Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood
|Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Jinx has magical powers but isn't too sure how to use them, and Simon Magus, the wizard who should be training him, has gone off to fight the thoroughly evil Bonemaster. He has friends he can't trust, trees that offer advice that's too vague to be much help — and what's the deal with the werewolf who wears reading glasses?|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 392||Date: February 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
Jinx's world seems, at first glance, to be highly traditional. He lives with a wizard in the middle of the Urwald forest, elves and werewolves wander by on a regular basis, and the rule, as everyone knows, is that you must never, ever step off the path.
No matter how extensive or spectacular his powers, Jinx is only an apprentice and his role is to do all the boring stuff around Simon's house, like feeding his noisy and permanently demanding cats. And, like every other thirteen-year-old boy in all the worlds, he finds adults stuffy, perplexing and unhelpful. After all, just because Jinx died for a short while, there's no need to watch him every single minute of the day, is there? He may turn out to be the most powerful wizard ever, but at the moment he's a teenager, and from time to time a pretty grumpy one, at that.
And that's where this very readable series differs from the norm. Jinx may be in many ways an ordinary lad, but he takes much of his power from the trees of the Urwald, and they talk to him. Not always very clearly: their ideas of time are very different from his, and to them all forest creatures, human or otherwise, are fleeting inhabitants barely worth noticing. But they soon let him know when they need something, and they're not above nagging if he doesn't do what they want pretty quickly. They sense a definite threat to the forest in the person of Reven, a boy Jinx met in Book One, and they really don't like the fact that Jinx hasn't expelled him from the Urwald yet. Indeed, Jinx might get his magical power from the trees, but they're not above using him as a channel to do a little destroying of their own.
Jinx is even more unusual as a main character in a fantasy because for reasons we don't yet know, but which seem to be connected to the Bonemaster, he has a mixture of magics inside him. This leads to some hilarious scenes, for example when he observes Elfwyn, the girl who cannot lie, surrounded by an aura of pink fluffy clouds whenever the gallant and smooth-talking Reven is around. Readers will quickly identify with our hero who is reluctant to admit, even to himself, how bitterly jealous he is, and this vein of comedy runs through the book. Ms Blackwood has a real gift for dialogue, and witty exchanges abound. That's not to say there isn't a dark side to the book, especially when Jinx has to go to the desert world of Samara with its oppressive rules and absolute ban on magic, but things never get so bad that the funny side doesn't eventually peep through.
The book, like the first in the series, is excellently written and the adventure swerves satisfyingly between light and dark moments, humour and deadly peril. It does suffer a little by being the middle book in the trilogy, and despite a sense of accomplishment at the end, it moves a little slowly at times, leaving a lot of threads for the final segment. Still, don't let that put you off: it's a thoroughly good read!
You can follow the plot of this book without the first in the series Jinx, the Wizard's Apprentice, but you'll miss a fair amount of the background and humour, especially as the irascible but occasionally kindly Simon doesn't feature as much here. And once you've read that, try Curse of the Dream Witch by Allan Stratton, another story about magic, thoroughly horrid villains and impending doom—great fun!
You can read more book reviews or buy Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood at Amazon.com.
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