Don’t get me wrong I love fantasy, though it is still not the genre I gravitate towards when just browsing for books. So when I came across Jinx by Sage Blackwood through the 2014 Mock Newbery group on Goodreads as something people were watching for as having Newbery potential I decided I would give it a try. Now here is a middle-grade fantasy novel that I can get on board with.
Jinx is an orphan living with his step-parents in a clearing in Urwald. Urwalk is a vast forest that is filled with nasty creatures and nastier witches and wizards that will come after you if you leave The Path. Well one day Jinx’s step-dad decides that they can no longer support Jinx so he takes him off The Path to abandon him. Here they cross paths with Simon a supposed nasty wizard. Simon offers to buy Jinx from his step-dad so Jinx can do Simon’s chores. Now Jinx doesn’t think Simon is evil, but can you really trust a wizard?
Thus begins an adventure for Jinx. Along the way he learns more and more about the world that he lives in and comes to realize that you can’t believe everything that you hear. Plus Jinx has this ability that he can see what people are feeling and comes to realize that not everyone has this ability. But when Simon performs a spell on Jinx that takes that ability away he decided to run away and find someone who can remove the spell. Along the way he meets Elfwyn and Reven, both of whom also have curses upon them that they would like removed. So they take off to the Bonemaster (Simon’s enemy) for assistance with these curses. I loved the characters, they are well developed and have quite the personalities.
This story is very unique and doesn’t take itself so seriously. This is a perfect fantasy for its intended audience of middle-grade readers. I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for a good fantasy novel to have fun with.