The bubbling cauldrons and coloured potions of the wizard's house are a world away from the life Jinx has left behind. Even the ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Jinx is living with stepparents in a clearing near the treacherous forest of Urwald. To step off the path there is to invite death, so when his stepfather takes him into the woods and has him sit off the path and wait, Jinx knows this is not a good thing. Luckily, the wizard Simon happens upon them, and when trolls come out of the woods, he cloaks himself and Jinx so they are not carried off. His stepfather is not so lucky. Grudgingly, Simon takes the boy home and puts him to work cl ...more
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 ...more
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. ...more
"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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
This book was actually quite good. i'm going to be honest, i didnt think it would be. i thought i'd be reading a harmless children's book when i started, i mean look at how cute and unsuspecting the book cover is, boy was i wrong. It felt like it wanted to be a children's book but then at some points the author was like screw that "i'm going to put in this disturbing scence, lets see how the parents explain this"and then the author goes again like "oh yeah its a kid's book" on and on it goes li...more
After being abandoned in the Urwald forest by his uncaring stepfather, Jinx is adopted by a cranky wizard named Simon. As he grows up in the wizard's strange home, he learns some magic and makes friends with t ...more
This book does seem to be popular for a number of readers, but, as for me, I can't even come close to recommending this. Reall ...more
I don't regret reading it, but doubt that I'll continue the series.
Damn I need to read the sequel asap. Even though tis late.
Lovely little fantasy which is aimed at younger/middle grade readers therefore a little less detailed than I would like in some ways though maybe that is intentionally the style the author was going for. Has a subtle humor and a fun new world with distinct characters. There is also a lot of mild poking at classic fairy tale tropes.
Jinx is an orphan apparently under a curse, and when his stepparents (its complicated) conceive his sis ...more
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.” ...more