The Foxes of First Dark

Garry Douglas Kilworth, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-26427-3
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)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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