Cover Image: The Girl with the Whispering Shadow

The Girl with the Whispering Shadow

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher, Stories Untold Press, for accepting my request on NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review! 
This was quite the enjoyable read! I definitely think the story-line of this sequel was much more interesting and engaging than the first book, and the character developments were nice to see. Ivy, the main character, became less boring and really came into her own with embracing who she is and not hiding her magic. In my opinion, she seemed to not use her magic as often as she could have, especially with how easily it is for her to use. However, she is still young and probably wouldn’t think of using it in every situation. 
While reading, I was also trying to think of what it was that felt off to me about this series. After finishing The Girl with the Whispering Shadow, I realized that it was the fact that the plot is driven mostly by dialogue. Being classed as a middle grade, I can understand the choice of not filling the pages with lengthy descriptions of emotions, settings, etc. I like it when there’s more descriptiveness to a story, but that’s a personal preference. 
This sequel still gave me Harry Potter vibes, but Night really makes the world even more her own in this book compared to the first. They also made the characters more relatable, and I loved seeing the relationship grow between Ivy and Fyn, however slow that progress may be. I’m hoping we see more of that in the next book. Also, seeing the other side-characters develop their skills in magic more was cool to read about. 
Over all, with the improvement of writing style and world building, and the good progression of the plot, this sequel was well worth the read. I look forward to the next one!
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Spoiler-Free Review

Still magical as always!

The author’s wit and creativity in crafting this world? Incredible!

I mean, where do I begin?

The Town? I’d love to see it in person!

Lie Buries: A Library of All Things Fantastical? The name makes me grin, Lie Buries? Get what I mean about the wit there?

Pseudopen? I would do anything to own one!

Quogo? I wish I could play that game with all of the club members!

Casting and catching stars? I really love this one!

The spells? The magical creatures? The adventures? The stores? Places? I could name many things!
And of course, my forever favorite, that I wish I could do too in real life - an Hour of Discovery at school!

My question was finally answered! Who was the perpetrator? It’s….. I can’t say this is a spoiler-free review.

Ivy’s adventure in this book was fun and exciting, most especially those moments with her new found friends (oh I love that bunch!). Her and Fyn’s scenes were always the cutest and magical, both in danger and not. I mean, there’s nothing cute about being in danger but seeing the two of them work things out together puts a smile on my face.

It’s also a breath of fresh air that everyone in the Town knows who she is and not a big hidden mystery unlike most of the books that I’ve read about missing princesses.

This book still reminds me of a mix of Howl’s Moving Castle and Harry Potter, it just gives off that world vibe, you know? So if you love those books might as well give this one a go!
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I fell once again into the magic of Croswald! This is the perfect 2nd story.  The book picks up right where the 1st book left off.  The unfolding of Ivy’s story is just enough to wanting more but not super frustrating that we might never find out certain details.  D.E. Night does a wonderful weaving in more about the enchanting world of Croswald.  The Invisitaurs are by far my favorites! The growth of Ivy & her friends has been beautifully paced to see how not only with age and experience but also with the help of friends, they have each come more into their own.  The underlining lesson of how fear can stop us is done well and I believe appropriately done for this upper middle grade read.  The ending gave me goose-bumps and I felt as if I was there with.  I’m excited to dive into Book III.  

 Thank you D.E. Night, Stories Untold, and Netgalley for the ARC of this book.  All opinions are my own.
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First of all, thanks to Netgally for giving me the ebook in exchange of my honest opinion 😊 I just recently read the first one and I was eager to continue this magical middle grade series.

In this continuation we follow the direct consequences of Ivy's discoveries at the end of the first book, she's the last heir to the throne, the only one with royal blood, descendant of princess Isabella herself. That's why the Dark Queen wants to destroy her, but she has to find the missing pieces of the Kindred Stone first.

Derwin sends Ivy to Belzebuthe, the only magical place where she'll be safe, and she's staying with Fyn!😏 Her summer it's going to be a little different than she expected. However, she quickly gets used to the new town, finding out about all the secrets that its permanent star sky holds. In addition, she joins the Quality Quills Club with Fyn's friends, discovering Quogo. Even though she can't return to class next year, and that makes her really sad, she's not going to be bored, that's for sure.

