This multilayered tale of realistically portrayed foxes in a changing habitat may surprise readers who know Kilworth only for his somewhat morbid short stories (The Songbirds of Pain, 1984) or his dystopian novel, A Theatre of Timesmiths (1985). O-ha is a female fox living in Trinity Wood, a small patch of unspoiled forest in the English countryside; the action here consists of her search for a mate, her adjustment to the suburban development that disrupts her world, and the constant menace of Sabre, a monstrous guard dog that kills her first brood of cubs. O-ha is in many ways a sensible Englishwoman, a bit old-fashioned in her ways, whose mate, the American fox Camio (who escapes a zoo to join her), has to teach her about life in the streets and alleys. The story builds inexorably to the final confrontation with Sabre. While some readers may find the made-up fox ""mythology"" a bit silly, Killworth has clearly done careful research into these wily creatures and their habits, which are convincingly portrayed. With likable protagonists and a superbly drawn setting, Killworth's latest rivals Watership Down in its warm evocation of the forces of nature and the power they still hold over us.