Willow’s dad tells strange stories. He talks about a hidden Forest where animals can speak, and about his childhood adventures with a pack of wolves. Willow does not believe him. For her there is no magic left in the world, because older generations have let it all go to waste.
But now Willow’s dad has disappeared: stolen by foxes in the night.
To find him, Willow must enter the secret world of the Forest. There she must speak with wolves and find the magical Tower where the foxes are ruled by their silver-tongued leader, Reynard.
In the Tower, Willow sees wonders: statues walking the streets, spires reaching to the stars and a lion who wants to be king. But disaster is near. The magic is running out and soon the Tower will fall.
Reynard has a plan that will change everything, and he wants Willow’s help. But can she trust the story he is telling? Can Willow save her dad and find a way out of the Fox’s Tower?
The Fox’s Tower, a sequel to Wolfstongue, will be published by Little Island in October 2022.
‘Sam Thompson’s stories are dark and tender and brilliantly strange. A bold and impressive collection.’ – Alison Moore, author of Man Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse
‘A unique voice. Grave, evocative, deeply compelling. Stand out story ‘The Red Song’ is extraordinary, replete with touches of Kafka, Borges and Aickman. It’s superb.’ – Jeremy Dyson, co-creator of Ghost Stories and The League of Gentlemen
‘Stories for our time, by a skilful, gifted writer remarkably good at deceptively simple opening lines. Let them draw you in.’ – Nicholas Royle, editor of Best British Short Stories
‘Sharp as a scalpel, tender as a kiss. Sam Thompson’s work is superlative. Each story in this remarkable collection hovers in the mind like a spectre long after reading, somewhere between fiction and deep truth.’ – Helen Marshall, author of The Migration
‘A collection that moves almost effortlessly from the fantastic to the realistic and back again, in a way that feels seamless and necessary and human. These are beautifully written stories that are easy to fall deeply into. One gets the impression that Thompson lives with one foot in the world we know and one foot in a stranger, more resonant world – and lives in a way that lets him glimpse the magic in the grimly real, and vice versa.’ – Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World
‘These stories are written with astringent precision; Thompson’s prose is sharp, clarifying, revelatory even.’ – Naomi Booth, author of Sealed
A lyrical fable about the power of language and the relationship between humans and the natural world.
‘What an astonishing work Wolfstongue is by Sam Thompson. One of the most extraordinary children’s books I’ve ever read.’ – Anthony McGowan, Carnegie Medal-winning author of Lark
‘[Wolfstongue] has all the makings of a modern classic with its exhilarating mix of ancient fable and contemporary issues… Not since Watership Down have animal dynamics felt so true and the political undertones so live’ – Alex O’Connell, The Times
‘The writing raises this to classic status… Gripping and profound, Wolfstongue may be for children but it is about being human’ – Amanda Craig, New Statesman
“I started writing Wolfstongue for my son, who has speech difficulties and has always loved wolves… I hope the book takes readers on an adventure while also offering them a myth that they may find useful: a myth about how language can trap us or make us free, about the self-doubt we feel when we can’t find the words we need, and about how human stories have power to shape the natural world.”