The Witch's Boy
35%
off

The Witch's Boy

4 (1,842 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

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 a Bandit King comes to steal the magic 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 enchanted forest that borders Ned's village lives Aine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King, who 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 stop the war that's about to boil over between their two kingdoms?show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 139 x 209 x 30.48mm | 362.87g
  • Algonquin Books (division of Workman)
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1616205482
  • 9781616205485
  • 58,158

Review quote

"A story with many alluring elements . . . Barnhill creates an absorbing world of kingdoms and prophecies in which transformation comes through language, and through courage and self-awareness as well . . . ["The Witch's Boy"] should open young readers' eyes to something that is all around them in the very world we live in: the magic of words." --NewYorkTimes.com "[Barnhill] is an eloquent writer who spins beautiful lines . . . This spellbinding fantasy begs for a cozy chair, a stash of Halloween candy and several hours of uninterrupted reading time." --"The Washington Post" "In a story of an unexpected hero, a thief's daughter, and some very tricky magic, Barnhill weaves a powerful narrative . . . Barnhill elegantly joins the story's diverse threads in a complex tale whose poignancy never turns sentimental." --"Publishers Weekly," starred review "A classic origin-quest tale . . . brimming with a well-drawn, colorful supporting cast, a strong sense of place, and an enchanted forest with a personality to rival some of the best depictions of magical woods." --"School Library Journal," starred review "Barnhill skillfully interweaves the stories of Ned, aine, Sister Witch and the stones, along with an intriguing group of secondary characters. The third-person narration switches perspective smoothly, and it's all related in a precise, flowing prose that easily places readers into the fantastic setting and catches them up in the story. The classic fantasy elements are all there, richly reimagined, with a vivid setting, a page-turning adventure of a plot, and compelling, timeless themes." --"Kirkus Reviews," starred review "In [this] gorgeously written and fast-paced adventure through forest and flood, bandits and courtiers, wolves and queens and witches, the boy and the girl must stop a war, restore magic to its rightful place, and find their own places in a world they've helped to make bigger. Barnhill is a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman, and this story feels fully inhabited." --"Minneapolis Star Tribune" "Kelly Barnhill is deft at crafting strong characters, and this classic fairy tale is filled with otherworldly beasties and plenty of magic." --"San Antonio Express-News" "Fiercely original and uncommonly lovely, "The Witch's Boy" is equal parts enchanting and haunting. Kelly Barnhill is master of truly potent and unruly magic; luckily for readers, she chooses to use her powers for good." --Anne Ursu "In a story of an unexpected hero, a thief's daughter, and some very tricky magic, Barnhill weaves a powerful narrative . . . Barnhill elegantly joins the story's diverse threads in a complex tale whose poignancy never turns sentimental." --Publishers Weekly, starred review "Careful, confident Aine; whose skills, both domestic and wild, make her a formidable ally (and excellent heroine), is a studied contrast to the weaker, shy Ned. The boy's growing confidence and ability to wield and protect his mother's magic adds elements of a classic origin-quest tale to a story that's already brimming with a well-drawn, colorful supporting cast, a strong sense of place, and an enchanted forest with a personality to rival some of the best depictions of magical woods." --School Library Journal, starred review "Barnhill skillfully interweaves the stories of Ned, Aine, Sister Witch and the stones, along with an intriguing group of secondary characters. The third-person narration switches perspective smoothly, and it's all related in a precise, flowing prose that easily places readers into the fantastic setting and catches them up in the story. The classic fantasy elements are all there, richly reimagined, with a vivid setting, a page-turning adventure of a plot, and compelling, timeless themes." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Warring nations, mysterious stone figures, and the running thread that magic is alive and dangerous all add to the gripping core narrative of two children who find wells of strength and ingenuity from being pushed out of their comfort zones. The setting is exceptional: lush descriptions are flawlessly integrated, conveying a deep understanding of the natural world and the people, flawed and complex, who populate it . . . Offer this to Gaiman and Wynne-Jones fans, and to realistic fiction buffs who are open to brilliant coming-of-age stories sharing space with touches of magic." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review "Barnhill . . . is an eloquent writer who spins beautiful lines . . . This spellbinding fantasy begs for a cozy chair, a stash of Halloween candy and several hours of uninterrupted reading time." --The Washington Post "A story with many alluring elements . . . Barnhill creates an absorbing world of kingdoms and prophecies in which transformation comes through language, and through courage and self-awareness as well . . . [The Witch's Boy] should open young readers' eyes to something that is all around them in the very world we live in: the magic of words." --NewYorkTimes.com "Barnhill tells a complex story, one that sustains and subverts the usual fairy-tale tropes. Through the eyes of the brave and increasingly shrewd Ned and Aine, young readers consider the complications of magic, the corrupting desire for power, and the conflicting natures of good and evil in this atmospheric and elegantly told literary fairy tale." --The Horn Book Magazine "The characters are vivid and well developed . . . The writing is beautiful and lyrical, but keeps pace with an action-packed story . . . Recommend this title to those who like retellings and strong, narrative fantasy." --VOYA "Kelly Barnhill is deft at crafting strong characters, and this classic fairy tale is filled with otherworldly beasties and plenty of magic." --San Antonio Express-News "In [this] gorgeously written and fast-paced adventure through forest and flood, bandits and courtiers, wolves and queens and witches, the boy and the girl must stop a war, restore magic to its rightful place, and find their own places in a world they've helped to make bigger. Barnhill is a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman, and this story feels fully inhabited." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "Fiercely original and uncommonly lovely, The Witch's Boy is equal parts enchanting and haunting. Kelly Barnhill is master of truly potent and unruly magic; luckily for readers, she chooses to use her powers for good." --Anne Ursu In a story of an unexpected hero, a thief s daughter, and some very tricky magic, Barnhill weaves a powerful narrative . . . Barnhill elegantly joins the story s diverse threads in a complex tale whose poignancy never turns sentimental. Publishers Weekly, starred review Careful, confident Aine; whose skills, both domestic and wild, make her a formidable ally (and excellent heroine), is a studied contrast to the weaker, shy Ned. The boy s growing confidence and ability to wield and protect his mother s magic adds elements of a classic origin-quest tale to a story that s already brimming with a well-drawn, colorful supporting cast, a strong sense of place, and an enchanted forest with a personality to rival some of the best depictions of magical woods. School Library Journal, starred review Barnhill skillfully interweaves the stories of Ned, Aine, Sister Witch and the stones, along with an intriguing group of secondary characters. The third-person narration switches perspective smoothly, and it s all related in a precise, flowing prose that easily places readers into the fantastic setting and catches them up in the story. The classic fantasy elements are all there, richly reimagined, with a vivid setting, a page-turning adventure of a plot, and compelling, timeless themes. Kirkus Reviews, starred review Warring nations, mysterious stone figures, and the running thread that magic is alive and dangerous all add to the gripping core narrative of two children who find wells of strength and ingenuity from being pushed out of their comfort zones. The setting is exceptional: lush descriptions are flawlessly integrated, conveying a deep understanding of the natural world and the people, flawed and complex, who populate it . . . Offer this to Gaiman and Wynne-Jones fans, and to realistic fiction buffs who are open to brilliant coming-of-age stories sharing space with touches of magic. The Bulletin of the Center for Children s Books, starred review Barnhill . . . is an eloquent writer who spins beautiful lines . . . This spellbinding fantasy begs for a cozy chair, a stash of Halloween candy and several hours of uninterrupted reading time. The Washington Post A story with many alluring elements . . . Barnhill creates an absorbing world of kingdoms and prophecies in which transformation comes through language, and through courage and self-awareness as well . . . [The Witch s Boy] should open young readers eyes to something that is all around them in the very world we live in: the magic of words. NewYorkTimes.com Barnhill tells a complex story, one that sustains and subverts the usual fairy-tale tropes. Through the eyes of the brave and increasingly shrewd Ned and Aine, young readers consider the complications of magic, the corrupting desire for power, and the conflicting natures of good and evil in this atmospheric and elegantly told literary fairy tale. The Horn Book Magazine The characters are vivid and well developed . . . The writing is beautiful and lyrical, but keeps pace with an action-packed story . . . Recommend this title to those who like retellings and strong, narrative fantasy. VOYA Kelly Barnhill is deft at crafting strong characters, and this classic fairy tale is filled with otherworldly beasties and plenty of magic. San Antonio Express-News In [this] gorgeously written and fast-paced adventure through forest and flood, bandits and courtiers, wolves and queens and witches, the boy and the girl must stop a war, restore magic to its rightful place, and find their own places in a world they ve helped to make bigger. Barnhill is a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman, and this story feels fully inhabited. Minneapolis Star Tribune Fiercely original and uncommonly lovely, The Witch s Boy is equal parts enchanting and haunting. Kelly Barnhill is master of truly potent and unruly magic; luckily for readers, she chooses to use her powers for good. Anne Ursu"show more

