Cover Image: A Crown of Ivy and Glass

A Crown of Ivy and Glass

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Member Reviews

Claire Legrand's 'A Crown of Ivy and Glass' is a foray into a world where magic, nobility, and ancient feuds intertwine, creating a tapestry of intrigue and fantasy. The story centers around Lady Gemma Ashbourne, who stands out in her powerful family as the only member without magical abilities. Her journey, marked by loneliness and a yearning for belonging, is beautifully rendered in a setting replete with mythical creatures and dark magic.

Legrand's world-building is rich and imaginative, drawing the reader into a universe akin to a magical version of 'Bridgerton,’ a description that immediately got my attention. The narrative blends the complexities of family dynamics, power struggles, and an ancient blood feud that threatens to engulf everything.

However, the book's pacing and structure present challenges. While the world Legrand crafts is undoubtedly fascinating, the story often feels weighed down by its own complexity. There's a sense of 'info dumping' at times, with so much happening that it becomes difficult to follow the plot's intricacies. This aspect left the story feeling bogged down.

The romance between Gemma and Talan d’Astier, though charged with chemistry, seems to rush ahead. Despite this, their relationship adds a vital dimension of warmth and passion to the narrative.

Despite its pacing and complexity, it rewards with a rich, imaginative world that has me hooked and eager to return for book two.

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Gemma Ashbourne, the baby of a powerful family, grapples with a painful relationship with magic, making it tough for her to fit the perfect daughter mold. Despite her struggles, she pushes herself harder, battling hidden pain, desperation, and a serious case of low self-esteem, which triggers panic attacks. It's cool that the fantasy novel delves into mental health issues, showing how they seep into every corner of Gemma's life. However, that didn't endear her, her love interest was annoyingly flawless, and the plot fell a bit flat for me. Gemma seems stuck in her own pity party, indifferent to the fantastic world of demons, curses, and family drama around her.

The book's ending was decent, leaving me curious about the next one, but I was a bit unclear on the fate of the demon – wounded, dead, who knows? Still, I found the read enjoyable!

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This book was a breath of fresh air! It kept my enthralled and I couldn't put it down! It is everything you look for in a book! So so so good!!! LOVE this!

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Since I loved previous books of this author, I was so excited when I got an arc of this one. But I have to be honest, I was very disappointed.

The plot in the first part of the book was all over the place, it was forcefully carried. It wouldn't follow its logical path, just the one that was needed to be taken to get to where the author wanted to arrive.

The pace was too fast. Sometimes decently fast, other times just unreasonably. It was also reflected in the romance: I know that it was promoted as a fast burn but it was waaaay to fast, in a way that I couldn't believe they had fallen for each other.

The world-building was promising but the way it was explored wasn't actually entertaining. As part of that world, old-fashioned language was used but it didn't feel natural, it just seemed like an attempted tool to make the story more dramatic, like in old tragedies.

Because of the explicit content, this story indeed belongs to the adult genre, but the writing and many parts of the plot appeared to be fit for a children's book.

The story had potential in some parts, mainly in the building of the magic and its history, but the plot ended up being very boring. It took me a year to finish reading the book. I do think "A Crown of Ivy and Glass" might be helpful for those who are struggling with their mental health, there are lots of great messages that are nice to hear in a time of need. But beyond that, I didn't enjoy spending time reading this.

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This was my first time reading a book by this author so I went in with no expectations.
This book is written very much like a YA and you will either love that or hate that.
The story is about a girl named Gemma. Gemma is from a wealthy and magical family. Though the rest of her family has magic, her body repels it. She meets Talan and decides to strike a deal with him: she'll help him navigate high society if he helps her take down the Basks, a rival family

It grabbed me in the beginning.. but half way through I just lost interest. Too many things were missing descriptions, a lot was jam packed in there.. and I found myself feeling like something was missing.
All in all I read it and would say it’s not bad but also not great.

