Cover Image: The Crowns of Croswald

The Crowns of Croswald

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Member Reviews

Thank you so much to @StoriesUntoldPress & @NetGalley for giving me this eARC in exchange for my honest and unbiased review (Release Date | 21 July 2017)

SYNOPSIS | Ivy has lived her life as a lowly kitchen girl, but when she is banished & crosses the castle boundaries she discovers a whole new world of magic & wizardry.

WHAT I LIKED:
- the whimsical nature of the story

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
- the story felt too heavy influenced by Harry Potter (I continued to draw comparisons whilst reading & unfortunately that consistently pulled me out of the story)
- it felt cluttered as there was a lot going on with the world building, characters & storyline
- I feel like we blink & miss huge chunks of Ivy's time during her first year of school
- the dialogue is quite stilted & at times cringeworthy
- the characters are meant to be 16 yet read closer to 12
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3.75 stars 🥰

This was such a fun book! 
I received a copy of this through NetGalley (thank you 🙏🏻) for an honest review. 

As a lot of other people have said, I compared this to HP a lot of the time, but in saying that it’s a very different concept! Croswald seems like such a fun world that I would love to visit. The magic and magical creatures and the different roles of Royals and Scrivenists is unique too. 

I adore Ivy’s character, and honestly all the supporting characters were so much fun! Rimbrick is 🥺 

I think I struggled with the world building a little however, every time I felt like I had just gotten the hang of things there was something else to learn. I feel like the further books would probably have much less of this though! 

The only other thing that prevented a higher rating- I feel like there was so much more potential to be reached here. There was a few things that I found were sort of mentioned and then either resolved super quickly or too simply, and other things that could have been taken into further depth. When Ivy found out some pretty big things, her reactions seemed quite downplayed and skipped over. I would’ve loved to see some more emphasis on those. 

Overall, definitely a fantastic book for middle grade fantasy!! If I had read this as a kid I just know I would’ve loved it 🥰
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Harry Potter Reimagined. Similar to HP, The Crowns of Croswald had me hooked and reeled in before i even knew it. I immediately fell in love with each character and the beautiful, magical world within. I adored each and every creature and inevitably found myself wanting to cuddle each one! Especially the hairies! The world-building is immaculate and fun. I felt like i was walking right alongside Ivy Lovely, our brave main character. 

Ivy Lovely is a 16 years old Scaldonry maid for a not so magical castle. She has grown up with the love and need to sketch and acquire as much knowledge as she can get her hands on. She has longed dreamt of going to the Halls of Ivy, a school of magic for royals and upcoming scrivenists. But there is no way she can go, she doesn’t possess a fragment of magic. Right? Throughout her life, she has had only one friend, who of which is a friendly dwarf named Rimbeck, and has provided her with books to keep her affinity for learning at bay. We quickly learn that he may know something she doesn’t and it opens the world up for a bunch of secrets that many may know about Ivy that she hasn’t a clue about. 

Rimbeck flips ivys world upside down one night by telling her that she belongs in the Halls of Ivy and that she, herself, has magical abilities. The only thing stopping her is the slurry plants that grow around her home castle. This plant specializes in suppressing magic and has kept Ivy from learning more about the magical gifts she has had.  On a rather stressful moonsday morning, Ivy is thrown out of her position as a maid and from the only place she has ever known. Quickly she is thrust into a life she can’t quite believe. She suddenly has to learn more about herself and where she has come from. On top of all this, she is to learn about magic and secrets that Rimbeck has kept from her. Secrets that the dark queen may know, and with her approaching, ivy's life may very well be on the line. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Though this is a middle grade novel this warmed my 24 year old heart. I swear the must have been some inner child healing as I read this book. This book made me feel comfortable and safe. It's such a cozy, fun, exciting book and I am so grateful the chance to have read it. I wish I could read it again for the first time. 5/5 stars. I'm excited to reads the sequels! 

Thank you D.E. Night, her wonderful publisher, and Netgalley for getting in contacting me and giving me access to a eARC for a honest review !
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I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am so not a fantasy reader but, this story was good! I really enjoyed the fact that the main character, Ivy Lovely,  is a female. I feel like most fantasy novels have males as their main characters. This is a middle-grade fantasy novel and I feel as though this is appropriate. The language and the pace of the book fits that age frame. I did find the beginning of the book to be a little confusing, but once I figured out what was going on the story was so fun and magical! D. E Night writes with such great imagery that I could really see Croswald and The Halls of Ivy. I also really enjoyed learning about Ivy’s character and what she discovers about herself.

