Title: Crowns of Croswald
Author: D.E Night
This is a page-turning fantasy in the tradition of fairy tales, whimsical worlds, and coming-of-age stories.
The Crowns of Croswald invites young readers to explore themes of stepping into their own magic, discovering their true selves, and battling evil head-on. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as “an action-packed treat […] with a relatable heroine facing challenges in a vivid world of magic and mystery,” and called a new classic by readers, The Crowns of Croswald series is a magical romp through a fully formed universe with dragons, magical quills, potions, and mythical creatures.
Ivy Lovely is 16 and she has no idea who she is—or what her powers could be. When she crosses a magical boundary, she discovers a whole new world of enchantment and mystery. Making friends that will last a lifetime—and save her life—she steps into her own abilities and discovers more about her hidden past, magical blood, and the power of Croswald’s mystical stones. But all is not well: a dark history and an evil Queen threatens all that is good. Will Ivy’s bravery and wit be enough?
This book was absolutely fascinating, It seemed very Harry Potter-esque to begin with. The premise being, a young girl named Ivy, is living a lowly existence, treated poorly by those around her and doesn't know she has magical powers. Until she is whisked away to a school of magic. Very Harry like.
However unlike Harry, she is a part of the magical world already and is aware that it exists. She works as a scaldonry maid using dragons to cook food for her castle inhabitants. I loved the imagery of this, dragons working tirelessly to cook meals in their mouths in the same way as ovens. It sounded barbaric but something you could imagine the upper classes of the magical world would do. Ivy dreams of being a scrivenist (an academic whose life work is centred around learning all about magic and supporting a magical royal family) when she is given the opportunity to follow this dream it soon becomes apparent that there is a lot more to Ivy than even she realises.
As the story develops a magical world is built before your eyes, at parts I was left a little confused as the amount of detail was very Intricate and there was a lot of new language. However I got into the swing of it and fully enjoyed Ivy's adventures as she navigated the world she was becoming a part of and began to unravel the many secrets cloaking her life and her history.
There were some lovely side characters who helped build the experiences for Ivy. Fyn and Rebecca became handy sidekicks. Plus there were some fun characters to loathe (namely Damaris) There were some staff at the school, who you were unsure if they were on Ivys side or not, as well as the distant fear emanating from the Dark Queen and her cloaked brood.
All in all it was a fun YA story, exploring coming of age and the discovery of her own strengths and abilities as she grew throughout the book. A typical young adult theme but linked within a life of mystery and magical intrigue. It will be interesting to see where Ivy finds herself in the future books of the series. Fans of Harry Potter will enjoy this whimsical take on the magical genre.
You can find out more about the books in the series by visiting the website for D.E Night here.
I will be reading the second book in this series in July so look out for my review.....