Jinx was born in the Urvald and now lives with the remaining dregs of a family following the deaths of his real parents.  The day comes when his stepfather leads Jinx out into the forest where one must be ever so careful not to wander off the path.  To Jinx's horror his stepfather is attacked by werewolves and disappears leaving Jinx in the clutches of Simon, a wizard.

Is Jinx safe now?  Can he trust this wizard fellow?  Mixed messages swirl through the home as Simon's wife, Sophie, comes and goes magically appearing out of walls.  What magic will Simon teach to Jinx and what will the price be for that education?

Jinx decides to set out to find his own way in the world and listens closely to the trees as they whisper and worry all around him.  Along the path Jinx makes friends with two other young people, Reven and Elfwyn and the three set forth to face up to the curses they face individually and finally together.

This story holds layers of adventure entwined with thoughtfulness and wit.  Good for those who enjoy adventure, mild intrigue, and who are quick enough to read between the lines to discover the gold waiting there.

360 pages   Ages 9-13  978-0062129901

Recommended by:  Barb

Sequel:  Jinx's Magic

Read alikes:  Hostage Prince (Seelie Wars) by Jane Yolen; Lost Years of Merlin by T.A.Barron;  Septimus Heap by Angie Sage; Fablehaven by Brandon Mull; Five Kingdoms by Brandon Mull; Seven Wonders by Peter Lerangis; 39 Clues; Infinity Ring series

ALSC Tween Recommended Reads  http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/Tween13_RecReadsList.pdf

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