Sage Blackwood. Harper, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-212990-1
In a story with strong middle-grade appeal, Jinx has grown up in the Urwald, an enormous, sentient forest where humans exist on sufferance, safe only in their own clearings and the paths between them. Trolls and werewolves prowl the Urwald, as do dangerous witches and wizards. After Jinx’s brutal stepfather decides to abandon him in the forest, the boy is saved by a crusty, morally ambiguous wizard named Simon, who takes him in as a servant, eventually teaching him some magic. Years later, a 12-year-old Jinx and two new friends set off to find another wizard, the monstrous Bonemaster, in hopes he can help them overcome their respective magical troubles. Blackwood, a pseudonym for writer Karen Schwabach (The Storm Before Atlanta), fills her tale with drama and delightfully funny dialogue (“You could have told us you had a curse on you that made you have to tell the truth,” Jinx complains at one point). Jinx is an engaging and memorable hero, and adult characters like Simon, the Bonemaster, and the witch Dame Glammer (who rides a butter churn) are entertainingly eccentric. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-212992-5
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-06-212991-8
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