The Witch's Boy

By Kelly Barnhill

“This spellbinding delusion begs for a comfy chair and a number of other hours of uninterrupted examining time.” —The Washington Post

whilst Ned and his exact dual brother tumble from their raft right into a raging river, simply Ned survives. Villagers are confident the incorrect boy lived. around the woodland that borders Ned’s village, Áine, the daughter of the Bandit King, is haunted via her mother’s final phrases: “The improper boy will retailer your existence, and you may store his.” while the Bandit King involves thieve the magic Ned’s mom, a witch, is intended to guard, Áine and Ned meet. Can they belief one another lengthy sufficient to go a deadly enchanted wooded area and forestall the conflict approximately to boil over among their kingdoms?

“Barnhill is a fantasist at the order of Neil Gaiman.” —Minneapolis megastar Tribune

“[The Witch’s Boy] should still open younger readers’ eyes to whatever that's throughout them within the very international we are living in: the magic of words.” —The manhattan Times

“This is a booklet to treasure.” —Nerdy booklet Club

A Washington put up Best ebook of 2014
A Publishers Weekly top ebook of 2014
A Kirkus experiences Best Children’s e-book of 2014
A Chicago Public Library “Best of the simplest” 2014


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A bad note, certainly. The bushes looked as if it would cluster and hover round her, choking out the sunshine. It was once as if they have been bending low, studying her face, studying her twitchy palms and her shifty gaze. They rustled their branches and breathed. The air grew to become thick and sizzling and damp. one of many final steamy breaths of summer season earlier than autumn descended at the mountains. It smelled of sap and decay and loam. Sweat dripped alongside the edges of her face and down her stomach and again. The tendrils of hair that escaped her braid clung to her neck and cheeks like damp spiderwebs. She attempted to sweep them away. 300 paces. 400. 5. She stopped. there has been, she learned, a rocky knoll a stone’s throw from the place she was once status that will supply a large view down the slope towards the river. She strode towards the rock’s bubbly part, grabbed handholds, and hoisted herself up. The wooden was once vast and eco-friendly and dreaming. The branches of bushes upon bushes upon timber intertwined and tangled and shook. Áine squinted her eyes. Her father was once in the market someplace. And the remainder of the bandit horde. She scanned the skies for symptoms of falcons, yet observed not anything. after which she heard it. Boots. A excessive whistle known as from tramper to tramper throughout the undergrowth. The pitch and size of every excessive blast had its personal that means, a mystery code recognized basically to the bandits. And to Áine. Being the key daughter of the main strong bandit on the earth had a few advantages, in any case. the place? Cried the 1st whistle. right here, blasted the second one. Áine pressed herself opposed to the lee of a truly huge tree, holding her knees bent and her again curved, able to spring. bandits blundered towards each other in the course of the undergrowth. They panted and wheezed. “Any symptoms? ” “Not given that that first camp. The bloody one. And it weren’t made by way of no boy, it doesn't matter what the massive guy says. Our comrade’s alive, evidently. As for the boy, we simply don’t comprehend. ” Áine inspiration she may well listen a be aware of worry of their voices. “Oh, he’s alive,” the 1st bandit acknowledged. “The fool didn’t placed out his fireplace. And that wasn’t a man’s weight at the undergrowth he left at the back of. He was once alive no longer nights in the past, even though now’s anyone’s bet. ” “It’s magic is what that was,” the second one stated. “Prolly et him. ” the 1st bandit snorted scornfully. “Don’t be an fool. Magic doesn’t consume. ” “How have you learnt? ” She didn’t. not anyone knew whatever approximately magic—not even the boy and it used to be written on him. Very rigorously, Áine peered round the fringe of the tree. bandits—a guy and a girl with matching bald heads and thorny tattoos—picked their means throughout the wooded area, however the wooded area wasn’t making it effortless on them. Roots uncurled from the floor to journey them, rocks rolled from nowhere, and their toes have been always ensnared in vines. Áine appeared over her shoulder towards the spot the place she had left the boy on their lonesome, a bad wave of compassion breaking over her middle. He was once in loads discomfort. And that bad loneliness! And . . . She squinted, then gasped. It appeared as if there was—but that used to be very unlikely.

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