After his brutal owner tries to kill him, a half-breed greyhound escapes and embarks on a series of adventures.
Furgul learns from his mother, a racing greyhound, that he’s the son of Argal, a legendary wild dog who knows of Doglands, the mythical place where dogs roam free. When a brave escape ends badly for his litter mates, Furgul is adopted by a caring but controlling couple then flees just before he’s to be neutered. He is imprisoned in a kill-after-five-days pound, then befriended by a human who can speak “dog” fluently. Finally, assisted by a brave old St. Bernard, a cowardly mutt named Skyver, the love of his life, Dervla, and a few others, he takes on a dangerous mission to rescue his mother and all the other greyhounds imprisoned by the abusive Dedbone and his sidekick, the Gambler. When violence erupts, it’s graphically depicted: “a separate pack of hounds, driven crazy by the blood,… devoured him alive where he lay.” The dogs each have distinct personalities, and the mystic lore of the Doglands adds a secondary fantasy layer to the narrative. Humans are only sketched in, which is fitting, since the tale is told from the dog point of view.
A riveting dog tale with a healthy serving of savagery, not all on the part of the four-legged characters. (Fantasy. 11 & up)