Back cover copy

"This spellbinding fantasy begs for a cozy chair and several hours of uninterrupted reading time." --The Washington Post 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. Across the forest that borders Ned's village, Aine, the daughter of the Bandit King, is haunted by her mother's last words: "The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his." When the Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned's mother, a witch, is meant to protect, Aine and Ned meet. Can they trust each other long enough to cross a dangerous enchanted forest and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms? "Barnhill is a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "[The Witch's Boy] should open young readers' eyes to something that is all around them in the very world we live in: the magic of words." --The New York Times "This is a book to treasure." --Nerdy Book Club A Washington Post Best Book of 2014 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014 A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2014 A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" 2014show more

About Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill writes novels for children and short stories for adults and poetry that she whispers in the dark when no one is listening. Her first novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack, received four-starred reviews, and her second, Iron Hearted Violet, received a Parents' Choice Gold Award. Her most recent novel is The Witch's Boy. Kelly lives on a city street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a field and a creek behind her house. A coyote runs by every morning at six a.m. and a heron flies over her yard just before the sun sets on slow summer evenings. Kelly is a fast runner and a steady hiker and a good camper. She also makes delicious pie. She has received grants and awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, and the Loft. She has three very smart kids and one very smart husband.show more

Rating details

1,842 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (612)
4 42% (766)
3 19% (350)
2 5% (84)
1 2% (30)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X