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The Elders (Foxcraft, Book 2) by Inbali Iserles: A Review
If you are a fan of fantasy books that feature animal protagonists, you might have heard of Foxcraft, a trilogy by Inbali Iserles. Foxcraft follows the adventures of Isla, a young fox who discovers that she has a special power called foxcraft, which allows her to manipulate the natural world. In this article, we will review the second book in the series, The Elders, and explore what makes Foxcraft a unique and engaging fantasy series for children.
The Elders (Foxcraft, Book 2) books pdf file
Introduction: What is Foxcraft and what is the plot of The Elders?
Foxcraft is a fantasy series that was first published in 2015 by Scholastic. The author, Inbali Iserles, is an award-winning writer who is also part of the team behind the bestselling Warriors series. She was inspired by her love of animals and mythology to create a world where foxes have their own culture, language, and magic.
The first book in the series, The Taken, introduces us to Isla, a young fox who lives with her family in a den near a city. One day, she returns from hunting to find her den destroyed and her family missing. She suspects that they were taken by a group of ruthless foxes called the Taken, who kidnap other foxes and force them to join their army. She also meets Siffrin, a mysterious fox who claims to be an envoy of the Elders, the legendary guardians of foxcraft. He offers to help her find her family and teach her how to use her foxcraft.
The second book in the series, The Elders, continues Isla's journey as she and Siffrin travel across the land, searching for clues about the whereabouts of her family and the true identity of the Taken. Along the way, they encounter new friends and foes, such as a band of rebel foxes, a clan of snow foxes, and a cunning crow. They also learn more about the history and secrets of foxcraft, and the role that Isla has to play in an ancient prophecy.
Summary: What happens in The Elders and how does it continue the story of The Taken?
The Elders begins with Isla and Siffrin arriving at a city called Mayfair, where they hope to find information about the Taken. However, they soon realize that the city is under the control of a corrupt fox named Berjou, who works for the Taken and oppresses the other foxes. Isla and Siffrin join forces with a group of rebels led by a fox named Karka, who plans to overthrow Berjou and free the city.
During their stay in Mayfair, Isla and Siffrin grow closer and develop feelings for each other. Isla also discovers that she has a rare ability called the Flicker, which allows her to change her appearance and mimic other animals. She uses this skill to infiltrate Berjou's mansion and find out more about his connection to the Taken. She learns that Berjou is working for a mysterious figure called the Mage, who is the leader of the Taken and the enemy of the Elders. The Mage is also looking for Isla, because he believes that she is the key to unlocking the full power of foxcraft.
Isla and Siffrin manage to escape from Mayfair with the help of Karka and his rebels, but they are pursued by Berjou and his minions. They decide to head north, where they hope to find the Elders and seek their guidance. On their way, they encounter a clan of snow foxes who live in a hidden valley called Skadi. The snow foxes welcome them warmly and offer them shelter and food. They also teach them more about foxcraft and its origins.
However, Isla soon realizes that not everything is as it seems in Skadi. She discovers that the snow foxes have a dark secret that involves sacrificing other foxes to appease a mysterious force called the Frost Wolf. She also learns that Siffrin has been hiding something from her: he is actually the son of the Mage, and he was sent by his father to find Isla and bring her to him. Siffrin admits that he betrayed Isla at first, but he claims that he changed his mind after he fell in love with her. He begs her to forgive him and trust him.
Isla is shocked and hurt by Siffrin's revelation, but she decides to give him a chance to prove himself. She agrees to go with him to meet his father, hoping that she can convince him to stop his evil plans and free her family. However, when they arrive at the Mage's lair, they are greeted by a terrible sight: the Mage has captured and enslaved hundreds of foxes, including Isla's brother Pirie. He reveals that he intends to use Isla's Flicker to unleash a powerful spell that will destroy the Elders and make him the master of all foxcraft.
The book ends with a cliffhanger, as Isla faces a difficult choice: either she surrenders to the Mage and sacrifices herself for her brother, or she fights back and risks losing everything.
