Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 16, 2014
Number of Pages: 385
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. But when the Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned's mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it's Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.
Meanwhile, across the forest lives Aine, the daughter of the Bandit King. She is haunted by her mother's last words to her: "The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his." When Aine's and Ned's paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms?
I won this ARC in a giveaway, and I really enjoyed it! The opening pages were cute and caught my attention. I really liked Ned and Sister Witch, and the Queen. I liked Aine at first as well, but after Aine and Ned meet I stopped liking her. She was much too cold and mean, especially compared to how she had seemed in her own chapters previously.
This book changes point of view, mostly between Ned and Aine, but you also get chapters with Sister Witch, the Bandit King, and the Magic Stones point of views.
I felt sorry for Tam, and liked reading about the wolf. There was just something about Aine I couldn’t like. She was too quick to fight, too quick to decide that she was better than Ned even though she knew nothing about him. She is redeemed somewhat at the end of the book, but her attitude just bugged me. To be so cold and mean towards Ned for most of their time together, and then she suddenly realizes that she considers him a friend? It just didn’t work for me.
I did really like the book for all my issues with Aine. I loved reading about Ned and Sister Witch and the wolf. The Queen was a fun character, even though we don’t get to read a whole lot about her. King Ott was a spoiled brat and I didn’t feel sorry for him one bit.
The magic was unique, I loved the fact that it talked. That isn’t something I’ve seen before. Sentient objects or magical creatures, or even creatures made OF magic, yes. But magic that could think? All in all, I would recommend this book to all ages.