In the wild, free woods of the Hinterlands, where magic is as real as stories are, Goldeline travels from camp to camp with Gruff and his bandits, getting by on the things they steal from carriages that pass through the woods.
But someone is after Goldeline. The same man who wants to cleanse the Hinterlands of anyone who’s different—and who convinced the overzealous Townies that her mother was a witch—suspects that Goldeline might be a witch, too. Now Goldeline must summon all the courage and magic she got from her momma to escape her pursuers, save her friends, and maybe even find a place to call home.
GOLDELINE is an unexpected, dark, magical read that I couldn’t put down. Jimmy Cajoleas writes with stunning prose that wraps you up in a blanket made of old fairy tales and spells. From the first chapter, I found myself getting more comfortable in my chair and settling in for a long reading session. This is exactly the kind of magical, fantasy middle grade story that I love to find.
What makes this story so wonderful, beyond the great writing, are the themes: finding your own family, learning to be a friend, connecting to your past, and discovering the everyday magic. Goldeline is an easily lovable character, and you hope for the best for her the entire journey. She has an incredible spirit that leaps off the page, and readers shouldn’t be surprised to feel more than a little sad when her story is concluded.
The Preacher makes a scary, if not surprising, villain. His rhetoric is frighteningly familiar, which is perhaps what is most scary about him. He is the kind of villain you can find in real life, not just in a story.
Overall, Jimmy Cajoleas has become an auto-buy author for me after reading GOLDELINE. This story is brimming with magic, excitement, and adventure.