First off, I’d like to say thank you to ‘Stories Untold Press’ for offering me a copy to review through NetGalley!
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?
Curious and whimsical, both shy and brave, Ivy is a hero that connects with readers of all ages. For those who wished that Narnia, Harry Potter, and Alice in Wonderland could go on forever, Croswald opens a whole new world of magic. Recommended as a read-aloud for families and a first middle-grade fantasy read, The Crowns of Croswald is a four-part series that will carry readers to a whimsical world that they won’t want to leave.
Wow. What a rollercoaster ride of a book! Thank you again to the publishers for sharing this book with me, I’m so glad they did! I really enjoyed reading this book. So much so that I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
But first, let’s talk about the first book in the series.
I felt from very early on that this book had the feel of Dianne Wynne Jones’ Crestomanci series, or Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor, and it definitely played that way throughout.
It’s clearly of the fantasy genre, but I would say the world building is very unique and I loved that about this book. From Scaldrons to Hairies, to the Sqwinches classes and their own magical abilities to the Royals magical abilities and the powers of a quill, I really felt swept up in this new world and would love to add it to my wishlist of places to visit alongside Narnia and Hogwarts.
There was drama and adventure aplenty, and I found it hard to put down the book after each chapter – a sure sign of my enjoyment of the book. The chapters and story flowed nicely, offering questions and cliffhangers aplenty.
The character of Ivy and quite a number of the professors were well thought out and created to feel real, though I felt some of the other classmate characters needed more detail. This is Ivy’s story though, and I got the clear impression of her personality and appearance from the get go. Plus, there’s more books to read so I’m expecting to learn more about some of her classmates later on in the series.
And series it is! The ending wrapped up a lot of the questions both I and Ivy had throughout this book, but I’m curious as to what’s next and will definitely be picking up the next book.
I give it 4 ½ stars out of 5.