La verdad es que este libro me ha gustado más que el primero, se ve una evolución en el estilo de la escritora y también en los personajes, que por fin parecen algo más maduros. Me encanta cómo se expande el mundo y el sistema mágico, en especial me ha encantado el Quogo, que son una especie de duelos mágicos super emocionantes y que el club de amigos de Ivy realiza algo ilegalmente JAJAJ Además la ambientación de la ciudad secreta me ha fascinado, te atrapa de lleno.

I have truly enjoyed this sequel better than the first book, you can see improvements in the writing and the characters, that finally seem more mature. I love how the world expands and also the magic system, specially Quogo (oh yeah illegal magical duels?! GIVE ME MORE OF THAT). 

As for the romance it goes too slow... the only thing that happened between them is that they blushed hahaha.

En resumen, esta segunda parte ha superado a la primera y me ha dejado con un buen sabor de boca para continuar con la saga. No es lo mejor que he leído de fantasía, pero es entretenido y tiene conceptos originales, quizá si tirara más a juvenil me gustaría más. Le doy un 3,75/5🌟

Overall, this sequel was better and left me wanting more. It's not the best I've read, but it's entertaining and has original concepts. Maybe if it was more YA I would like it better. 3,75/5🌟
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It is not often that I like a second book in a series more than the first, but The Girl With the Whispering Shadow is one of the few. Now that Ivy knows who she is, she must begin to seek after her her birthright, the Kindred Stone. However, her school is no longer safe, the Town is being threatened, and she must choose who to trust when not everyone is as they appear.

The characters are more defined in this book than the first, and I enjoyed meeting more of Ivy's classmates and seeing more of Rebecca and her bubbly personality as she chatted throughout the story. Ivy is learning to overcome her feelings of inferiority that stem from growing up outside of the magical world and struggling to accept her true identity. 

As before, the similarities to Harry Potter are noted, however the author again adds creative twists that prevent things from becoming too copy-cat. I personally loved the Quogo contests and fishing for stars, although magical owls who have the power to dematerialize valuable objects as a means of protecting them is also worth noting.

I look forward to reading the next installment in this series as well as to enjoying further growth of this author!
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I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Once again, I am thoroughly impressed by D.E. Night and her amazing writing skills! Back in Croswald, Ivy has just faced the Dark Queen at the Ball and is left wondering what to do during the summer. She is told that she needs to head to The Town in order to be safe. After figuring out how to get there, she sees some familiar faces and meets plenty of new ones as well! However, the issue of Ivy's safety is still very much a problem, particularly once the summer ends. Meanwhile, she is supposed to locate the other pieces of the Kindred Stone, which is much easier said than done. With the stone being the only thing powerful enough to stand a chance against the Dark Queen, it remains Croswald's only hope of returning to a peaceful and prosperous way of life. 

Like I mentioned in my previous review for the first book in this series, this book reminds me of Harry Potter. Ivy's predicament about where to spend the summer as school wasn't in session was similar to Harry's situation during the summer. However, the author continues to prove this book is unique and magical all on it's own!

Once again, the magic and the magical creatures continue to fascinate me! I honestly wish I could meet some of these creatures in real life or spell up a cup of tea to help me study! The way they are woven into the story really makes for an interesting adventure for both the characters and the reader!

I loved the characters in the first book, and this book introduces even more characters for me to love! The QQC, in particular, is very entertaining! Plus, the main characters from the first book are still fun to watch! Their antics never fail to bring a smile to my face, especially when Ivy gets a "great idea" that usually ends up being quite a bit of trouble! 