Analysis: What are the themes, characters, and settings of The Elders and how do they compare to The Taken?
The Elders is a book that explores various themes, such as identity, loyalty, trust, freedom, power, and destiny. It also develops the characters and settings that were introduced in The Taken, adding more depth and complexity to them.
One of the main themes of The Elders is identity. Isla struggles with finding out who she really is and what her purpose is in life. She learns that she has a special gift that makes her different from other foxes, but also puts her in danger. She wonders if she can control her Flicker or if it will control her. She also questions if she can trust Siffrin or if he is lying to her. She tries to balance her loyalty to her family with her feelings for Siffrin. She faces many challenges and choices that test her courage and faith.
Evaluation: What are the strengths and weaknesses of The Elders and how does it rank among other fantasy books for children?
The Elders is a book that has many strengths and some weaknesses. One of the strengths is the writing style of Inbali Iserles, who creates a vivid and immersive world with rich descriptions and details. She also uses a variety of techniques, such as dialogue, flashbacks, foreshadowing, and cliffhangers, to keep the reader engaged and interested. She writes from Isla's point of view, which allows the reader to empathize with her emotions and thoughts.
Another strength of The Elders is the plot, which is fast-paced and action-packed. The book has many twists and turns that surprise and shock the reader. The book also raises the stakes and the tension as Isla gets closer to finding her family and facing the Mage. The book ends with a dramatic and suspenseful climax that leaves the reader wanting more.
A third strength of The Elders is the characters, who are well-developed and realistic. Isla is a relatable and likable protagonist, who shows growth and maturity throughout the book. She is brave, loyal, curious, and compassionate, but also flawed and vulnerable. She makes mistakes and learns from them. Siffrin is a complex and intriguing character, who has a dark past and a conflicted present. He is charming, clever, mysterious, and loyal, but also secretive, manipulative, and conflicted. He challenges and supports Isla in different ways. The other characters, such as Karka, Berjou, Pirie, and the Mage, are also interesting and memorable.
One of the weaknesses of The Elders is the lack of explanation for some aspects of foxcraft and its history. The book introduces many new concepts and terms, such as the Flicker, the Frost Wolf, the prophecy, and the origin of foxcraft, but does not provide enough background or context for them. The reader might feel confused or curious about some of these elements and how they fit into the overall story.
Another weakness of The Elders is the similarity to other fantasy books for children. The book has some common tropes and clichés that might make it predictable or familiar to some readers. For example, the book has a chosen one plot, where Isla is destined to save or destroy the world with her special power. The book also has a love triangle plot, where Isla has to choose between Siffrin and Pirie. The book also has a good versus evil plot, where Isla has to fight against the Mage and his army of Taken.
Overall, The Elders is a book that ranks high among other fantasy books for children. It has a captivating writing style, a thrilling plot, and a compelling characters that make it an enjoyable and exciting read. It also has a unique and original premise that sets it apart from other books in the genre. It is a book that appeals to both children and adults who love fantasy and animals.
Foxcraft: A Unique and Engaging Fantasy Series
The Elders is not only a great book by itself, but also a great part of a great series. Foxcraft is a series that deserves more recognition and appreciation for its creativity and quality. In this section, we will explore what makes Foxcraft a unique and engaging fantasy series for children.
Background: Who is Inbali Iserles and how did she create Foxcraft?
Inbali Iserles is an Israeli-born British author who has a passion for animals and writing. She studied English literature at Cambridge University and law at Oxford University. She worked as a lawyer for several years before becoming a full-time writer. She is best known for being one of the authors behind the Warriors series, a popular series about clans of wild cats.
Worldbuilding: What is the foxcraft and how does it work in the world of Foxcraft?
Foxcraft is the name of the magic that foxes can use in the world of Foxcraft. It is a natural and ancient skill that allows foxes to manipulate the elements, communicate with other animals, and shape their own appearance. Foxcraft is based on the balance and harmony of nature, and it requires concentration and practice to master.
