Book Review – F.O.X.E.S (S.T.A.G.S #3)

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today it’s time to revisit one of my favourite YA series with book three, F.O.X.E.S. Here’s where you can find the reviews for S.T.A.G.S and D.O.G.S, books one and two, and the perfect reads for this stormy season. Seeing as this series opens with the words “I think I might be a murderer”, these are not ones to miss!

Greer has just recovered from her terrifying experience during the STAGS play. Was she really put on trial by the sinister Dark Order of the Grand Stag? Or was it purely her overheated imagination? The imprint of an ‘M’ for murderer that has appeared on her thumb, though, is puzzling but incomplete evidence . . .

Meanwhile Ty is staying on at Longcross Manor and Greer, Nel and Shafeen are increasingly worried for her safety. When Ty sends a cryptic message directing them to Cumberland Place, the de Warlencourts’ palatial home in London, they decide to risk a visit. There they meet Henry’s grieving parents, Rollo and Caro. Rollo is arrogant, entitled and not overly grieving. Caro, however, while superficially charming, is clearly pushed to the brink of madness by Henry’s death, insisting that Henry is still alive. Which is clearly impossible . . . but Greer has her own troubling doubts about Henry’s death which make it hard to dismiss Caro completely . . .

Can Greer, Shafeen and Nel work out what Rollo de Warlencourt is planning for his deadly Boxing Day Hunt at Longcross in time to save Ty – who has now gone silent? Or will history horribly repeat itself?
A thrilling, richly complex instalment in the STAGS series.

The end of D.O.G.S was as impactful as it could possibly be, and it took some serious time convincing myself not to jump into F.O.X.E.S straight away. As always, M.A. Bennett has done a wonderful job in creatuing a sweeping thriller.

This time, most of the book is set over just the space of a couple of days prior to Christmas. Following Ty’s hints, Nel and Shafeen decide that a visit to the de Walencourt London home is in order on their way home for the Christmas break. But things, of course, were never going to go to plan, because where would the story be in that? As soon as they arrive, Rollo and Caro captivate them in their different ways; one in a bolshy over the top manner, and one in an airy way that drifts the boundary with madness. I listened to this as an audiobook again, and the narrator who has read all of the books, Lucy Dixon, does an amazing job at capturing their characters as always.

Things only get weirder as the days go by, and Greer grows more uncomfortable. Shafeen seems to be under the impact of Rollo’s behaviour which throws her entirely, and Caro has put Greer sleeping in Henry’s old room, along with sleep walking into her in the night. And when Rollo invites them to visit the final seating of the year at the House of Lords… well. I think I read the rest of the book in one sitting! Things, it turns out, are far, far bigger than the trio could ever have imagined.

I think this ended up being my favourite book of the series so far, and I can’t wait to read book four, T.I.G.E.R.S, next month.

A big thank you to Hot Key for a) getting me hooked on this series on the first place, and b) sending me book three. The only reason I didn’t read the physical is all the books are now packed up for our house move! I can’t recommend these more highly, especially with how F.O.X.E.S ended.


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