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<i>I received a copy of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</i>

After seeing the star rating and reading some reviews, I wasn't sure I'd finish this book. But I ultimately did and feel like I understand better why it has received the reviews it has.

Lots of people said this feels like two different books and that's accurate. It switched just over halfway through and became much more interesting. I wish we could've done without the Gemma/Talan courtship and society shenanigans in the beginning. It's slow in a detrimental way. The romance doesn't have teeth -- I wasn't invested and I didn't understand what either of them saw in the other beyond surface-level attraction.

I think this is a plot issue. This story tried to establish a world that multiple stories will live in while it also tried to tie up an individual character arc. The balance is off and it skewed too heavily towards reading like a standalone. Important worldbuilding and long running plot details were revealed so late into this book that they came off as lazy/convenient plot devices.

Another thing that really bothered me is how young Gemma and Talan read. Gemma is spoiled and annoying. Talan sometimes seemed old and world-weary but other times seemed juvenile. It made it hard to root for either of them.

It all makes me so sad because you can see the potential! I wanted this book to be more than it is.

I doubt I'll read the sequel. I wouldn't recommend this.

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While this title was definitely highly anticipated, unfortunately it didn't reach my expectations. The world building was extensive and creative but when it came to the plot, I felt it was lacking.

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We get to follow a protagonist with panic attacks and anxiety and its pulled off wonderfully imo. Gemma is a character I like reading, in that her voice is clear and unique. Sure she is annoying at times and I'd like to scream at her during some scenes but she's not dumb just for the plot or the relationships. She struggles with anxiety and it makes her dumb at times, which as a neurodivergent person myself I can understand, being overwhelmed can simply short-circuit you.

Plot wise I enjoyed the mystery. Visiting her sister, who protects the borders, Gemma learns something is wrong, but they are interrupted before her sister can finish. How will Gemma be able to revisit her, before its to late? A new man enters her life and seems too good to be true. Can she trust him or could he secretly be a villain? An old family feud is in full swing which rumor has it, was started by a demonic deal. What can Gemma do to either resolve the feud or possibly pour gasoline on the fire already burning between the families?
And all through these plot points and more we get to explore a world where the old gods left behind their magic for humans to use. Both lower and higher magic exists and we learn more as the story progresses. The pacing of revealing the worldbuilding is great for this type of book.

Romance wise (my least favorite part of books usually) is still intriguing. It really gives ✨romance✨ without too much spice. I can enjoy it mostly because all of the other stuff happening around and the romance being the sole focus of the book. One thing I cannot forgive is the sex-scene while one of them is practically dying sick, bruh let the poor sod rest!

I'd also like to get more of her best friend, who sadly I felt was very neglected even though the rest of Gemmas relationships were given time on page. Dont just dis the loyal and loving (&poc) best friend!

I am very excited to await the next book in this series and dive into this world again!

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This book was a slightly disappointing. However, this author does really good works. So even though I didn't love it, I did enjoy many moments when reading.

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There were many things that I loved about this book. The plot was incredible. It kept me invested the entire time and more often than that I didn't expect the turns it would take or what would happen next.

The characters were wonderful. It was so easy to become invested in them and attached. I found myself laughing with them, crying a few times, and anxious for them during certain harrowing moments.

For me this book will always be special. As someone who has chronic pain, like the main character Gemma, and who has had those same what if I just wouldn't wake up thoughts, I truly felt seen. It made me feel connected in a way I usually don't with most books. I think anyone who has a chronic illness and any form of depression or anxiety truly should read this.

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"A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand offers a blend of adult fantasy elements—dark magic, folklore, romance, and more. The premise, with its rich layers of family drama and magical intrigue, has much potential.

While the world-building showcases the author's imagination, I found there was a bit too much information dumping, making it challenging to fully immerse myself. The pacing was inconsistent, and the promising premise didn't quite deliver the follow-through I hoped for. Despite not resonating with me, the book might still appeal to those who enjoy intricate plots involving gods, magical creatures, and complex relationships.

