The Taken by Inbali Iserles – Middle Grade Spotlight Review

October 24, 2015 Middle Grade, Reviews 2 ★★★★

The Taken by Inbali Iserles – Middle Grade Spotlight ReviewThe Taken by Inbali Iserles
Series: Foxcraft #1
Published by Scholastic Press on 9/29/15
Genres: Middle Grade
Pages: 272
Source: Edelweiss
My rating:
4 Stars

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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My Take

My daughter is a huge fan of the Warriors series, but we never realized until recently that Erin Hunter is actually six people! Of course, we wanted to find out more about these authors, and we discovered that one of them, Inbali Iserles, was going to be releasing a new series about magical foxes. My daughter was instantly sold and we picked up the book for review. It took me awhile to get her to read it because she’s not a big fan of ebooks, but once she picked it up, I read it right along with her, which was fun!

This was a cute story that sets up the series well – it did remind me a lot of Warriors with the way that the foxes think about the human world. The book follows Isla, who is trying to find her family after their den has been invaded by a strange and violent group of foxes. On her journey, she stars to realize that the foxes may not have randomly showed up at her den – they’re looking for her family for a reason – now she just has to discover that reason and learn about the magical secrets of foxcraft in time to save herself.

What fed my addiction:

  • Foxes! Like I said, this story was really cute. I liked seeing the world from the foxes’ perspective – they’re an animal I haven’t seen much about – I’ve seen stories about wolves and bears and, of course, dogs and cats, but foxes were new for me!
  • The magic. I was really intrigued by the foxes’ magic and how it all worked. At first the abilities just seemed like normal fox traits or hunting abilities, but then you started to realize there was something supernatural about some of the things they could do. And as the book went on, Isla discovered more and more magical abilities that were increasingly impressive!
  • Discoveries. The more discoveries that Isla made about the foxes that were on the hunt for her family, the more interesting the book got. I’m eager to find out where it all leads!

What left me wanting more:

  • Little slow in the middle. There were some parts of the middle of the book that were a little slow and some that seemed slightly confusing, but it all made sense by the end for the most part. 
  • Very open ending. You don’t really get many answers at the end of this book, and I felt like it ended right in the middle of the story arc. I would have liked a little bit more closure while still leading us into the next book in the series. This ending just felt sort of unsatisfying, but I’m sure we’ll be reading the next book in the series, so we’ll get more of the story!

I thought this was a cute middle grade book. Both my daughter and I enjoyed it, and we’ll read the next installment when it comes out. I give this one 3.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

 About the Author

Inbali-IserlesI was born in Israel and moved to England with my family when I was three years old. When I was 11 my family moved to Tucson, Arizona for a year. I still remember the extraordinary wildlife. During that year I saw coyotes, road runners and snakes. I even had a close encounter with a gila monster, a venomous lizard!

The Tygrine Cat was my first book. I came up with the story while flicking through an encyclopaedia of cat breeds and pondering the idea of a rivalry between ancient feline tribes. When the idea still excited me two weeks later and I could think of nothing else, I realised I would have to write the story. You know the old saying: if there’s a book that you’re desperate to read, but it doesn’t exist – write it!

Author Links:

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