"The village, well, it had a lot of secrets. And its secrets need to be kept safe. So, the town's name was like a key--those who knew the name could find the village. Let's call it The Town."
-D.E. Night, The Crowns of Croswald
*I was sent a copy of this in return for my honest review by Stories Untold Press and D.E. Night.*
All Ivy Lovely has known is the life of working in the kitchen at a castle, sketching and drawing during any free moment that she has. After an incident with the head of the kitchen, she finds herself kicked out of the castle--and finally past the boarder that had been keeping her magical powers at bay. Now, she's thrust into a world that she never thought she would be a part of, desperate to solve the mystery of her past.
Fans of magical boarding schools and mysterious pasts will find The Crowns of Croswald an absolutely magical adventure. Because Ivy is about as much in the dark as we are, we learn about the world of the scriveners at the same time she does. This helps to effectively build the world for the reader, filled with immensely inventive magical artifacts. Night's writing is unique, sucking us into Ivy's world.
Though the pacing felt a bit off at times, Night keeps her reader's interest through the forgetfulness room at the Halls of Ivy. Since Ivy is the only one who remembers, we gather more intrigue as we go further in the novel. Why is Ivy the only one who can remember? What does that mean about her past? With subtle clues throughout the text, intrigue builds, further pulling the reader into Ivy's magical world. To me, it felt a little like Harry Potter and a little like Percy Jackson. But Night puts enough of her own imagination into the story to make it also feel like something new and refreshing.
Filled with quirky characters, a magical school, and lots of mystery, avid fantasy fans will have found a fantastic new series to follow.