The Jinx Trilogy

My favourite trilogy. We were deep in the Urwald this past month.

Jinx, Jinx’s Magic and Jinx’s Fire are middle-grade novels that also appeal to adults. I read them to my nine-year-old daughter this past month, and we were completely absorbed (it was my second time reading them, and they were still as good). It’s a whole world unto itself.

It is a mix of nature and magic and fantasy, with complex and interesting characters and mature themes throughout that can be applied to real life (e.g., good and evil, curse or blessing, fear, knowledge, power, friendship and relationships, how one views and connects with nature, the moral dilemma of fighting for home).

I’d recommend it to people who like the Harry Potter books. It will resonate with you, particularly if you feel part of the forest and view the trees as beings.

A brief set-up:

Jinx is an orphan in the Urwald—a vast forest, with darkness and poverty but also magic, ancient agreements like the Truce of the Path, and a deep life force.

Jinx gets rescued by a wizard named Simon, a character who has some darkness in his past but left that for better…or has he? He is both warm and cold, caring deeply about Jinx but also sometimes grumpy and ignoring and forgetting about Jinx for long periods. 

Jinx is special. He can see the colour of people’ emotions, and he is THE LISTENER—he can hear the trees talk.

For reasons unknown to Jinx, Simon does a complicated spell on Jinx, and he loses his power to see the colour of peoples’ emotions.

Jinx decides to leave the safety (or danger?) of Simon’s home and tries to find out how to get his power back. He meets a girl named Elfwyn, who has a curse upon her which makes her answer any question truthfully, and so she becomes known as the Truthspeaker. They also meet Reven, a charming boy of royal blood, who is caring and kind, but he has a distaste for the Urwald and whose caring doesn’t extended to the trees or forest.

Together they go to see the powerful and evil wizard, the Bonemaster, to see if he can get Jinx’s power back and remove Elfwyn’s curse.

And then a lot ensues. They have to save themselves, Jinx has to get Reven out of the Urwald, try to save Simon and Sophie (Simon’s wife), and try to save the Urwald.

All three books are masterpieces. Thank-you Sage Blackwood!

PS – The climax scene in the final book was especially evocative after recently having experienced the wrath of the derecho storm. Here is a scene from our back-country canoe trip on a ”portage trail” (complete chaos).

Take care and listen to the trees,