Multiple threats to his beloved Urwald send tree whisperer Jinx down magical Paths of Ice and Fire in this populous closer.
Readers who haven’t followed Jinx from his eponymous beginning (2013) will likely stumble along behind in confusion as he makes his way through crowds of new and previously introduced (and uniformly contentious) wizards, witches, werewolves, trolls, elves and human refugees from two worlds in a desperate effort to save his (equally contentious) trees from three invading armies and the evil wizard Bonemaster. Ominously, not-so-cryptic prophecies indicate that he will succeed only by overcoming his stubborn reluctance to kill and embracing the Bonemaster’s icy “deathforce”—a moral test he’s been avoiding. The pseudonymous author saddles Jinx with other challenges too, from a really close friend bearing a curse that forces her to answer any question with the truth to an almost satirically archetypal journey up a glass mountain and then down through Eldritch Depths to the Nadir of All Things. Many references to the mixed hazards and benefits of choosing paths, keeping to them and leaving them add further thematic underpinnings.
A solid conclusion to a trilogy that, though overcrowded and about a half volume too long, is nonetheless threaded with proper amounts of heroism, humor and ingenious twists of character. (map, not seen) (Fantasy. 10-12)