Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Anna Tromop
Publisher Name
Little Island Books
Age Range
Release Date
August 30, 2022
Inspired by his own experience of having a son with speech difficulties, Wolfstongue is Sam Thompson's first novel for children.

Silas is a young boy who is bullied at school because his words will not come. He wishes he could live in silence as animals do. Deep in the Forest, the foxes live in an underground city built by their wolf slaves. The foxes' leader Reynard controls everything with his clever talk. One day, Silas helps an injured wolf. Then he enters the secret world of the Forest, where the last remaining wolves fight to survive. But even there, language is power. Can Silas find his voice in time to help his wolf friends – can he become the Wolfstongue?

Editor review

1 review
Always remember who you are.
(Updated: October 08, 2022)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
A large part of the story deals with how people handle the expectations of others. Silas is bullied at school due to his difficulties speaking and he fulfills his role as a victim. He recognizes his speech problems and accepts the abuse he receives. The wolves in the story are slaves to the foxes even though they’re much larger and stronger. The foxes have given them names that enable the foxes to control the wolves. The characters must eventually remember who they really are.
The author effectively makes the foxes, especially Reynard, convincing antagonists. These animals are typically considered sneaky and cunning so the author’s description of these characters builds on those expectations. Early conversations with Silas make the foxes seem kind and sincere but they immediately reveal their true intentions. Reynard is the worst as he’s the leader of the foxes and a master at manipulating words. Silas’s trouble speaking makes it easy for Reynard to twist his words and control his thinking. All of the animals hate Reynard and there is some unrest within the fox community.
I enjoy the levity created by the banter between a tabby cat and a raven as it balances the seriousness of the plot. An ongoing exchange is how the cat’s going to eat the bird eventually so he won’t let anyone else hurt it. The tabby’s “attacks” always result in the bird flying away with laughing caws. The tabby is extremely arrogant and makes it sound like he’s doing everyone else a favor when he helps. However, he’s an invaluable ally and always bravely comes through when needed.
What didn’t work as well:
Silas is “a little surprised” by talking wolves and foxes so the transition to a fantasy realm is less “believable”, for lack of a better word. He readily accepts it since a talking fox is standing in front of him but it usually takes a little time for characters to adjust to these kinds of unusual experiences. The book skips this transition period and jumps right into the story.
The Final Verdict:
The relationship between the wolves and foxes is uncommon and the role of humans in character dynamics is creative. The message regarding human culture is a valuable lesson and I recommend you give this book a shot.
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