Jinx by Sage Blackwood – Review

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Jinx by Sage Blackwood Jinx by Sage Blackwood is a lovely book for curling up with for a visit to another world. Jinx is a young child when his stepfather takes him into the forest, the Urwald to abandon him. Instead, he finds himself taken in by a Simon, a wizard who may or may not be evil. Jinx knows from stories that all wizards are evil, and he knows Simon feels guilty about something and is hiding quite a bit, but he also knows that Simon never hits him, feeds him well, and teaches him reading and the beginnings of magic. There are few other people for Jinx to compare him to, only Sophie, who only visits occasionally; the Bonemaster, whose mind is full of knives; and a local witch whom he cannot understand at all.

Because of these limited contacts, Jinx combines his power as a beginning wizard with a charming innocence. He has seen only a few people in his short life, and from those few, he’s built his view of the whole world. It only gradually begins to expand as the novel unfolds. He is actually somewhat hindered in this for a time by his limited ability to read emotions and intentions. He assumes everyone can do this, so he assumes that they are all aware of one another’s motives and habits. As the book unfolds, he gains a few more friends and also begins to leave the path more. The path, as everyone in Urwald (and everyone who has read any fairy tale) knows, is the only truly safe place. Leaving it means learning, but it also means danger.

One of Jinx‘s strengths is its focus on a relatively small part of a bigger world. The Urwald, Jinx’s forest, is only a small part of the world. It’s big enough, and dangerous enough, to be a small boy’s entire world, big enough to hold the story. It’s also small enough to keep the focus on a small group of people and to develop a local culture and custom. It also has a nice dash of Russian folklore, modeling its witches on Baba Yaga and borrowing parts of her cottage for the Bonemaster. Jinx, too, is only a child, a young boy growing up and with bits and pieces of power he hardly understands. He’s not a Chosen One (yet?) nor is his power particularly noteworthy in this book; it’s unusual, but not unstoppable. He’s an appealing character just starting to figure things out, thinking the world through, making mistakes, trying to help his friends, and wanting to learn.

There are hints and mentions of kingdoms beyond its borders and encroaching threats, and these will undoubtedly play a role in the sequel, Jinx’s Magic, but this book sticks to the local and is the richer for it.

To order a copy from Amazon, click here;

Curl up with this book
  • Jinx
5

Summary

Jinx by Sage Blackwood is a lovely book for curling up with for a visit to another world.

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