Disclaimer: I received the eARC of this book from Stories Untold Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.
The Bookish Fae’s Thoughts:
If you love reading about magical boarding schools, locked doors, disappearing buildings, enchanting creatures, and secret identities (and who doesn’t?), this is the book for you!
The prologue alone was enough to pique my interest as soon as the wandering family was first introduced. D.E. Night was able to sustain the air of mystery throughout the book and up to the very end.
Ivy Lovely, a girl of sixteen, finds out that her artistic abilities hold a dark and magical secret. She escapes her mundane life as a scaldrony maid and enters the Halls of Ivy, a magical boarding school. I know this might be reminiscent of the whole ‘Yer a wizard, Harry’ bit, and yes, there are other similarities you may pick up along the way; but The Crowns of Croswald has its own unique charm and incredible plot that drew me in and didn’t let go the whole time I was reading it.
The worldbuilding was just as amazing with its magical creatures like scaldrons – pet-sized dragons that can cook food inside their mouths – and hairies – pixies with luminous hair, commonly used as lanterns. And of course, it wouldn’t be a book about a magical school if our heroine wouldn’t be breaking school rules and venturing into prohibited areas inside and outside of the Halls of Ivy! The places she visited are unlike anything I have read in other books.
The Crowns of Croswald is labeled as a Middle Grade book, but I think readers of all ages would still be able to appreciate and enjoy this.