In YA Book Reviews on September 30, 2013 at 1:53 am


by Sage Blackwood

Fantasy/©2013/360 pages/First in a Series

Publisher’s Blurb from the book jacket:

In the Urwald, you don’t step off the path. Trolls, werewolves, and butter churn–riding witches lurk amid the clawing branches, eager to swoop up the unwary. Jinx has always feared leaving the path—then he meets the wizard Simon Magnus.

Jinx knows that wizards are evil. But Simon’s kitchen is cozy, and he seems cranky rather than wicked. Staying with him appears to be Jinx’s safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx’s curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon’s unusual visitors. The more Jinx discovers, the more determined he becomes to explore beyond the security of well-trodden paths.

But in the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, for magic—and magicians—can be as dangerous as the forest. And soon Jinx must decide which is the greater threat.

My Thoughts:

This is your basic, well-rounded middle grade fantasy book with lots of magic, trolls, and wizards. I liked the main character, Jinx, with his survival smarts and special powers, and how he related to the quirky adults in the story, especially the hard to figure out Simon. I liked the Urwald world, with all its magical elements and inhabitants. The plot had some interesting parts, but overall I did not find it as engaging as I had hoped. It is recommended for 8-12 year-olds, but there is one part where the hero’s death and apparent restoration to life after sleeping for three days may be too much for  some children.

My Rating: 3 1/2  Stars

Other Thoughts:

By Singing Light


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