In the Urwald you grow
up fast or not at all...
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 Magnus.
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’s safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx’s curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon’s unusual visitors. The more Jinx discovers, the more determined he becomes to explore beyond the security of well-trod paths. But in the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, for magic—and magicians—can be as dangerous as the forest, and soon Jinx must decide which is the greater threat.
Sage Blackwood introduces a daring new hero for an innovative new world as Jinx is joined by friends, battles enemies, and discovers life beyond—and even within—the forest is more complex than he can imagine, and that the Urwald itself needs him more than he could ever guess.
I've always loved this type of book and this one didn't disappoint. The cover said for fans of Septimus Heap, Fablehaven and the Sisters Grimm. I have enjoyed the Septimus Heap and Harry Potter series so I was drawn to this. Who doesn't love a wizard? It has a similar theme of a young boy who develops a connection to magic but it has it's own unique twists. The lines between good & evil are blurry as he discovers more about himself and where he truly belongs.
The writing is well done and the lore and mystery kept my attention. I was transported to another place and time. The characters are well developed and their back stories are suspenseful and gradually built upon with secrets revealed later. The forest itself is even an important character.
I hope there will be more to this story. I want to know what happens next and I would be happy to follow Jinx into more adventures.
Thank you to HarperCollins for an arc in exchange for my honest review.
Release date: 1/8/13
Pages: 368 (hardcover)
Type: middle grade fantasy