Booklist Reviews 2014 April #1
Edmund, a young boy who yearns to be a wizard, is trapped under his father's thumb at their inn and alehouse. Forbidden by his parents to study magic, Edmund resigns himself to his fate of running the inn and marrying the gawky neighbor girl, Katherine. When his brother, Geoffrey, vanishes one night after a string of disappearances that foretells the return of an old evil, Edmund, Katherine, and their friend Tom, all interesting and well-rounded characters, fly in the face of the terrifying legends as they seek out Geoffrey and what they hope will be fantastic destinies. They travel untold distances and battle frightening things, both human and magical, to meet their fates. These three brave, smart, and virtuous heroes embark on the beginning of what is sure to be a sweeping, epic fantasy series. Debut author Jobin tells a riveting, slowly building story, and his rich, evocative writing style only adds to the package. Perfect for imaginative readers craving a hearty magical adventure. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
Novice wizard Edmund, indentured slave Tom, and combat-trained Katherine are forced into a dangerous quest when an old terror, the Nethergrim, revives and kidnaps Edmund's brother. Revelations about the Nethergrim's evil nature play off the slowly unfolding tale of Katherine's father's troubling quest to kill the creature decades before, generating fascinating parallels in a story rife with supernatural beasties and bloodcurdling encounters.
PW Reviews 2014 January #4
The secrets of the past return to haunt the present when an ancient evil awakens, 30 years after being defeated by a group of heroes. In this entertaining coming-of-age fantasy, which opens in a quasi-European medieval village, several teens must pick up where the previous generation left off. Fourteen-year-old would-be wizard Edmund, chafing at his parents' plans for him to inherit their inn, wants to rescue his younger brother, who has been kidnapped by the shadowy minions of the Nethergrim. Added by his best friends—tomboy Katherine, whose father is one of the few survivors of the first Nethergrim campaign, and Tom, enslaved by a cruel taskmaster—Edmund sets forth to prove himself and save the children intended as sacrifices for the Nethergrim's power. First in a planned trilogy, this is a solid debut for anthropologist Jobin, who steers clear of genre clichés while offering up a refreshingly metaphysical take on magic, a believably dark setting filled with unusual threats, and a seductive and manipulative villain in the nebulous Nethergrim itself. Ages 10–up. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Apr.)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC