Reviewed June 20, 2015.
Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins), 2015. 388 pages.
2015 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #3 Children's Fiction
This book does bring things to a nice conclusion and reads like a complete story. I like the character things that happen as Jinx figures out his own magic and his connection to the Urwald.
In this book, three different kings are invading the Urwald, intending to destroy it, maybe "generously" giving them a small "preserve." At the same time, the Bonemaster is growing in strength, causing Jinx not to be able to access the forest's lifeforce. And Simon is still missing, and Elfwyn dangerously near the Bonemaster. Jinx also needs to get the people and creatures and wizards and witches of the Urwald to help against the invaders.
Basically, there's much for Jinx to accomplish in this volume of the trilogy, and the author pulls it off in a satisfying way. There are many different kinds of magic in these books, but her descriptions of the magic don't come across as vague and unclear as so many fantasy novels do. In fact, being able to describe multiple kinds of magic is one way Sage Blackwood stands out.
And it's impossible not to love Jinx. He's no saint. He gets impatient and can be overbearing. He sometimes has trouble figuring things out. But his gift of seeing the color and shape of people's thoughts and his ability to listen to the trees makes him a distinctive character I will never forget.
A satisfying conclusion to a wonderful trilogy.