"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jinx by Sage Blackwood

Jinx by Sage Blackwood, 2013.

In Blackwood's engrossing fantasy, orphan Jinx has grown up near the forest Urwald, a place filled with trolls, werewolves and witches. When his cruel stepfather intends to abandon him in the woods, Jinx is purchased and sheltered by a potentially dangerous wizard, Simon Magus. At first Jinx is merely a well-fed servant, encountering Simon's 27 cats, his witch cronies and his kind but often absent wife, Sophie. Then Simon teaches him to read and begins to give him magic lessons. By the time he is eleven, he has taught himself many languages, can  read people’s feelings by seeing the colors of their thoughts and knows how to understand the talk of trees. He has a decent relationship with the impatient, difficult Simon. He does not believe that Simon is evil, but then the wizard takes Jinx’s magic. Without his ability and believing himself cursed, Jinx sets off on a quest to get his magic back, hoping for help from the amoral witch Dame Glammer. As it happens, he will have much worse people to worry about than Simon. He will meet a different wizard, a powerful one called the Bonemaster. Then he will need the help of two new friends, Elfwyn and Reven, and maybe the aid of an old friend to escape, because the Bonemaster's intentions are clearly wicked and Jinx may be in over his head.

This was my choice for my last book for Camp Read-a-Lot, and a greatly enjoyable book it is. Simon breaks the stereotype of the kindly white-bearded wizard mentor who is married to the craft. Jinx is likable, spunky and rebellious, and his friends are resourceful and interesting, carrying curses of their own. Fans like I am will be pleased to know that Blackwood's second book, Jinx's Magic will be released in January of 2014.

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