Jinx by Sage Blackwood is a stellar juvenile fantasy, possibly the best I've read so far this year.
Jinx is taken into the Urwald to be abandoned by his stepfather, he
knows he will soon die. After all, nobody steps off the path in the
Urwald and lives for long, not with the witches and wizards and monsters
that roam the forest. But then Jinx meets Simon Magus, who takes Jinx
in as a servant. Though Simon is a wizard -- are all wizards evil? -- he treats Jinx better than anyone else ever has. But will Simon ever teach Jinx any magic?
book reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones in all the best ways: great
characters, fun plot, little touches of humor. The ending is a bit
muddled, but by that point I was completely enthralled by the story and
the characters. This is definitely an exciting debut; I can only hope
that we will see a lot more by this author in the future!
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)