Jinx’s Fire by Sage Blackwood

Jinx’s Fire brings this wonderful children’s fantasy series to a satisfying conclusion, tying up loose threads but avoiding a saccharine pat ending. And truly, that has been where this series has excelled: highest writing standards, interesting and complex plot, and an overall arc that is well thought out and makes great use of three books. I would compare this to Harry Potter not because it is a boy in a fantasy setting but because this is children’s literature that doesn’t talk down to kids yet is infinitely rewarding for adult readers as well. It will stand the test of time.

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Story: Jinx has rescued Sophie but now he has a bigger challenge: finding Simon and rescuing him before his spirit is used up by the Bonemaster. But the fourteen year old also has to save the Urwald from his old friend Reven – who is now so obsessed with regaining his kingdom that he has declared war against two other kingdoms and plans to destroy the forest in the process. Unfortunately for Jinx, the longer Simon is imprisoned, the more power is sapped from the Urwald. He may not have enough power left to save his friends, forest, and self.

The story continues its unique blend of “Jinx in Wonderland” – a world where everyone is mad except for our young hero. Author Blackwood is always winking slyly in the background, littering the story with amusing bon mots but tempering the humor with pathos and insight. That combination makes for a story that is grounded but never crushing. Jinx’s character isn’t an optimist and the despairing nature of his situation could have been daunting otherwise.

I really appreciated how smoothly yet intelligently the various threads from the previous two books began to tie together in Jinx’s Fire. Surprisingly, it really did all make sense – from the werewolves to Jinx’s own family. And yet – it didn’t feel like a deus ex machina – few of the solutions were easy or pat.

I really agree that this series should be a classic – it has all the wit, charm, humor, and nuanced writing that make for a great story. I’m very glad to have found this series and read all three.  It is a treasure to hand down to my daughter. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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