Title: Jinx’s Fire
Author: Sage Blackwood
Jinx has to pull together the inhabitants of Urwald as a nation, and fast. His homeland is being invaded by three different armies, all of whom have their own plans for how to divide up the forest. And the Bonemaster still has Jinx’s master Simon trapped in some kind of ice. Jinx has the power of the Urwald itself behind him, but that power is mysteriously fading . . .
I enjoyed the first two books in this series, but for some reason this one didn’t grab me as much. Maybe it was all the political wrangling as Jinx is running around from clearing to clearing attempting to get the stubborn and selfish Urwalders to do something that will benefit all of them, rather than a more straightforward adventure story like the first two. It was funny to see how much Jinx has grown up to be like Simon—blunt, tactless, and powerful in his own way. (His reaction to his friends using tact on HIM is very good.)
I also loved the elves. Particularly the garden. It’s such a fascinating twist and it makes a lot of sense. And elves, like everything else that lives in the Urwald, are fundamentally nasty at heart.
I wasn’t so keen on how the deathforce and lifeforce magics worked out. I get that the trilogy as a whole is about showing the darker, snarky side of reality, the bits that most fantasies never talk about. So in that vein Jinx’s decisions make a lot of sense. I guess it just seemed odd that the wicks, who seem to be more or less the embodiment of one side, can cross sides.
Well, at any rate. This is a poor place to jump into the series because most of the characters are returning and it’s expected you’ll know who they are for the most part. But the earlier books are worth a read and will set the background nicely. I rate this book Recommended.