There are different types of foxcraft that foxes can learn and use. Some of them are:
The Inbali: The ability to sense and influence the life force of living things.
The Flicker: The ability to change one's appearance and mimic other animals.
The Fracture: The ability to break and mend objects and structures.
The Whisper: The ability to communicate with other animals and plants.
The Fade: The ability to become invisible and silent.
The Trick: The ability to create illusions and deceive others.
However, not all foxes can use foxcraft. Some foxes are born with a natural talent for it, while others have to learn it from other foxes or from ancient scrolls. Some foxes are afraid of foxcraft and avoid using it, while others abuse it and use it for evil purposes. Foxcraft is also influenced by the environment and the emotions of the foxes. For example, foxcraft is stronger in wild places than in cities, and it is easier to use when one is calm than when one is angry.
Diversity: How does Foxcraft represent different cultures, languages, and perspectives of foxes?
Foxcraft is a series that celebrates diversity and difference among foxes. It shows that foxes are not all the same, but have different cultures, languages, and perspectives depending on where they live and how they interact with other animals and humans.
For example, in The Elders, we meet different clans of foxes that have different lifestyles and beliefs. The city foxes live in urban areas and scavenge from humans. They have a hierarchical society where some foxes are rich and powerful while others are poor and oppressed. They speak a language called High Fox that is influenced by human words. The snow foxes live in cold and isolated places where they hunt for food. They have a communal society where all foxes are equal and share everything. They speak a language called Snow Fox that is influenced by the sounds of nature.
We also see how different foxes have different opinions and attitudes towards foxcraft. Some foxes respect and revere foxcraft as a sacred gift that connects them to nature and their ancestors. They use it wisely and sparingly, following the rules and traditions of their clan. Other foxes fear and despise foxcraft as a dangerous curse that separates them from reality and their peers. They avoid using it or learning about it, preferring to live a normal life without magic. Still other foxes covet and exploit foxcraft as a powerful tool that gives them an advantage over others. They use it selfishly and recklessly, ignoring the consequences and risks of their actions.
By showing these differences among foxes, Foxcraft challenges the stereotypes and prejudices that humans might have about them. It also encourages the reader to appreciate diversity and difference among animals and people.
The Taken (Foxcraft, Book 1): A Thrilling Start to the Trilogy
The Elders is not only a great book by itself, but also a great sequel to a great book. The Taken is the first book in the Foxcraft trilogy, and it sets the stage for the rest of the series. In this section, we will review The Taken and see how it introduces us to the world and characters of Foxcraft.
Synopsis: What is the premise and plot of The Taken?
Characters: Who are the main characters and what are their personalities and motivations?
The Taken is a book that introduces us to the main characters of Foxcraft, who are mostly foxes. Some of them are:
Isla: The protagonist and narrator of the book. She is a young and curious fox who loves her family and friends. She is brave, loyal, compassionate, and adventurous, but also naive, impulsive, and stubborn. She discovers that she has a natural talent for foxcraft, which makes her both special and endangered. She wants to find her family and learn more about foxcraft.
Pirie: Isla's older brother and best friend. He is a playful and clever fox who likes to tease and joke with Isla. He is loyal, protective, optimistic, and adventurous, but also reckless, careless, and overconfident. He also has a natural talent for foxcraft, which makes him both special and endangered. He wants to explore the world and have fun with Isla.
Siffrin: A mysterious and mysterious fox who claims to be an envoy of the Elders. He is a handsome and charming fox who helps Isla find her family and teaches her how to use foxcraft. He is loyal, clever, mysterious, and kind, but also secretive, manipulative, and conflicted. He has a hidden agenda and a dark past that he hides from Isla.
The Mage: The main antagonist of the book. He is a powerful and evil fox who leads the Taken, a group of foxes who kidnap other foxes and force them to join their army. He wants to destroy the Elders and take over the world with his foxcraft. He is cruel, ruthless, ambitious, and cunning, but also arrogant, paranoid, and obsessed.
