cover image Woven


Michael Jensen and David Powers King. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-545-68572-6

When a 17-year-old peasant named Nels finally gets to attend his town’s yearly festival, all he wants is the chance to become a real knight—and perhaps win a kiss from the lovely Princess Tyra. But before the day is out, Nels is killed by a master of the magic called Fabrication. Much to Nels’s dismay, the only person capable of seeing his ghost is Princess Tyra, who publicly humiliated him only hours earlier and has no intention of helping her phantasmagorical new companion. According to a magician named Ickabosh, however, Tyra’s fate is bound to Nels, and the man who killed Nels won’t rest until both of their life-threads are cut. While the novel is aimed at a YA audience, its language sometimes feels closer to middle grade and tends to summarize the protagonists’ feelings rather than demonstrate them (“In spite of the peasant’s insolence, Tyra was intrigued and curious about him—if only a little”). Still, this brisk adventure from first-time authors Jensen and King is a charming quest tale in classic fantasy tradition. Ages 12–up. Agent: Meredith Bernstein, Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency. (Jan.)