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Jinx (Jinx #1)

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4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,074 Ratings  ·  482 Reviews
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 Magus.

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’
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by HarperCollins
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Sage Blackwood
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
21st out of 365 books — 727 voters
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Newbery 2014
22nd out of 112 books — 448 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Margaret
Absolutely recommended! Dare I say it? But I would recommend this to a similar crowd as to those that enjoyed Harry Potter with a trio of friends and a bit of magic. But it's an entirely different story with unique personalities unlike any I've ever read and yet it makes me want to go back for more Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes as well. Jinx, himself is an interesting boy with a bit of mystery about him. He's an orphan in bitter circumstances that leads off on an expected adventure.

Truly
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Liviania
Jan 25, 2013 Liviania rated it it was amazing
JINX is good. JINX is really, really good. JINX is an example of everything middle grade fantasy can be, one of those books that will appeal to both parents and their children, as well as other people who just want a good book with curses and enchanted forests and plucky orphans.

Jinx is raised by the wizard Simon after his stepparents attempt to abandon him in the forest. You're safe as long as you stay on the path in the Urwald, but even then it's not an easy place to survive. It's easier if yo
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Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
** I wish every book written for Middle-graders was this good**

What a delightful book. The story is just great and the characters are well developed for middle-grade fiction (telling you enough without going on and on), and the voice that the author (Sage Blackwood) has chosen is absolutely wonderful; by which I mean that the story is told with a crisp 'British-style' humor.

The story revolves about Jinx. He has the fortune (or misfortune) to be born in the Urwald. It's the type of place where li
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April Franklin
Jun 10, 2013 April Franklin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. It's hard to even get across how much I loved this book. It was a perfect mix of powerful magic spells, peculiar wizards and witches, interesting realms and a likable character at the center of it all - that concoction is almost guaranteed to be a favorite of mine if it's well written, and this was. It was very much like reading something by Diana Wynne Jones, who I utterly and completely adore. It's also well worth a read for any fantasy fan or any fan of excellent middle grade books. It w ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Jinx is an interesting little tale.

One thing I liked about it was how it sort of evoked various different folk and fairy tales. Hansel & Gretel is evoked twice - once by step-parents leading their children into the forest to abandon then, and then a more direct reference to gingerbread houses. Ellwyn's red hood and her travelling through the forest to get to her grandmother obviously evokes Red Riding Hood. The witches travelling by butter-churn reminded me of Baba Yaga and her mortar and pe
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Lauren
Jan 04, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Review on A Write to Review - http://lrjohnson13.blogspot.com/2012/...

This is a refreshing take on a fantasy novel with an intriguing plot and unique world.

Jinx has a bit of mystery surrounding him with a wonderfully fresh personality on an epic adventure. As Jinx struggles through his adventures he, along with the reader, learns important lessons along the way. The concept of overcoming ones fear was very intriguing for me and I enjoyed how it was handled in the book.

Note: I won this book fro
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Monica Edinger
Mar 27, 2013 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it
Great fun. Interesting world, delightful characters, and intriguing plot. More than once thought of Diana Wynne Jones; for example, wizard Simon's crankiness had a tinge of Howl. There were a number of throwaway lines in the style of Princess Bride. All in all very entertaining; I look forward to the next one.
kris
Apr 14, 2014 kris rated it really liked it
Jinx is an entertaining twist of a coming-of-age fairy tale. There are wizards and witches and ogres and distant kings and curses and magic. There are even hints of some well-known fairy tales mixed in, just to add a bit of familiar spice.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Jinx was the idea that you should never stop questioning those around you--even those you trust, even those in power. Their truths may not be the truths you know and understand, and part of growing up is exploring the wor
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Kat Heckenbach
Nov 17, 2015 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was amazing
This is MG fiction. Fun, well-written, fast-pasted without skimping on story and character development. The writing voice really captured me as well. Told with a fairy tale flavor, it had me smiling in so many places. There are dark bits, of course, as any good fairy tale has, but they're not told in gruesome detail.

