The White Fox by Brian Parvin

thewhitefoxThe White Fox is an exquisite journey of love and danger set in the future, long after mankind nearly destroyed the world in ‘The Great Burning’. Our titular character, the nameless white vixen, is an exile from her tribe, following her destiny in the search of green and fertile lands to fulfill prophecy.

Exhausted and starved, she is saved by our main protagonist, Chalon the dog fox. He must be her guardian and protector and must safely lead her across the world to the south and the Singing Tree, where she can fulfill prophecy and bring life back to the dying world.

The prose is beautiful and it lends an air of beauty and magic to an already special book. The descriptions of the settings are so vivid and clear that it’s like I’m physically transported to another world.

Titled The Singing Tree in Britain, it was re-released in America as The White Fox. Strangely, this was Parvins only book of this sort, as he then went on to write about forty pulp-westerns for Black Horse Westerns at Hale Publishers. Unfortunately, Parvin passed away a few years ago, and not much is known about the man outside of his various westerns.

In the eighties, stories about ‘talking animals’ were the domain of children’s fiction, so this book was a big deal to fans of anthropomorphic fiction (giving animals or objects human traits or emotions) at the time. It is still a good book, though as an early anthropomorphic fiction novel, it subsequently lacks a deeper substance such as complicated sub-plots or side characters and relies heavily upon animal interaction and environment.

It is a basic milieu story – the characters must travel from Point A to Point B, overcome some obstacles along the way and encounter foes and friends. The story can often be repetitive – the main characters being saved from peril by other animals then sent on their way to meet another animal, where they encounter peril and must be rescued by another animal, and the cycle continues.

There are genuine heart-warming moments, some thrills but not too much excitement, and the relationship between Chalon and the White Vixen is simple but strong and carries the book through to it’s conclusion.

The White Fox is is a sweet and pleasant escapist fantasy – lose yourself in the world of fox romance, gentle forests, dangerous mountains and even more dangerous wild animals. The story – just like nature – is beautiful and often times quite brutal. Not for younger children, this book will appeal to anyone from young adults and upwards.

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