A Different Kingdom Analysis

The Plot (Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Orphaned by a bomb blast that kills his parents, Michael Fay is brought up by his grandparents on a large, remote farm in rural Antrim in Northern Ireland. He is left alone, except by his Aunt Rose, a warm, very sexual, young woman.

When he is eight years old, Michael trips on the riverbank and gets his first sight of the Fox-People from an alternate world. Subsequently, wolves swarm into his world, unnoticed by others but capable of killing. To add to his problems, Rose becomes pregnant and dies in childbirth. A local man is blamed, but the real father is a mysterious hooded horseman.

Five years later, Michael sees the Fox-People kill a werewolf. He digs up its skull the next day and uses it to defend himself against a wolf attack. Michael sees the Horseman and feels his evil. He encounters an attractive wild girl, Cat, who reminds him of Rose. They meet several more times and become lovers, but he is too young to leave his world to join hers.

Escaping pursuit by wolves, Cat arrives at his house. He takes her in, and they leave together in the morning. They are chased through the forest by wolves and the Horseman, who is recognized by everyone as the Devil. Michael wins the support of the Myrcan Fox-People and their leader, Ringbone, by rescuing two Myrcans from some Catholic Knights Militant who were intent on killing them. Michael already has been helped by Mirkady, the Elf King, and by a troll, Dwarmo. Now, with a legendary...

(The entire section is 539 words.)