This is a must read for any young fantasy fan!
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Such a lovely and magical book! Perfect for young readers, middle grade aged, to get swept away into this magical adventure.
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This is an enjoyable novel, with intriguing characters. I like the easy flow of this story and would definitely recommend it.
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** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

What a neat little magical world this was. As someone who hasn't read middle grade for far too many years to divulge, I admit I did struggle to adjust to the way this was written. That doesn't mean DE Night didn't do a fantastic job writing this. If I was back at the age level to enjoy this, I would probably be thoroughly invested.

The magic system was well explained and very quirky. I liked the different creatures and factions of how magic could be used (royals vs scrivenists). Our main character is likable, and whilst the plot was pretty easy for me to gather what Ivy meant to this world, I did like the journey she undertook in her first year at the Halls of Ivy. I liked that her friendships were built with students and older scrivenists alike, and the squabbles with her rivals. The intrigue of her dreams and discovering the man who was seemingly forgotten was also a nice touch. I can tell that this world has a lot to build onto in further books in this series.

As I said above, I did find myself struggling with this book just because I normally read books with a more mature language and writing style, so for me, I would award this only 3 stars. It was enjoyable but not something I would naturally gravitate to, given I'm an adult. However, as someone with an autistic teenager in my home, I found this story perfect in its pacing and the excitement it could bring for her to read, and thought about how she would feel whilst reading this, hence giving it a higher star rating.

It delivered all that I expected after reading the synopsis, and I think this is a great fantasy for a younger reader base to enjoy.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Untold Stories Press and D.E.Night for allowing me a digital copy of this book!

This a middle grade fantasy. Fantasy is either hit or miss for me, as sometimes it’s just a bit too out there for me. I enjoyed this one! For me it was a quick read and definitely think the younger kids would enjoy. My one issue was that it seemed at some points there was just a ton thrown in without explanation that I feel could cause confusion, especially for younger readers. Overall, I think the character development of Ivy was done well and the overall theme and premise of the book is good. I’d be curious to read the second in the series to see if I feel the same.
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This is a such a fun book! Great world building. Love the magic system. Perfect series for Harry Potter fans.
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A huge thanks to the author and publisher for the copy. This book had a strong Harry Potter feel to it! I loved Ivy, but overall, I think the beginning of the story dragged out a little too long for my liking and didn't set the book up for me love it. If fantasy is your thing, you may think otherwise.  It was out of my typical genre comfort zone, and didn't wow me as much as anticipated.
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Ivy is a sixteen year old orphan, who has no clue to who she is, and the power hidden within her. She's been working as a scaldron maid in the heated kitchen of the Slurries. After one of her occasional mishaps, she is thrown out. Her luck soon took a turn for the better, when she is accepted into a prestigious school for Scriveners and Royals. There she makes new friends and goes on a whirlwind of adventures, that so happens to help her find out who she really was. 

This whimsical, fantastical story, is a must read. I stepped into a magical world filled with mythical creatures, spells and a dark queen. A coming of age book, written with bold descriptions that literally transported me into a realm that I didn't want to get out of. 

Now I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, but I have seen all the movies. Although this book had a Harry Potter feel to it, it still stood firmly on its own in terms of world building and characters. 
What I didn't like about the book, was the predictability of the storyline. However, even though it was predictable, you can't help but keep reading to see how everything turned out. 

What I did love was firstly our hero Ivy. She was both shy and brave. Her curious mind, strong will and  time growing up in the Slurries, helped shape and toughen her enough, to deal with the challenges she faced. I also loved that it was fast-paced. Whenever you think you're settling into a chapter, something amazing hits you around the corner. 

The Crowns of Croswald, the first in a series, is a great middle grade fantasy, that I would recommend to lovers of magical realms, fascinating creatures and adventures, young and old alike.

I would like to thank Daniela from Stories Untold Press, author D.E.Night and NetGalley, for offering me this book for an honest review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Great book! 👍
Happy Reading!
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Special thanks to Stories Untold Press and D.E. Night for a copy of The Crowns of Croswald for Kindle through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Lovely knows that there has to be more to life than being a Scaldrony Maid. Condemned to a life of The Slurry, kitchens, royals who barely knew of her existence, and a head of the kitchen who was absolutely unbearable, Ivy finds comfort in her drawings and in books gifted to her by a dwarf called Rimbrick. She dreams of being a Scrivenist, knows that she has the photographic memory and talent required, but is sure that she could never be destined for that life. She’s part of a kitchen staff, a Scaldrony Maid who can’t get anything right.

When she makes a mistake that’s deemed unforgivable by the head of the kitchen, she runs. Ivy runs as far as she can and doesn’t look back… only to run into a curious man who informs her that he’s been looking for her to deliver a message and a package. In disbelief, Ivy is told that she has been invited to the Halls of Ivy to study to be a Scrivenist. A dream come true!

But there’s so much more to Ivy than meets the eye and her adventures in magic are only just beginning.

