Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 book 222

Kelly Barnhill's The Witch's Boy
Sooo there is kind of a lot going on here (in a good way), and I will try and unpack it: in a small village on the end of a kingdom, a woman guards (and occasionally uses for good) a jar of powerful magic, a role passed down by generations of her family. And then her young twin sons build a crappy raft and one of them drowns--and everyone says the wrong boy survived. Meanwhile, a practical girl living in another kingdom dreams of being a fisherman like her mother--but when her mother dies, her father moves them deep into a weird ol' forest and returns to a life of banditry. There is also a whole thing with some mysterious stones that used to be people (or at least, beings). Naturally these stories converge. I really liked the writing here, and the characters are all interesting (I particularly liked a baby wolf). Occasionally there's a little bit too much of "and she knew she loved her friends" when they met like a day earlier, but whatever, it's a kids' book. Otherwise, it's totally solid and a very engaging read. I don't know if a sequel is planned, but I'm totally up for the further adventures of Aine and Ned. A-.


Patty said...

I was all, "Did I read this? I think I read this, it sounds familiar," but I couldn't remember holding the book in my hands. Then I remembered that I proofread it for Algonquin! I quite liked it.

Alicia K. said...


I liked it a lot too!