by William Ritter
272 pages; ages 8 - 12
Algonquin Young Readers, 2019
from the jacket: Magic is fading from the WildWood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind – a newborn changeling.
But when the time comes, something goes wrong. Kull, the goblin charged with trading a human baby for a goblin, is distracted. And when he turns back to the two babies in the crib, he can’t tell which is which – human or goblin – so he leaves both babies and returns to the goblin world.
And leaves a young mother with unexpected twins. and whispers amongst townsfolk about it being goblins. Or maybe a witch. The two boys, Cole and Tinn, grow up hearing tales that one of them may actually be a goblin. But which one?
Then twelve years, eleven months and twenty-eight days later the boys discover a note in a tree in an orchard where they aren't supposed to be. The note tells them to meet the goblins at a certain place on a certain night. Tinn and Cole decide to go together into the WildWood in which:
- they lose their marmalade tarts
- are chased by a bear
- meet a girl
- are captured by a witch
- and kidnapped
Basically, if anything can go wrong it will
This is a great story about children stolen, lost, sold to fairies, and … found. At its heart, it’s a story of adventure and love.
What I like about this book: Besides the tale of adventure and mishap, I love the language. Here’s a description of the town the boys live in, Endsborough… “a quaint community teetering on the edge of what could be only generously termed civilization. A dense forest … curled around the town the way a Great Dane might curl around a terrier puppy.” It sits at the end of a windy road, beyond towns that have already adopted gas lighting, a quiet town that doesn’t go looking for trouble.
I’m looking forward to reading book 2, The Unready Queen, due to be released this June.
Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.