Isla, a young fox, get separated from her brother Pirie and their family by a band of foxes who mean to kill them. As Isla scrambles to find her brother again, she becomes lost within the tangled world of the furless, humans. Lost and alone, she has no choice but to trust the messenger fox to help her. He teaches her how to use her energy to hunt and fight, but Isla begins to suspect there’s more to his story than he’s willing to tell her. With her enemies closing in and Pirie waiting for her, Isla discovers her best chance at finding him lie in striking out on her own and in choosing the unlikeliest of allies.
Though it’s written in first-person, the narrative has a dream-like quality to it that keeps readers at a distance. The opening sequence, while exciting, ends with a jarring revelation. Afterward the story unfolds more evenly, and Isla’s adventure takes off, growing more perilous page by page. Isla, who has never been without her family before, must learn when to trust others for help, both when those presented as friends and those appearing to be enemies. I liked a lot of the dynamics of the story – the characters were interesting and the quest definitely hooked me. I will say that I found myself wishing it had been written in third person. The distancing between the narrator and reader made the first-person narrative feel awkward sometimes, and I think it would have read more smoothly with a third-person narrator.
Fans of the Warrior books by Erin Hunter will enjoy this tale and look forward to its continuation in the rest of the Foxcraft series. My complaint about the Warrior books that I’ve read is that they have these ginormous casts of characters that I can never keep straight in my head, so I have to constantly refer to the glossary to remember which cat is which. The Taken has a small cast of characters that I found it easy to keep straight, so I enjoyed that.
Foxes have special powers that aid them in hunting and escaping predators. For example, they can “throw” their voices, turn invisible, and communicate mind-to-mind.
Evil foxes track Isla’s family to kill them. Animal control workers capture foxes and place them in cages. It’s implied that humans euthanize the foxes. A wolf attacks a fox.