Review

I’m excited that this book is the first in a series. There is so much promise and the world that Night has created is absolutely stunning. I want to know more about the towns, the school, the stones… everything! However, I feel like a lot of the details were lost in the first book. There are times it feels like everything is thrown at us and we’re expected to just roll with it and understand exactly what’s going on. Because of this, there are times I felt like I was reading a foreign language and trying to use context clues to make sense of things. It pulled me out of the moment and the magic.

That said, the story is excellent. Ivy is a compelling character and doesn’t seem like an extremely unrealistic protagonist within the confines of the world created by Night. She’s curious, doesn’t think that she’s the head of everything, but also doesn’t see herself as undeserving or at the bottom of the class. She’s confused by what’s going on, she tries to understand it, and she doesn’t expect her friends to risk themselves to do it.

There are a lot of comparisons that can be made to the Harry Potter series. Yes, Ivy is an orphan. Yes, she’s treated poorly by her “guardian”. Yes, there’s something special about her that the audience can guess at but she’s oblivious about. Yes, there’s a magic school. Yes, there’s a trio of friends.

But where there are elements and pieces of an equation that are similar, the story itself and the characters are far from those created in the pages of Harry Potter. Night doesn’t duplicate the equation, she takes pieces of it and creates something new.

I’m eager to read more from Night and I’m excited to see Ivy grow!
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I loved this cute, quick and fun, middle-grade read!

Yes, there are similarities to Harry Potter, however there are also a lot of differences.   I felt this style of magic was really interesting and I also loved the creatures in this story.  

I would definitely recommend this to a younger crowd but also to adults simply because it is a treat!
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This book has a Harry Potter feel with fun world building. I enjoyed the main character Ivy, but I did think it was a little drawn out at the start without a clear vision of where the story was going. However, once the plot picked up, I found myself wanting to know more. There were some good twists as well. Overall, a solid read.
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I received an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you Netgalley!

This is such a fun and whimsical read, it’s perfect for a middle grade audience but also serves well as a fun family read. 

Teachers and librarians be sure to stock up on this one because your kids are going to love it! It’s a classic fairytale and a must read!
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It's a really nice middle grade fantasy book where we find the protagonist , a young girl who has been removed from house discovering that she has the power of magic. She's then enrolled in a magic School to learn about magic and to discover her powers and soon the dark queen gets intrigued by her and the plot follows. 
Recommended for the Harry Potter lovers, because it has such a wonderful touch of magic, elements of fantasy world , adventures and so on. 
Really loved the book, looking forward to the other books of this series.
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The Crowns of Croswald is a perfect example of a middle grades fantasy book. We follow a young girl who discovers she has magic after being banished from the only home sha has ever known. She finds herself at a school for magic and begins to learn her true past and destiny that has been hidden for her. 

This book has elements that remind me of the early Harry Potter books as well as some fairytale retelling vibes. The world building is flawless and the story itself was very interesting. I’m typically not a big fan of middle grade books but I really did enjoy this read.  

We have mystery and we have magic, what more could you want? I was pleasantly surprised by this book and will likely continue the series!
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I received a copy of this from NetGalley for an honest review and over all I really liked the story. It felt a little jumbled at times and rushed but it kept me wanting to know what would happen. It feels a little bit like Harry Potter which I love so this was a fun fantasy. I want to read more in the series to see what happens.
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Crowns of Crowswald was an incredibly fun and sweet read that I really, really loved. It gave me all the nostalgic vibes of Harry Potter and magic school. I loved it's humor and nuanced characters. This felt like a read I'd love to recommend to my younger siblings or nieces or nephews. I don't even read a lot of middle-grade and I still though it did a great job with its plot and magic. The atmosphere is light and fun, but there are still stakes. Highly recommend this book.
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The Crowns of Croswald is a story about identity and discovering who you truly are, full of magic and mystery, battling against evil. 

There’s effortlessness in the writing which reminded me of the reason why I love middle-grade books so much. 

I enjoyed Ivy’s story and I’ve been kept on my toes the whole time. Ivy’s inability to stay put gets her into great adventures, while she is learning magic and searching for who she is. I loved the characters and I was really curious about how their story will unfold. 

The Magic school concept was okay, I liked how the story slowed down in some important to the plot parts but went faster in some other not-so-important parts. We dived along with Ivy into magic and the secrets of Croswald. I liked Ivy as a character, but I had the feeling that she was inadequate to her age (16 years old) and she gave me the vibe of being younger than that. The mystery and the secrets that surround the story make the reader want to dive into the next book, „The girl with the whispering shadow“ (which I already have!). 

The Crowns of Croswald is a new, magical, series which I suggest to every middle-grade lover!
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