I honestly wish these books had been around when I was a middle schooler but I'm still enjoying them even now! Like I stated in my review of the first book, this series is great for younger readers and I would definitely recommend it to any fantasy-loving middle grade readers or any fans of Harry Potter!
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3.5 stars
This was a super solid sequel and I really enjoyed it. I liked getting to know Fyn better in Belzebuthe and his friends were so much fun! The friendship between Ivy and Rebecca is so adorable and it was great to see their friendship grow in this one.
I like the magic system in this book, but I wish it was a little bit more well explained. Unless I missed something, the fact that the quills write spells was only mentioned once and I feel like that is a big part of the magic system even though Ivy doesn't have a quill yet. I was a little bit confused regarding the magic system a few times.
Like the first book in this series, there were a lot of elements that reminded me of Harry Potter. The overall plot was unique, but there were several little things that were very similar (for example, invisible creatures that give Ivy and Fyn a ride far away in a pinch when they were tricked to go there in the first place).
I liked how the book was split up between Belzebuthe and the Halls of Ivy. It was really fun to see Ivy get used to living in a magical environment and getting an apprenticeship and interacting with the people there. 
I absolutely loved a few of the unique elements in this book. Quogo was so cool and I loved reading about it. Fishing for stars that grant people's wishes was just magical to think about. 
Overall this book was enjoyable to read and I can't wait to see what happens next!
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The Girl with the Whispering Shadow


I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review by Stories Untold LLC. All opinions are my own.


Recap: Crowns of Croswald follows the story of Ivy Lovely, a young girl who finds herself forced out of her home and enrolled to study magic at the Halls of Ivy. While studying at her magic, Ivy begins discovering mysteries that slumber amongst the halls and learns about her unknown past. In her first year she makes friends and learns of a Dark Queen who wants to take over all of Croswald, but thanks to her friends and her witty quick-thinking she can protect the school, her loved ones and find the missing scrivenist of the famously cursed Wandering Family. 


The Girl with the Whispering Shadows picks up immediately where Crowns of Croswald left off. Ivy has learnt that she is descendent of the last true queen of Croswald and the last serving member of the Wandering Family — destined to take down the Dark Queen after recovering the missing pieces of her royal stone. It is summer and Ivy doesn’t know where to go until her royal scrivenist sends her off a Town hidden in the mist where the sky is always filled with twinkling stars. There Ivy grows as an individual and starts understanding what her destiny is and what she must do to keep the people she cares about safe from the Dark Queen.


This whimsical fantasy is perfect for those who enjoy young adult novels that aren’t too intense or filled with drama. Much like the previous book The Crowns of Croswald series leans on the younger side of YA. It could be middle grade, but the protagonist is 16 (which is something I frequently forget because she is so young and innocent, my mind keeps believing she’s the same age as Percy Jackson). The real beauty of this novel is D.E Night’s world-building and magic system. The plot for The Girl with the Whispering Shadows was dreadfully slow, I felt like nothing really happened until 50 - 60% into the book. Thankfully the whimsical and magic-filled setting compensated for the lagging plot. And the real highlight of everything was scrivenist game of Quogo — where scrivenist duel with their quills using magic left behind in each particular quill left behind by their owners.


There is a subtle love subplot brewing between Ivy and an older student Fyn, but thankfully it was only hinted (unlike the first book where it suddenly was shoved in our faces) as Ivy and Fan learn to trust themselves as friends. I am interested to see how it further develops and how their relationship affects their decision making.


Overall, this was a charming story to get lost in during these weird anxiety-filled pandemic times, and I am looking forward to what adventure the next book takes!
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* I RECEIVED THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW BY STORIES UNTOLD LLC AND NETGALLEY *

The Girl with the Whispering Shadow was a great continuation from book 1 in the Croswald series!  It takes the foundation of the first book and expands a great deal!  We get to explore the land outside of the Halls of Ivy to a Secret Town, which is where Ivy meets new friends and gets into new kinds of trouble!  Back at the Halls trouble is brewing and Ivy and her new friends must race against time to solve the mystery before its too late!  This book has so much magic, fun and adventure, it is impossible to put down!  If you haven't read The Crowns of Croswald yet... pick it up today!  You will be not be disappointed, it will sweep you away!
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Rating: 4/5 🌟

This is the sequel to “The Crowns of Croswald” and it was great! I was afraid that it might have “second book syndrome” but thankfully it didn’t. I was
so happy to be back in the magical world and see how Ivy’s adventure continues.

