A peculiar and often wearisomely didactic fantasy-debut that begins as a Watership-style animal saga, progresses to elves and magic after The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, and ends up with the author suggesting that it's all "at the very least, based on fact." Change comes to the impossibly utopian animal community of Silver Wood when human baby Nab is abandoned there one snowy night. Adopted by Brock the badger, Nab grows up woodcrafty and wary, hating the vicious, stupid Urkku (humans). And when the Urkku eventually capture Nab, he's rescued by the oppressed animals and packed off to visit some thoroughly boring elves--who launch into harangues about Good and Evil, Logic and Magic, and how Nab is destined to be the Savior of the animals. Nab's task, it seems, is to bring together, from forest, sea, and mountain, the Faradawn (three elvish caskets of Logic)--for unspecified but presumably significant purposes. Thus inspired, and joined by Beth, a young lady animal-friend, Nab and his chums go Questing on. A hardworking but contrived and clumsy fable-hybrid--for only the most undemanding, gullible fantasists.