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The Witch's Boy
Cover of The Witch's Boy
The Witch's Boy
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With a deft hand, Barnhill takes fairy tale elements and weaves them into a richly detailed narrative that is engagingly lyrical and breathtakingly adventurous to create a story that feels both classic and completely fresh at the same time.

With a deft hand, Barnhill takes fairy tale elements and weaves them into a richly detailed narrative that is engagingly lyrical and breathtakingly adventurous to create a story that feels both classic and completely fresh at the same time.

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  • AudioFile Magazine Ned's story begins when his twin brother dies in an accident and the townspeople believe that the wrong boy lived. Narrator Ralph Lister reads this fairy-tale style fantasy, complete with bandits, royalty, and magic, peeling back the mystery surrounding Ned's mother, Sister Witch. While Lister provides a complete set of voices for the characters--from Ned and his family in the village to the Queen and the Bandit King--only his male voices ring true. The voices of the female characters sound breathy and unrealistic--especially the voice of the Queen and Ned's counterpart, ine, the daughter of the Bandit King. While the story moves slowly at times, Ned and ine's adventures will appeal to fans of middle-grade fantasy, and Lister's narration adds to the magical feel of the story. E.N. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 4, 2014
    In a story of an unexpected hero, a thief’s daughter, and some very tricky magic, Barnhill weaves a powerful narrative about the small tragedies that happen when parents fail their children, even with the best intentions. After Ned’s twin brother, Tam, drowns, his mother, the village’s Sister Witch, binds Tam’s soul to Ned, who grows up as an awkward, stuttering boy ostracized by the rest of his village. Áine’s widower father loves her, but he loves his life as a Bandit King more. The magic that touches both Ned and Áine draws their lives inexorably together as they are caught up in the machinations of King Ott’s selfish empire-building. Barnhill (The Mostly True Story of Jack) makes bold character choices: Ned is soft, but never weak, while Áine is tough, prickly, yet sympathetic. Peripheral adults are well fleshed out, from Ned’s father, devastated by the loss of one child and afraid to show his love for the other, to a sensible queen who knows the value of a good witch. Barnhill elegantly joins the story’s diverse threads in a complex tale whose poignancy never turns sentimental. Ages 9–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writer’s House.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Witch's Boy
The Witch's Boy
Kelly Barnhill
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