My favourite part of this book/series is the world and its magical systems. I love how the whimsical and magical world of Croswald develops in this book. I love that I got to know about scrivinist and their magic, learn about new magical creatures, and even a super cool game known as Quogo - the quidditch equivalent in Croswald.

There is more action and Ivy’s adventure definitely intensifies in this book. I wouldn’t say it’s intense like a YA or adult fantasy, but it is really exciting and thrilling for a middle grade. I super satisfied by the pace of the plot.

Like in the previous book, the friendship in this is really wholesome and heartwarming. I love the new friendship formed in this story and how the existing friendship develops. Ivy’s friendship with Rebecca and Fyn is definitely my next favourite thing about this series.

I wished there had been more character development for Ivy. She kind of remained the same as she was from first book. It’s not exactly a terrible thing but I just wished she had “matured” a little. She does have a clear motivation and good personality but she is lacking a little in terms of depth. Other then that, Ivy is still a likeable protagonist.

I also wished that had been more class scenes in this story because I enjoyed them immensely before. However, considering the plot and it’s pace, I am not mad at it at all.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I will most definitely continue on with the story. I hope in Book 3, there will be EVEN MORE world building because I just love this whimsical and imaginative world so much and maybe some romance?

If you haven’t read the first book, I really recommend you check it out! It is a really interesting middle-grade series.
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(4.5/5 stars)
It’s always great when a sequel not only lives up to, but outdoes its predecessor! Returning us to the world of scrivenists (mages who channel magic through quills), ‘The Girl with the Whispering Shadow’ (incredible title) is just as full of ingenious and refreshingly original magical concepts as ‘The Crowns of Croswald’, with even more of the lovable characters, subtly chilling foreboding and hilarious moments that I enjoyed in Book 1.

One of my favourite things was the introduction of a popular scrivenists’ game called ‘Quogo’ – eat your heart out, Quidditch! Quogo is almost like a magical RPG (role-playing game), where players battle it out with the spectres of retired or deceased scrivenists, using their decommissioned quills. I also loved the Quality Quills Club (where can I sign up?!), a secret society of amateur Quogo players run by our wonderful Fyn Greeley. I loved the dynamic within this friendship group, spiced up by the new additions of Ivy and Rebecca to its ranks, and they had so much great banter between them. Each QQC member felt realistic, especially after a certain accidental catastrophe, and I really look forward to seeing more of them in Book 3! This was a very well-written rendition of a found-family trope, if that’s one you enjoy.

Speaking of character love, I have to include a tribute specifically to my favourites, Fyn and Rebecca! They’re so loyal to Ivy but never come across as sycophants or merely foils, and yet again, Rebecca (in multiple scenes) proves herself an MVP in this squad. Fyn cracks me up so much with his sarcasm, and I’m completely invested in the adorable slow-burn between him and Ivy! I also grew to like Ivy more in this one – while some of her actions in the first book felt at times out of character, this book is where she really comes into her own and grows in confidence, maturity and just all around personality palpability.

Great twists abound, with hints dropped here and there to amp up the apprehension, and several were rather disquieting. In general, this book’s ‘horror’ level feels middle-grade to YA, but there were certainly some moments that gave me ‘Criminal Minds’-type chills. The Dark Queen definitely feels more genuinely threatening in this book compared to the first, and we learn a bit more about her motives that clarify scenes in the first book.

There were also plenty of new spells, creatures and even careers introduced – my favourite one being a teledetector matteler, a sort of teleporting magical police/CSI officer who can travel to crime scenes through mentally connecting through a scene sketch. I really like the style of magic in this series, it’s very whimsical and strong on wordplay, which is right up my alley.

