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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

The highly acclaimed first book of a fantasy adventure series set in a mysterious forest, starring a daring new hero. "Readers will thrill to journey with Jinx" (SLJ, starred review), a wizard's apprentice, as he sets off on a quest through the dangerous Urwald, a magical forest full of wizards and were-creatures, and discovers that it is more complex than he could imagine, and that it needs him more than he could ever guess. This humorous and smart tween fantasy adventure is perfect for fans of Septimus Heap, The Sisters Grimm, and Fablehaven. Supports the Common Core State Standards…


by Sage Blackwood

Overall Book Review:

Jinx is the first novel in a new magical series that’s unlike any other you’ve ventured into before. Author Sage Blackwood pulls the reader into a creepy, yet fantastical world of sorcerers, witches, trolls, and a magical forest, to follow Jinx, a seemingly insignificant twelve-year-old. But as we follow Jinx on his journey of self-discovery, we learn that everything is not as it seems. After having been left in the forest by his stepfather, Jinx is taken in by Simon, a sorcerer. As Jinx grows up, he slowly learns that he, too, possesses some kind of magic, until one day, it’s taken away from him and he feels the loss keenly.

As Jinx tries to get his magic back, he goes on a quest to figure out how to accomplish that task. Along the way, he needs to learn to trust, think of others, and overcome his fears. He ends up befriending two others on their own sort of quest; as they work together, they face the worst the Urwald has to offer and triumph in the end. This magical tale keeps the reader on the edge of their seat with lots of action and interesting characters that really do keep one guessing to the end. The best part is that Jinx by Sage Blackwood is the first in a series, so the reader can look forward to more adventures of Jinx and his friends in the creepy world of the Urwald.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Mention of someone being killed by werewolves; mention of someone being forcibly carried off by elves; adult hits child on ears; character speculates whether or not adult is going to kill him; adult mentions how he beats a child to motivate him to work harder; fantasy creatures carry off a character; character mentions how someone called “Bonemaster” is rumored to kill humans and suck out their souls; character chased by fantasy creatures; character grabs and shakes another person; secondhand account of how someone was going to leave a boy in the woods to die; speculation that wizards drink people’s blood; mention that people in a certain country kill anybody that can do magic; child hurts ankle while running away from a fantasy creature; mention of a fight going on in a public place with people punching and kicking one another; character grabs the arm of another and drags him away; character chased and injured by a sword; mention of blood from a wound spreading over clothes and table; mention of monsters in forest that would kill someone; character tackled to the ground and robbed; character punches robber in the stomach; character speculates that if you kill a tree they will kill you; characters attacked by animals; secondhand account of someone having killed their brother and his family; character attacks fantasy creatures with an axe; secondhand account of how a king puts witches in a barrel stuck with nails and rolls them down a hill as a form of punishment; secondhand account of wizard who lives in a house made of human bones; rumor told how a wizard takes people’s eyeballs out and turns them into a necklace; character sets a monster on fire; character attacks a monster with an axe and kills it (non-detailed); character is grabbed and dragged by another; character is knocked on his ears for being clumsy; character grabbed by his collar and slammed against the wall; characters talk of wanting to poison someone holding them hostage; creepy scene of characters finding a room filled with bottles that hold human souls that look like real people, including ones that appear dead; speculation of how an evil wizard killed the people and put them in the bottles; character hit for making a mistake; mention how ghouls suck out the blood through the eyeballs; characters discover a room lined with human skulls; character grabbed and thrown against the wall; character punched in the face; character sets the clothes of an evil character on fire; evil character threatens to kill a character; character goes after another with an axe, attempting to hack at him; secondhand account of someone’s mother being killed because of who she was.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of parents.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Children given wine to drink.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I remember as a young girl sneaking out of my bedroom to read by the hall light my parents left on, just so I could finish an exciting book. I’ve always loved books and reading is somewhat of a passion for me–something I’m passing on to my kids. I have four children and I have a hard time making them turn out the light when they say, “But I just got to the good part”.