Champions of the Fox by Kevin Sands

With Champions of the Fox, Kevin Sands concludes his thrilling middle-grade fantasy trilogy with all the excitement, twisty plot points, and delightful subterfuge you’d expect from this bestselling Canadian author. In the first two novels of the Thieves of Shadow series, Children of the Fox and Seekers of the Fox, the gang of five young thieves, each with unique abilities, pull off high-stakes heists, outwit powerful sorcerers, and suffer more than a few bumps and bruises. 

    Now in the third book, again led by Callan, the gang must overcome their distrust of authority and each other, as they’ve been tasked with their final mission: breaking the mysterious Hollow Man out of the most secure prison in the empire. As always, the Dragon’s Eye is calling the shots, this cranky entity offering Cal obtuse, yet threatening directions, making him question both its nefarious motivations and his own role in the criminal undertaking. But now the Eye has promised that after this last heist, Cal will finally be rid of its pull on his soul. “Follow my instructions, and when our task is done, I will release you.”

    The blend of Dickensian details and fantasy world-building in the Thieves of Shadow trilogy; cobblestones and airships, lovable rogues and magic stones, have made the series irresistible. The characters are charming and relatable, high-functioning misfits, especially Cal, a cross between the Artful Dodger and Pip, the hero of Great Expectations. 

    As bluffs and deceptions are engineered for the prison break, the gang rubs shoulders with the kingdom’s elite and ignores the warnings of the local crime boss. Cal is disturbed by his all too realistic dreams, a window into the past of his fellow thieves and the lore surrounding all of them. Through this narrative device, Sands gives the reader a unique and atmospheric glimpse into the secondary character’s backstories. As Cal the con artist wonders whether he’s the one being conned in the Eye’s final evil scheme, his friends help him understand the truth about himself and his place in the world.     

    Champions of the Fox completes an epic and richly imagined series and will leave readers wishing for just one more heist.  

Since escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, KEVIN SANDS has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, a teacher, and a professional poker player. He lives in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of the bestselling The Blackthorn Key series.

  • Publisher  :  Puffin Canada (Nov. 7 2023)
  • Language  :  English
  • Reading age: 8-12 years
  • Hardcover  :  464 pages
  • ISBN-10  :  177488240X
  • ISBN-13  :  978-1774882405
 -- Website

Andy Tolson has been a boy magician, propmaker, filmmaker and writer. At the National Post and Maclean's Magazine, he was a photojournalist and editor. His first novel, Noisemaker, was published in 2022 by Moose House Publications. His debut middle-grade novel, How To Kidnap A Mermaid, will be published by Nimbus Publishing, fall 2024. He lives in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Andy will be focusing on reviewing middle-grade novels for TMR.