Foxheart by Claire Legrand
Foxheart by Claire Legrand
Illustrated by Jaime Zollars
On Sale Date: October 4, 2016
Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel
Greenwillow Books , 480 pages
My Rating: 4 Stars
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Orphan. Thief. Witch.
Twelve-year-old Quicksilver dreams of becoming the greatest thief in the Star Lands. With her faithful dog and partner-in-crime Fox, she’s well on her way—even if that constantly lands them both in trouble. It’s a lonesome life, sleeping on rooftops and stealing food for dinner, but Quicksilver doesn’t mind. When you’re alone, no one can hurt you. Or abandon you.
But the seemingly peaceful Star Lands are full of danger. Witches still exist—although the powerful Wolf King and his seven wolves have been hunting them for years. Thankfully, his bloody work is almost complete. Soon the Star Lands will be safe, free of the witches and their dark magic.
Then one day a strange old woman and her scruffy dog arrive in Quicksilver’s town and perform extraordinary magic. Real magic—forbidden and dangerous. Magic Quicksilver is desperate to learn. With magic like that, she could steal anything her heart desires. She could even find her parents.
But the old woman is not what she seems, and soon Quicksilver has to decide—will she stay at home and remain a thief? Or will she embark upon the adventure of a lifetime and become a legend?
Adventure, magic, and heart-warming characters fill the pages of Legrand's new middle-grade fantasy, Foxheart.
The first thing Quicksilver noticed about being a witch was that it would have been much easier without a monster getting in the way.
The story opens with a girl with no name, a twelve-year-old orphan who has a penchant for thievery, witnessing terrible destruction to her orphanage by strange, magical creatures of light and fire. Seven, snarling wolves and the mysterious cloaked figure who controls them. The Wolf King.
Suddenly, the girl-with-no-name finds herself on the run along with her faithful dog, Fox. Along the way, she meets a shy boy named Sly Boots whom she promptly declares her name as Quicksilver and threatens him while brandishing a wicked spatula- and thus begins their oddly, sweet friendship.
"Before Quicksilver could stop him, sly Boots drew Quicksilver into a tight hug and then let her go at once. "Goodnight, Quicksilver," he said, with a shy smile. "You're a good friend."
"I'm not your friend."
"Well, all right. I suppose we haven't known each other that long. But you will be. We will be, I think."
While thieving and doing dare-devilish things, Quicksilver and Sly Boots once again find themselves in trouble as the Wolf King comes looking for them, only to be rescued by an old, cantankerous woman named Anastazia. A witch, who whisk them away, back in time, where the real adventure is just about to begins.
Though she was rash, and impatient, and a tiny bit heartless, Quicksilver was not one to forget things, nor one to break promises (unless, of course, a promise was made in the course of thievery), and so she did not forget the promise she made to Sly Boots.
Foxheart is sure to appeal to young readers with its familiar fantasy elements. Animal familars alongside their witchy companions fight off dangerous villains (one who is not what he first appears to be), assisted by a group of unlikely friends make for a fun and adventurous quest.
Where the real magic lies in this story is the powerful lessons of friendship, love, and sacrifice imparted by Legrand. At 480 pages, Foxheart is a surprisingly fast read. Legrand accomplishes this through moments of daring action and danger while sprinkling it with humor and sweet moments as readers witness Quicksilver transform from a spirited, albeit a self-serving thief, to a compassionate and loving young girl. Quicksilver learns that though there is power in being a witch, the real power she has is not magic, but friendship and love.
"Sometimes," Anastazia said, "it isn't about being the most powerful person or the person who has the most knowledge. It isn't about being the oldest person, or the strongest person, or the person who makes all the right decisions. Sometimes it's about being the person who decides to stand up and fight."
"And that's me?" she whispered.
"I have never been one to let something scare me away from what's important," Anastazia answered. And neither have you. "I love you, Quicksilver. I believe in your strength. My greatest hope is that someday you will learn to do the same."
But now (that) the words had been said, and her hungry heart grabbed hold of them. She felt a warm thrill at the realization that she, Quicksilver, parentless and squashed nosed-could receive love ... and that she could, possible, give it in return?"