The story world has a lot of familiar tropes--witches, wizards, werewolves, etc.--but all handled in unique ways. The magic system is really cool, as are Jinx's particular abilities.
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Amy Forrester
Aug 30, 2013 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
The Urwald is the only place Jinx has ever known. Dark and mysterious, the tall trees of the Urwald are home to menacing werewolves, werebears and trolls, devious witches, and sinister wizards. Even as a young boy, Jinx knows about the Truce of the Path: You are protected as long as you remain on the path. But one day his cruel stepfather takes Jinx off the path, intending to leave him to fend for himself. Just as Jinx is about to give up hope he’s saved by Simon, a cranky, yellow-eyed wizard. A ...more
Lara
So, so good! I'll be honest that I wasn't really expecting much from this one. Even with all the five star ratings, I just kind of assumed it would be another ho-hum middle-grade fantasy novel with all the usual characters and plot points. I figured it would be kind of fun, but that's it. But I got totally sucked in almost immediatey and am missing it now that I'm finished!

I'm not even sure I can really point to what exactly won me over so completely. Possibly it's that the characters are so da
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Jen
Mar 19, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing
I LOVED Jinx. I was hooked in the first paragraph:

"In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all. By the time Jinx was six he had learned to live quietly and carefully, squeezed into the spaces left by other people, even though the hut he lived in with his stepparents actually belonged to him. He had inherited it after his father died of werewolves and his mother was carried off by elves."

Hold onto your hats! What follows is his stepfather trying to abandon him to die off the path, and being take
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Camille
DNF @24%

I couldn't handle the sad part.
Rachel Neumeier
Feb 13, 2014 Rachel Neumeier rated it it was amazing
JINX and JINX’S MAGIC are, like Diana Wynne Jones, the kind of MG that anybody can enjoy.

For the same reasons, too: the characterization, worldbuilding and actual writing are all top-notch, and as icing on the cake, there’s a good bit of biting commentary on what I hesitate to call the human condition because doesn’t that sound stuffy, but still.

“What it [the Urwald, the enchanted forest] isn’t, good Jinx, is a nation. And that means it’s waiting to be taken over by anyone clever enough to try.”
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Kim
Refreshing new take on fantasy. New idea, new story, and really well done. Kinda like Angie Sage and "Septimus Heap" this will delight your 8-12 year old, your 14 year old and even the adults. Jinx lives in a world of magic and darkness. Go off of the path and bad things happen, or do they? This has so much potential for a really good trilogy that I do look forward to more about Jinx and his pals.
Susan Grigsby
It is increasingly rare in adult literature to find three dimensional characters, and probably rarer in children's novels. Sage Blackwood has invented an entire forest of them and has created a tale to draw in readers of every age.

Jinx is a surplus child in his family's clearing in the Urwald forest so his step-father takes him deep into the forest and off of the Path that provides safety for all who travel it. But instead of falling victim to all of the dangers of the woods, werewolves, trolls,
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Chris
Jun 06, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing
Wonderful storytelling for a wonderful story that had me hooked from the opening paragraphs.* Both simple and complex. Light and accessible and easy enough to understand, yet weighty, deep, and darkly dangerous. Fun despite the fact that death is constantly just around the corner. Mysterious without being confusing. Imbued with myth, fable, and legend. Definitely always magical. I want to experience more adventures in Jinx's world.

Abandoned by his family, young Jinx is taken in by an evil wizard
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Fantasy♥Magic♥Love
Apr 27, 2016 Fantasy♥Magic♥Love rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves Fairy Tales that take place in a forest
Recommended to Fantasy♥Magic♥Love by: Gesa
Jinx was my first fairy tale 'retelling' story, which I enjoyed quite a lot and is now my favourite-of-all-time series.

It had interesting and fun magical elements in it, it was fast-paced and a lot of fun to read.

In this book we meet Jinx in a forest called, The Urwald, where he gets abandoned by his stepfather and rescued by the wizard Simon Magus, who in turn then takes Jinx on as an 'apprentice'.

Only in the middle of the book it starts to become 'more adventurous' as Jinx starts to travel m
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Tommy Hancock
Dec 01, 2015 Tommy Hancock rated it liked it
Not bad, not great. An enjoyable, if not remarkable young fantasy book. It might be really good as a stepping stone for younger readers. Maybe an in between chapter books and middle grade.

I don't regret reading it, but doubt that I'll continue the series.
Kat (Lost in Neverland)

Starts out strong, with strong characters and concepts, but slowly deteriorates into a boring, uneventful mess with no conclusion.
Tabby

Loved it. Nice new children's/ya fantasy with wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed the ability to "see" other's emotions that Jinx displayed. I am definitely waiting on the next book to either continue Reven's story or to go to Sophie's town to the University. Now I have a great book to pass on to my niece!

