This is the third and final volume in the series Foxcraft which follows the journey of a young vixen called Isla as she tries to find her lost brother Pirie. In this book she has to cross into the Darklands and find a rogue fox, ‘The Mage’. He and his followers have the powers of Foxcraft but use them in order to control others, not for good. On her journey Isla meets with a wolf Farraclaw she had rescued in an earlier story; he is the son of a pack leader and is able to help her on her way. She also rescues an elderly fox Metis and finds that he is the one who had inadvertently created some of the problems that face them all. How they face their challenges makes for an exciting and action packed adventure.
This is essentially a quest story with the action moving us towards the final confrontation between good and evil. Whilst it is best to have read the preceding books it is not vital and I was able to understand the plot without having done so. The author has kept the characters very much as animals, she has not tried to humanize them and they have to deal with their natural instincts. This balance of animal behaviours linked with a magical and mystical belief system makes for a complex yet believable world. It is fascinating to see the difference between wolf and fox societies, with the wolves having a hierarchical structure based around a clan (or pack), whilst foxes are more independent and do not have the same framework at all Despite all of this we find ourselves building a rapport with the characters and the author hooks us in to the story until the final moments. This is a great story for those who love reading about nature and especially that which has a sense of magic woven through it.