Title: Jinx’s Magic
Author: Sage Blackwood
Jinx is trying to keep his promise to the Urwald to escort Reven out of it. Only Reven isn’t taking to the eviction as well as either of them hoped. Reven is happy to see the Urwald as an opportunity—for a safe place to hide, and especially for its land and timber. To Jinx, who talks to trees, any talk of cutting them down is like proposing murder. But before he and Reven can get into a proper fight about it, Jinx is off to Samara on Simon’s instruction, sent to look for Sophie, some books, and an education. It’s power he needs to face the Bonemaster. But the Bonemaster is much older than he is, and has plied his deathforce magic far longer . . .
Jinx remains a supremely engaging character. His power is an odd hodgepodge no one really understands, least of all himself, but he’s starting to learn more about what he can do, and branch out. It amuses me he can do so much when he technically only knows four spells (six, by the end of the book). He’s got a vast amount of power at his disposal, but quite a lot that limits his use of that power, such as most of it only working when he’s in the Urwald.
And this is the book that dares beyond the Urwald’s depths to some of the kingdoms beyond. Samara gets most of the focus. The desert kingdom’s credo “Knowledge Is Power” is something Jinx struggles to figure out, along with the challenges of adapting to a wholly different kind of environment. No trees! And, oddly enough, people he might actually call friends.
I liked, too, that the Urwald continues to reveal more of itself. Werewolves and elves both show up and are fascinating. Although the werewolf Jinx meets seems to be outside the norm for its species, which is a mystery Jinx hasn’t solved yet, but does allow for some tidbits about werewolf life and culture. I am so happy these elves very much fit with the general nature of Urwald, which is to say they are nasty and deadly (which the first book said, but now that we have a visual it’s much more believable that Jinx lost a parent to elves).
The humor from the first book is still present here, and just as sharp. I love when Jinx’s honesty mixes with Simon’s sarcasm, or the way absurd things work themselves out, or the matter of fact way Urwald-dwellers treat death.
Overall this is a great followup to the first book. There’s none of the middle-series drag that can hit sequels, and the ending promises a great deal of fun to come. I rate this book Recommended.