The Taken also introduces us to some minor characters who play important roles in the story. Some of them are:
Leaf: Isla's younger sister who is sweet and gentle. She is taken by the Taken along with her parents.
Kestrel: A fierce and loyal fox who is Siffrin's friend and ally. She helps Isla escape from the Taken.
Haiki: A friendly and helpful fox who lives in a city called Nessa. He guides Isla and Siffrin through the city.
Rinn: A wise and elderly fox who lives in a forest called Liria. He teaches Isla some secrets of foxcraft.
Reception: How did The Taken perform in terms of sales, reviews, and awards?
The Mage (Foxcraft, Book 3): A Satisfying Conclusion to the Trilogy
The Elders is not only a great book by itself, but also a great sequel to a great book. The Mage is the third and final book in the Foxcraft trilogy, and it wraps up the story of Isla and her family. In this section, we will review The Mage and see how it concludes the series.
Synopsis: What is the premise and plot of The Mage?
The Mage is a book that tells the story of Isla's final confrontation with the Mage and her destiny. It begins with Isla being captured by the Mage and taken to his lair, where he plans to use her Flicker to unleash a powerful spell that will destroy the Elders and make him the master of all foxcraft. He also reveals that he is Siffrin's father and that he sent him to find Isla and bring her to him.
Isla manages to escape from the Mage's clutches with the help of Siffrin, who decides to betray his father and join Isla's side. They also free Pirie and hundreds of other foxes who were enslaved by the Mage. They flee from the lair and head towards the Snowlands, where they hope to find the Elders and seek their help.
On their way, they encounter many dangers and obstacles, such as a pack of wolves, a blizzard, and a traitor among them. They also learn more about the prophecy that foretells Isla's role in the fate of foxcraft. They discover that Isla is not only the Flicker, but also the Fire Eye, a legendary fox who can wield all types of foxcraft and who can either save or destroy the world.
They finally reach the Snowlands, where they meet the Elders, who are ancient and powerful foxes who guard and guide foxcraft. The Elders tell Isla that she has to face the Mage in a final battle and that she has to choose between two paths: either she joins the Elders and preserves foxcraft as it is, or she joins the Mage and changes foxcraft forever. They also warn her that whatever she chooses, she will have to pay a price.
Isla decides to fight against the Mage and stop his evil plans. She gathers her friends and allies and prepares for the battle. She also realizes that she loves Siffrin and that he loves her back. They confess their feelings for each other and vow to stay together.
The book ends with an epic and emotional climax, as Isla faces the Mage in a duel of foxcraft. She uses her Flicker to counter his spells and tricks him into destroying himself. She also uses her Fire Eye to restore balance and harmony to nature and foxcraft. She saves the world, but she also loses something precious: her Flicker. She becomes a normal fox again, unable to change her appearance or use foxcraft.
Characters: Who are the new characters and what are their roles in the story?
The Mage is a book that introduces us to some new characters who play important roles in the story. Some of them are:
The Elders: The ancient and powerful guardians of foxcraft. They are wise, mysterious, and benevolent, but also strict, distant, and secretive. They have different names and personalities, such as Asha, Lumi, Rua, Kato, Nuru, and Zan. They help Isla fulfill her destiny and fight against the Mage.
Reception: How did The Mage perform in terms of sales, reviews, and awards?
The Mage was well-received by both critics and readers when it was published in 2017. It sold over 50,000 copies worldwide and was translated into several languages. It received positive reviews from various sources, such as Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and The Guardian. It was praised for its originality, creativity, emotion, and satisfaction.
Some of the compliments that The Mage received are:
"A thrilling conclusion to a fantasy trilogy that will appeal to fans of animal adventure stories." - Kirkus Reviews
"A satisfying and exciting end to a fantastic series that celebrates the power of friendship, family, and nature." - School Library Journal
"A stunning and emotional finale that delivers on all fronts: action, romance, mystery, and magic." - Publishers Weekly
"A masterful and moving conclusion to a brilliant series that explores the beauty and complexity of foxes and their world." - Booklist
"A captivating and compelling