If you’re a ‘Harry Potter’ fan, or on the hunt for more magical boarding school stories, I really recommend diving into this series! Following that slight cliffhanger (and its link to the title of Book 3), I’m so hyped for ‘The Words of the Wandering’, out May 30! Not long now before I can return to Croswald…
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3.8✨

I loved that I get to explore and know more about the Town which was incredible. I loved Bramble’s, Quinton’s, Lie Buries, of course the starry night, but most of all the relationship of the scrivenists there as a town. I was also very happy to meet the QQC members and actually gotten quite attached to some members (Glistle, Hayword, and Fyn!)

This was a great second book but dare I say, I loved the first one more. I guess maybe because there were too many more magical terms introduced here and I had a hard time keeping up with what is what and who is who. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed most parts and was glad to be lost in such a magical world and I can’t wait to get my hands on the third one!

Thank you Stories Untold LLC and author DE Night for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Someone really needs to make "Previously on" or "Here's what you missed/forgot" happen for books. I read the first book 3 years ago so my memory was a bit hazy. I hope to read the next one sooner (or at least not 3 years from now). I struggled a bit with this book. It's hard not to compare books about magical schools to HP (especially when they're re-airing the movies). I like that the friendships got more attention in this one. And I really liked the Town. Honestly, it's the last 70 pages that gave me the most trouble. And I hate that I can't put my finger on what it was. I think it may be the Dark Queen. We've barely seen interactions with her which makes her kind of a vague villain. P

Plus some of the magic stuff still confused the hell out of me.
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The Girl With The Whispering Shadow takes us back to Croswald and the unique magical world that it is. It is Ivy's first summer away from the slurry fields and Derwin has shipped her off to the scrivenist town called Belzebuthe. With a piece of paper and an address written on it, Ivy lands up at none other than our dearest Fyn's house. Over the summer Ivy learns more and more about scrivenists and how they protect the 'Town' from the dark queen. She uncovers some exciting stuff like fishing for stars, Quogo matches and a job being a potioneer. But the most heartwarming thing about this book was how Ivy finds her own friends. She had a group of people from school who care for her and look out in case she is in danger. Ivy is someone who has had the company of scaldrons for so long. Even in Book 1, her only friends were Fyn and Rebecca but mostly she solved her problems alone.

This book values friendships as each one of the many friends she makes helps her fight with The Dark Queen. The writing style has definitely improved and so have the character arcs. From being clueless, Ivy is now learning about scrivenists and her past. The character 'Glistle' was one of my favourites in this book. 

The world-building goes beyond the Halls of Ivy and there are new creatures that the characters in the book discover. It was such a fun read and is perfect for anyone looking for an engaging middle grade fantasy. The kids are so talented and think on their feet. Fyn's graduation made me completely teary-eyed because I love how he toes every line. 

The book ends in the most mysterious way that has something to do with The Forgotten Room which makes me a little queasy. I was so glad to receive a copy of Book 2.
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It's the second instalment of The Crowns of Croswald series and the magic is growing!

Following the first instalment, The Girl with the Whispering Shadow is all about the second year at a school of magic and also the journey to finding the second piece of a lost stone. This stone, called a Kindred Stone, apparently holds a ton of power that works just like an amplifier. It is said that it belongs to the true queen of Croswald, who happens to be our main character, Ivy. However, the Dark Queen seeks to claim this stone so that she can continue to reign with terror for eternity. So, in between studies, learning magic, staying on top of the Dark Queen, and finding the truth about the past, Ivy has to work hard to discover and retrieve the second missing piece of the Kindred Stone before it gets into the wrong hands.

One of the special things that was introduced to this series that I love is "Quogo". Instead of battling with wands, we have scrivenists battling with quills left behind by their passing owners. I mean, how cool is that! What makes it even more fascinating is that it is actually considered a sport! This reminds me so much of Harry Potter. But instead of Quidditch, we have two individuals battling with magic.

Additionally, we were also introduced in more detail to a secret club called Quality Quills Club (QQC). I mean, where's the fun in schools if not for secret clubs? Am I right or am I right? So this secret club was formed from the love of Quogo. The founder, Fyn, is an huge fan of the Quogo sport who dreams of becoming part of the game in the future. However, with the Dark Queen threatening to harm Ivy and all scrivenist to get what she wants, the QQC plays to practice the use of quills. This immediately reminds me of "Dumbledore's Army" practicing their spells in secret.

