Book Review: The Taken (Foxcraft #1) by Inbali Iserles
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The Taken (Foxcraft #1)
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Inbali Iserles
Scholastic Press
Paperback Release Date: April 26th, 2016

A happy little fox spends her days playing with her brother Pirie, and minding her Ma, Fa, and Greatma. She tries to practice her foxcraft so she can get as good as Pirie, but it’s hard for her to become invisible. She is rather good at bird calls though. One day, she lagged behind returning to her den and found her family gone, and strange foxes trying to grab her. Now Isla must brave the deathway full of manglers in search of her lost family, and avoid the furless on the way. The Taken (Foxcraft Series #1) by Inbali Iserles takes us along on Isla’s dangerous and desperate journey.

More below.

Along the way, she meets Siffrin, a red fox who can shape shift, teach Isla all she needs to know to find her family, and help her avoid “The Taken,” foxes who are in thrall of the wicked Mage. Siffrin is not everything he seems, however, and Isla doesn’t know who to trust and where to turn. She just knows she has to follow her dreams of her brother.

This book was adorable – perfect for the 8-12 set, where animals speak and interact unbeknownst to the “furless.” Isla is a plucky little fox heroine, able to survive in a world set against her, and be the hero to her family. The foxcraft magic is a well-developed and interestingly unique set of abilities. Kids will love this underdog (underfox) story and relate to how often Isla gets underestimated in situations, yet prevails. The vocabulary is challenging enough, without causing frustration, and the story moves at a good pace. It is a nice opening to what could lead to a many book series, including offshoots of other animals. I definitely recommend purchasing for the kids.

Book synopsis:

The first book in a thrilling fantasy trilogy starring one of the animal kingdom’s most hunted heroes. Foxcraft is full of excitement and heart, and a touch of magic.

Isla and her brother are two young foxes living just outside the lands of the furless — humans. The life of a fox is filled with dangers, but Isla has begun to learn mysterious skills meant to help her survive.

Then the unthinkable happens. Returning to her den, Isla finds it set ablaze and surrounded by strange foxes, and her family is nowhere in sight. Forced to flee, she escapes into the cold, gray world of the furless.

Now Isla must navigate this bewildering and deadly terrain, all while being hunted by a ruthless enemy. In order to survive, she will need to master the ancient arts of her kind — magical gifts of cunning known only to foxes. She must unravel the secrets of foxcraft.

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