So, while it wasn't my cup of tea, I encourage others to read it and form their own judgment."

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While I generally enjoy fantasy - especially romantasy - this book unfortunately wasn’t for me.
I didn’t connect with the characters, and the plot didn’t grab me. Also, it felt unexpectedly YA for a book listed as adult.

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I unfortunately forgot to download the e-book on my kindle before it was archived and/or lost interest in the book because it’s been on my tbr for way too long, so I wasn’t able to read and review it (on time). Since I Must give a star rating, I’ve given it 3 stars to stay neutral/in the middle. Sorry to the publisher for not having gotten around to actually read it. I never request a book without the best of intention to read it and review it, since I know how important it is to the authors in particular. But sometimes life happens and/or reading preferences change so much that you just don’t always get around to read a certain book anymore, even though at the time of requesting I was definitely planning to actually read it of course.

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unfortunately i just couldn’t quite get into this one so i had to dnf it. for being an adult genre book it seemed more ya. the characters fell a little flat for me.

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Sadly this book just didn’t grab as much as I hoped it would. I put it down and picked it up multiple times but I just couldn’t connect with it. Super bummed.

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Ok this book had so much promise! I loved that for once our MC is not the most powerful, she’s actually the weakest. I just wish she wasn’t so annoyingly pushy and manipulative! Poor Talan is just dragged along and used continuously for her own curiosity time and time again. While at the same time practically grooming her to his whims. After this process was repeated multiple times it got tiring and then it got convoluted. This book is a long slog. Someone described it as “three book plots in one” and I agree.

We gave out MC a perfectly good name like Imogen then used Gemma the entire time as a nickname?? It’s THE SAME AMOUNT OF LETTERS!! Sorry sorry let me reign in my temper, it’s been a long haul reading this book. Like climbing a snowy mountain with a horny impatient girl on ur shoulder.

The time jumps were so random too like I get we are jumping to the action (fourth wing is guilty of this too) but we still need some sort of transition or detail about what happens in between! Like we are supposed to see her and Talan get closer but after the craziest one night of adventuring ever I’m supposed to believe nothing happens between them for an entire month??? I call BS

**There will be some spoilers going forward to the ending because I’m just so annoyed so feel free to dip out from this review now! **

Talan tells her there’s a reason they don’t like the basks and it’s because of a demon that they start to “hunt” but she literally ignores it and still plans for the downfall of the basks like girl are you not listening?? And they continue this pathetic feud that they are told is for a reason and we are practically shown that Ryder is a love interest (he’s not at all, it’s Talan the entire annoying time) until the end where of course everyone has to join forces randomly with every single person they ever encountered and fight together in a boss battle that was literally 2 pages long.

The plot twist 75% of the way in was not good at all. It left a sour taste in my mouth. Why change the entire setting? Why introduce an entire lore dump and then twist a main character into the villain when we all suspected it all along but thought it was too obvious and dumb? Nope, just went ahead with it anyway.

And I love *sarcasm* that just forgot about her magic pain after her kidnapping (which was an entirely unnecessary subplot) which irked me to no end bc this was the first chronic pain rep that I was actually feeling for the character but then the FMC just forgets it all. And I wanted more of an explanation than what little we got.

This just was not a fun read at all after the first fun chapters that grab you in and are never explained again.

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.

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I really just did not enjoy this one. There’s so many great fantasy books out there and I just found that this one did not stand out among the others right now.

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I received this book for free for an honest unbiased review from Netgalley.

I wish more books were this well written. Characters were witty and the setting fantastic.

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The fantasy in this book swept me up and deposited me in a place that will stick with me for a long time. The characters in this book stood out to me due to the fact that they were imperfect. Legrand wrote her characters in a way that felt broken at times and relatable. I want more of this story ASAP!

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