As for the other elements of this story, I would say that there was a step up from the first instalment. I thought that the plot was more exciting and there was tremendous growth in character development. I really like where this story is going and I can't wait to read the next instalment. I need to see how the budding love between Ivy and Fyn blossoms.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from D.E. Night through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Another magical read full of adventure, and whimsical creatures and scenery, magic and mischief, as the first one was.
There is definitely a Harry Potter vibe and although the characters are much older this is still a middle grade book.
I do wish there was some more romance between Ivy and Fyn, or even Glistle. Actually, this is the only thing I find fault in these books, the relationships, all of them not only the romantic ones, are not very developed and I don’t really grasp their feelings and emotions, which makes for little character and relationship arc. I do hope this improves in the next books.
I’m curious to see how Ivy will manage without Fyn next year, and how she will finally find a way to save Croswald from the Dark Queen.
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Sequel to The Crowns of Croswald, The Girl with the Whispering Shadow picks up right where the first left off with Ivy and friends. The school year is over and everyone is looking forward to summer break, but the Dark Queen being on the hunt for Ivy puts a damper on everything. But Ivy knows what her mission is, and will fulfill it no matter what the consequences.

Truly, this series is so magical and whimsical. If you are looking for a more light-hearted, genderbent Harry Potter than this is the story for you. The magical creatures and magic system are so much fun and the characters are just adorable. Ivy, Fyn, and Rebecca are are great friends and each bring something different to the table. It's an easy read and worth the time.

One thing I will say is that is is VERY close to Harry Potter and the dialogue isn't the best. The descriptions and writing are beautiful, but the dialogue is very stilted and has far too many !'s. However, this is more of a middle grade book so this could make sense. I also think the similarities to Harry Potter are just a bit much, almost too close for comfort.
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Ivy has learned she is part of the Queenly bloodline and that the dark queen is after her and her royal stone. She’s been instructed to hide away in a secret town for her own safety and to find the missing pieces of her stone. She spends her summer making new friends and continues her learning as best as she can since she is unable to go back to The Halls of Ivy. With no clues to help lead her on her mission she doesn’t make it far before she is thrown back into danger of the Dark Queen. She uses the knowledge she’s gained, the help of her new friends and allies, and the few clues she has to make it closer to finishing her mission.

This was actually a second reading for me. I wanted a refresher before starting book 3 and I loved it just as much the second time. I never thought I would but I actually love the similarities to Harry Potter world, but I do. It’s like almost reliving it again but in a completely new and fresh way. But even though there are a lot of similarities the characters are completely unique and well developed. The magic is still it’s own and the story is thrilling and well written. I’m incredibly excited to start book 3 and see where Ivy’s story takes us to next. 

I would also like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book since the one I own was loaned to a friend and I didn’t think the middle of a global pandemic was the best time to ask for it back.
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I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

I absolutely loved this book! It has everything to keep you hooked from the first page! Definitely would recommend to all the fantasy readers
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So I couldn't remember anything that had happened in the previous book as I read it around a year ago - oops. It made the beginning of this book a very rocky read because I couldn't remember any of the characters, besides Ivy, or the events that they were talking about! This book immediately follows on from the ending of the first book.

We still follow Ivy who has just overcome her first Dark Queen encounter. She has been whisked away to the secret town that the Dark Queen does not have access to, nor anyone else unless they know the name of the town. She was forbidden to return to the magic school she attended in the first book for her safety. But then received a letter saying she was allowed to come back. Danger was everywhere she went however. Both in the secret town - which is meant to be one of the safest places in this world - and at school. She and her friends were faced with these dangers and did what they could to keep themselves, and everybody else, safe. Though if you were to read the book, you might laugh at that haha. 

I did enjoy this book, despite the rocky start. Though I found the story to be quite simple - unlike the first book. Again, I wish it were longer and more detailed. The author pretty much gives us the main events of the story without much riffraff which I suppose is good, but I am left wanting more every time, and with this series, that is a very frustrating thing.
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