My Rating ~ Three and a half stars
RELEASED: 21 July 2017
Publisher: Stories Untold
Source: Received from the author D.E. Night
In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
Thank you to the author, D.E. Night for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ivy Lovely is a sixteen year old kitchen maid who doesn’t expect to do much else with her life, and certainly doesn’t expect to ever be able to attend the Halls of Ivy, a magical school for royals and those born with magical blood. However, when she is kicked out of her job and home, she crosses a magical boundary that sees her whisked off to the school after all. Once she arrives, strange things start to happen around her and she starts to suspect the halls are hiding secrets that are connected to her in some way. She sets out to discover what’s really going on, who the mysterious man she keeps dreaming about is and why she seems to be able to perform magic she shouldn’t be able to.
I really enjoyed the way D.E Night writes. The description of places and scenes was wonderful. It was easy to be swept away by the magic. Scenes such as this:
“The sweet smell was magnified at the entrance to the Lolly Room, whose doors were open wide. Ivy stood at the doors draped in black velvet taking it all in. The floor was an elaborate pattern of small gold-and-white squares and the walls were vertically striped black-and-white: the overall effect was quite dizzying. The ceiling was a mosaic of large, overlapping parasols intertwined with strings of round lights that gave off a warm glow. As she watched, several of the glittering umbrellas let down bubbles from their tips, which floated down towards the diners”
had me captivated and feeling like I was right there in the room. The story was fairly fast paced and although there weren’t too many characters we got to know well, the ones we did were quite well fleshed out. I loved the suspense towards the end of the book and am looking forward to reading the next one.
The only issues I really had with the book were: Ivy’s age. Ivy is 16 but she reads like she’s about 10 or 11. If a main character is 16 I expect the book to be a YA book in all honesty, but this definitely felt like a middle grade book. It was reminiscent of Harry Potter’s first time at school, and therein was my second issue – it was a little too reminiscent of Harry Potter. Although the story was different, the similarities were such that I could not help making constant comparisons, which took away a bit of the originality of the story for me.
I would definitely recommend The Crowns of Crosswald as a middle grade fantasy though and hope to see the second book out soon.
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