Author: Sage Blackwood
Jinx, vol. 2
My rating: 4 of 5
The wizard Simon and his apprentice Jinx have temporarily defeated the evil wizard Bonemaster, but they know it’s only a matter of time until he breaks out of the wards they have set around his castle. Simon has begun visiting every witch and wizard he can find in the Urwald forest, attempting to get them to help reinforce the wards on the Bonemaster until he can figure out a way to defeat him for good. . . . Unfortunately, no one wants to get caught up in this matter at all. Meanwhile, Jinx accompanies his companions Elfwyn and Reven to the edge of the Urwald and the kingdom of Keyland where Reven intends to make his claim to the throne–being, it’s supposed, the rightful king, although he can’t say so because of a curse placed on him long ago. And as if he didn’t have enough to deal with, Jinx finds himself wrestling with unclear rumors passed on by the trees of the Urwald and a niggling sense that there’s something he’s supposed to remember–something important.
I hugely enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Jinx, and was very excited to find the sequel, Jinx’s Magic. This was definitely a fun, exciting children’s fantasy, much in the spirit of the first volume. The writing style–as with Jinx–reminds me of a mix of Diana Wynne Jones’s and Tamora Pierce’s styles; it’s creative and fun and easy to read. I love the characters, many of them reappearing from the first volume. Several of them have what would typically be referred to as strong personalities. Or you could just say they’re stubborn. Jinx himself is an interesting character, particularly as he grows through the story–although in this particular volume, I feel like he grows more in skills and understanding of his place in the world than he necessarily does in character. The stylistic descriptions of magic and of Jinx’s perceptions of things like people’s thoughts and emotions (as colored clouds) is probably one of the most original and interesting facets of the story aside from the characters themselves. As for the plot, it is definitely exciting and interesting, but I do feel this is where things fell apart just a bit for this book (the only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 rating). I felt like there was just too much going on and too much that was left unresolved at the end of the book. I realize this is setup for the final volume, and I’m very excited to read that; however, it just seemed a little loose in my opinion. Still, I enjoyed Jinx’s Magic, would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first volume (and yes, you really do need to read Jinx first), and fully intend to read the final volume in the trilogy when I get a chance.