks before she acts and when it comes to meeting and trusting new animals Isla starts to heed her Greatma's advice "trust no one but family"

Inbali Iserles is one of the six writers that collaborate together on the Erin Hunter books so she has a lot of experience writing about animals. I adored her foxes, they were all so lifelike with very human traits and some absolutely fantastical magical powers. Foxcraft: The Elders is an amazing adventure, a fantasy and a story about the close bonds of family all rolled into one but also about learning to trust others outside of your family. There are some breath-stealing moments when you think it's all over but these moments are resolved, at the very last second sometimes, thanks to Isla's growing maturity and mastery over foxcraft.

A perfect middle grade read for both boys and girls, and for older readers who will enjoy reading about Isla's progress in the fantastical skills of foxcraft.

Foxcraft: The Elders - Inbali Iserles
ISBN - 9781407147147
Publisher - Scholastic
Release date - October 6 2016

About The Author

Inbali Iserles is the award-winning author of The Tygrine Cat novels and one of the authors behind the bestselling Survivors series under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. She lives outside Oxford.

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