A boy, a fox, a land stumbling into war, the story of two amazing characters starts now.
This was such an amazing, beautiful book full adventure, brilliant characters, friendship, and much much more. From the start you will be sucked in the book and even after you finished the book it will stay with you. You will be thinking about this book even when you are done. It is that kind of book.
The book is set up in two POV, Peter (our human), and Pax (our fox). The book starts with Peter having to set Pax free. Of course this is accompanied by tears by Peter, though it takes Pax a bit longer to get that something is wrong.
As the story progresses we see why Pax had to be set free (though later you also find out much more and you will also be much more angrier with that dad), we also find out that Pax has been with Peter for a long long time, and is pretty much tame (which we sure can see from the POV of Pax, but it really adds an extra impact when you find out how long Pax was with Peter, and since what age. It quite changed my perspective on all of it, and I was just rooting more and more for Pax.
You can imagine how Pax’s reaction is to this new situation, this new world. He has no clue what to do. He is not used to hunting, or finding his own food. He is afraid/unsure of killing things (because again, he never had to kill anything). He meets other foxes, but you can imagine that he approaches them as people would do other people. He is wary, but he approaches them in a way that isn’t really normal for foxes (at least not from what I remember).
As the story progresses you can see Pax change a lot. He is still looking for Peter, he is still searching for his human, but there are a lot of changes in his behaviour, in how he survives, how he adapts to his new surroundings, and so so much more.
It was so interesting to see how Pax was doing, and I have to say I loved Pax’s POV much much more than I did Peter’s. Peter was interesting, but Pax was the one who changed the most (at least in my opinion), he was the most interesting, and I was just rooting so much for Pax. Still hoping that he would find Peter, but also hoping he would become closer to those foxes he met. Hoping that he would be able to hunt, hoping he would be able to survive. Hoping he would survive the terror of the war which is coming, and which is very close to where he is.
I loved how the foxes were written, how they communicated, how they lived their lives. It just felt so real, so beautiful to be able to read about it.
Peter was a fun character, and he was really interesting, I felt sorry for the little guy and all that happened to him. With his mother, with his father, with his grandfather, with Pax. But for some reason I found his parts a bit boring. Not only because of his stubborn behaviour. Yes, I know little fella you want to find your fox, you are worried about him, but come on, you have this and that, you can’t just go out in the wild like this.
And yes, the older lady is a bit weird, but she is also really kind and nice and is just trying her best for you.
I actually had expected more adventure from Peter’s part, but from the start when the travelling started I just knew this couldn’t last. He was just not build/meant for this. Even though he certainly had the will for it.
The book is peppered with gorgeous illustrations made by one of my favourite illustrators, Jon Klassen, and they really added something extra to the book.
Next to the whole Fox adapting, Peter finding his way, we also have a war that is starting, a war that is coming, the land is starting to get riddled with mines, and other dangerous things. We mostly see the war starting to happen through Pax’s eyes. We see what happens to his surroundings and what this war does to the animals. (Hint: Heartbreaking moments all over.)
The ending was just stunning and it broke my heart. I cried, on the one hand I was happy, on the other hand I was sad.
This was a gorgeous book and I truly loved it through and through.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone!