Now she's chosen to enter the world of foxes. It's an interesting choice of species. Of course, foxes have been a staple ingredient of fables and fairy tales for probably as long as the stories been told: and they aren't usually the heroes. The persona attached to them is frequently that of the sly trickster: cf the tale of the three little pigs, or the cunning charmer in The Gruffalo. And in real life, vilified as hen killers, they have traditionally been hunted. Recently, they've moved into the cities where their behaviour seems to be changing; no longer the shy creatures of the countryside, they have become, it seems, more bold and more visible, lured by the easy pickings in dustbins and parks.
Inbali, however, tells her story from inside the heads of foxes. Her point-of-view character is Isla, a fox cub living in the Great Snarl (London?) initially with her parents, brother and grandmother. Isla's story begins when she loses them all, and finds herself alone and vulnerable - at the mercy not only of the furless (us) with their fearsome manglers (cars), but of a mysterious and terrifying group of other foxes who seem to be intent on hunting her down. Her only ally is a fox called Siffrin, who begins to initiate her into the mysteries of 'foxcraft'. He's charismatic and powerful - but is he what he seems? Is he really on her side?
Like The Tygrine Cat, this is beautifully written, with richly realised characters and an epic feel to it. Clearly, it's the opener to a series. I'm very much looking forward to the next one.