Jinx
Sage Blackwood

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Kelly DeLeon
Jan 20, 2015 Kelly DeLeon rated it really liked it
The novel Jinx is spell bound. Personally I would recommend this book to all those magic lovers that want to go on a adventure into the Urwald. From witches to wizards, and whispering trees and werewolves to stray from the path may be a foolish idea if you are afraid. Within this book we follow a young boy by the name of Jinx who is apparently not afraid of anything. Although as the story progresses he learns there are many things to be afraid of that were right outside his clearing. Characters ...more
Beth
Feb 22, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
What a fabulous surprise this was. I seem to be comparing books to earlier works this weekend, so I'll say that contrary to the cover blurb, this book didn't remind me of Septimus Heap - it reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle. In a really good way.
Philip Le
Mar 31, 2016 Philip Le rated it really liked it
In this adventure, Jinx, an abused child, is taken in by a kind/not so kind wizard named Simon after his father is taken off by trolls. The forest that surrounds his new home is filled with creatures, both good and bad, that have a touch of magic to them. After a reckless action nearly kills Simon and Jinx's abilities disappear, Jinx is forced to venture into the Urwald Forest to seek help from the Bonemaster(non-threatening name, eh?). Along the way, he encounters Elfwyn, a girl cursed to alway ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Feb 22, 2013 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
Jinx is a young boy when his step-father brings him into the dark and mysterious forest, the Urwald, taking him off the path so that he can never find his way home. Jinx knows what happens to those who travel off the path, though, for in the Urwald lives all kinds of creatures - trolls, werewolves, ogres, vampires, witches and more. And sure enough, just after leaving the path he and his step-father meet a wizard. But this wizard makes a deal with Jinx's step-father to buy him for one silver pen ...more
Stevie Finegan (SableCaught)
Jun 18, 2013 Stevie Finegan (SableCaught) rated it really liked it
Video review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dED0HW...

Or continue below to read my script.

Jinx: The Wizard’s Apprentice by Sage Blackwood

The cover of this book, the title of this book? I wasn’t expecting much. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting it to be bad necessarily, but it didn’t look particularly special either. I mean, tales that concern young would-be wizards and covers that feature lost orphans wandering through mysterious forests are packed six a shelf in your average book emp
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Mary
Jun 19, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Were- chipmunks! Trolls! wizards, both moderately good and bone-chillingly bad! Witches flying in butter churns! Lost princes, curses, and an orphan boy trying to make sense of it all all told in a clear, simple and fluid prose. Nicely done. I enjoyed young Jinx himself, am worried about Rever (the prince who threatens the magical forest Jinx lives in and loves - Rever's not a BAD kid, exactly, but he seems far too inclined to settle problems with violence), and loved the female characters, youn ...more
Echo
Dec 16, 2012 Echo rated it it was amazing
This novel was a phenomenal debut novel by author Sage Blackwood that reminded me of my favourite books as a child. Filled with twists, turns and wonderful characters, this is one novel that you won't want to miss no matter what age you are.

To begin, I’d like to comment on the writing style; it was amazing. Simple enough for a child to understand yet elegant enough for an adult to love. Readers of all ages and reading levels can find delight in the pages of “Jinx,” especially with Jinx’s sharp i
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Barb Middleton
May 09, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Chinese narrator's words emitting from the television are nonsensical to my thick ears until I hear "Niu Rou." This means "beef" in Mandarin but my western brain hears the Roman emperor's name, "Nero." The sound comes from the back of the throat and whenever I try to pronounce it I either elicit a laugh or quirked brow. Such is my language life. Not so for Jinx where learning languages is like breathing in and breathing out. He's fluent in months and has taught himself six languages in about ...more
Brenda
Mar 26, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
"In the Urwald, you grow up fast or you don't grow up at all." You also never stray from the path, but when Jinx's stepfather Bergthold does just that, even at a tender age of six, Jinx knows something is wrong. Jinx thinks that he is about to be killed but Bergthold has decided instead to abandon him. This may be even worse because there are equally horrible things in the woods. While forging along the path, Bergthold and Jinx come upon Simon, a wizard who offers to buy Jinx. Bergthold is a gre ...more
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Henrico Youth Boo...: Jinx by Sage Blackwood 3 15 Nov 13, 2013 05:01PM  
Sequel 4 34 May 30, 2013 05:19PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Jinx (3 books)
  • Jinx's Magic (Jinx #2)
  • Jinx's Fire (Jinx #3)

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“Hm. Didn’t you use to be a lot smaller?”

“Yes,” said Jinx. “Because I used to be six.”
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“...if you spent all your time being protected, you never got to find out anything new.” 11 likes
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