Thursday, August 10, 2017

[Review] The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

Add to Goodreads

Publisher: Stories Untold
Pages: 310 (ARC)
Source: For review

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating

My thoughts

I want to preface this by expressing deep gratitude to D.E. Night for kindly sending me a physical ARC, in a special box of Croswald-related goodies, all the way across the ocean for me to read and review. The experience was positively lovely, but I must admit that The Crowns of Croswald did have me scratching my head in confusion at times.

The Crowns of Croswald follows 16-year-old scaldrony maid, Ivy Lovely, who resides at the Plum Castle by the Slurry fields, her only friend a dwarf. After an unfortunate accident at the kitchen she is thrown out of the castle and stripped of her position, left to wander the fields aimlessly with only a rejected scaldron (dragon) as company . . . until she is discovered: she harnesses great magic within her and has been invited to study at the prestigious boarding school for Royals and Sqwinches--The Halls of Ivy! Swept away from the only 'home' she has ever known, she learns more and more about magic, the world of Croswald, why strange things seem to happen to her, and most importantly who she really is.

This book is the first in what I would call a middle-grade fantasy series. While the main character is 16 years old, the writing style and many of the quirks, themes and overall feel of the novel feels more catered towards a younger audience. That is not necessarily a bad thing, however. I enjoyed exploring the Halls of Ivy, meeting the professors and the crazy things that happen during classes. I liked all the puns and wacky terms used in this magical world. It did read a bit like a Harry Potter/Cinderella crossover, however it was still quite enjoyable.

Ivy Lovely is a great protagonist. She is kind, brave and curious, the latter two qualities leading her to many disastrous and hazardous situations! The friends that she makes at The Halls of Ivy are loyal and supportive of her efforts, for maybe even they can sense there is something special residing within her, something far beyond the capabilities of a mere first-year Sqwinch. I liked her roommate Rebecca, whose 'crown' enables her to shape-shift into other creatures. And Fyn, who seems to always show up at just the right time, aiding in Ivy's adventure-seeking. Oh, and then there's the elderly Winsome who teaches Ivy more about magic than even her professors do! Although, I did have issues with how easily everyone else seemed to yield to every one of Ivy's requests. Even if it made absolutely no sense to them, they just went along with it?

The world building was interesting, and hopefully as the series progresses it will all make more and more sense. I desperately want to know the origin of the Hairies, and whether they LIKE being in captivity and basically used as lanterns. I also want to know more of the specifics about the glenagerie bottles/worlds, and what disasters have occurred in the past. I also want to know more about the Crowns. And the Dark Queen! I'm pumped to learn more of her past!

As mentioned earlier, I found myself confused with some of the plot, and some of the problems seemed too easily resolved? Like, the whole scene in the ballroom near the end was kind of ridiculous to me. I also don't get how the rules just didn't seem to apply to Ivy, she seemed to get into trouble a lot and kind of just get away with it without so much as a smack on the bum. Sound like someone you know, perhaps another magical orphan with a scar on his forehead, hm? I'm also not entirely clear on the Royals/Sqwinches thing, like, what do the Royals become when they graduate?

The story plodded along kind of slowly at times, only really picking up near the end. Mystery after mystery lined up ahead and I rushed through the last hundred pages, eager to figure everything out. I liked finally learning about Derwin Edgar Night, who we meet in the prologue.

Overall, The Crowns of Croswald is a fun and enchanting introduction to the mystifying world  of Croswald, full of lively characters, pies, magic and quirkiness. I will definitely be continuing this series as I am dying to know what happens next!


First lines:

"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.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Related Posts with Thumbnails