Ned's twin brother was killed in a tragic accident when they were young boys. In an attempt to save them both, their Mother the village Witch uses magic to stitch his soul to Ned. The magic which is of course never supposed to be used for personal gain has unintended consequences and leaves Ned a weak and stuttering boy, teased and barely tolerated by the rest of his village. When his mother is unexpectedly called away by the queen, Ned is left to guard the tempermental magic. In her absence, the bandit king, who is obsessed and pulled by the magic, tries to steal it away setting off a chain of events and turning Ned into an unlikely hero. This is a page-turning fantasy adventure story with a rich cast of characters, told from multiple perspectives. I simply couldn't put it down!
— Shannon, Books Inc. Children's Department Buyer
A Washington Post Best Book of 2014 A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2014 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014 A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" 2014
The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.
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 wordsto 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?