The Foxes of First Dark

Garry Douglas Kilworth, Author
Garry Douglas Kilworth, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-26427-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
This novel by a Booker Prize nominee is an engaging saga of two lovers paired for life, bound by strong family ties and firmly united by their terror of a common enemy. A familiar scenario, perhaps, but here the devoted couple is a pair of foxes--O-ha, a vixen born in the British countryside, and her second mate, Camio, who, after escaping from the zoo, becomes a streetwise scavenger in the suburbs. O-ha's first mate was killed by fox hunters and her initial litter froze to death. Her life with Camio in Trinity Wood is equally hazardous; daily survival is difficult. Yet the most ominous threat is from Sabre, a vengeful ridgeback hound bent on destroying them both. The author endows his anthropomorphized characters with complex emotions, clear thinking, reasoned judgment and a shared stock of ancient clan memories. Their adventures and the misadventures of their pups are seen through a framework of their own mythology, a world governed by rituals and traditions that began at the time of creation: firstdark. A true sense of peril, a wry observance of their other enemy, man, some quixotic digressions into the lives of their offspring and avoidance of sentimentality all combine to invite comparison to Watership Down. (May)