Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

It all began when his twin brother drowned in the river.  Ned survived, Tam died.  And the village people said the wrong boy lived.  What they didn't know was that his mother, the witch, tied his twin's soul to his body so she still had both sons.  Just because it made Ned a stutterer and a bit slow didn't mean it was a bad thing, right?

Algonquin Young Readers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 16th, so you can grab a copy then.

This is a fantasy novel that has some very different components to it.  It's unlike any other book I've read and it kept me interested all the way through.

Ned's mother is a witch and she gets her power from a magic jar.  She hides it under the floorboards and has to be very strict with it.  It would like to escape and it's always offering ideas on getting more money, a nicer place to live, etc.  If she ever accepts that, the magic can go free.  Another problem with the magic is that it never does exactly what you want it to do.  After all, it's magic, you know.

Ned realizes a man that hangs about the village must be a bandit.  He has a look about him that speaks of sneakiness.  Ned has also seen him steal things from folks in a shop by bumping into them on his way out.  When he gets a little too interested in Ned and his mother, he escapes him and goes home.  Unfortunately, the bandit comes back with his friends.  The worst part is that his mother isn't home.  When the bandits threaten his father, he goes to fetch the jar.  But he trips...

Suddenly Ned has the magic on his skin; there are words everywhere.  He has to run to escape the bandit who now wants to kill him to get control of the magic.  When he suddenly runs into a girl in the woods he's running through, he has no idea she's the bandit's daughter.  

Between the girl, the boy, the wolf and walking stones, there's lots of excitement, warring nations, and more.  It's a busy book with an interesting tale and I liked it.  Why don't you try it?

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