Cover Image: A Crown of Ivy and Glass

A Crown of Ivy and Glass

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Member Reviews

While I am sure this book is someone's cup of tea, it was not mine. There was nothing wrong with the author's writing, the story just didn't grab me.

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I enjoyed the book however, not as much as Furyborn. I liked the premise and setting but was expecting more. Still a very interesting and enjoyable first book in a new series!

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Wasn't for me, I only got a few chapters in. I can see how some people would enjoy this book but for me there was not enough tot keep me interested.

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I got about 50 pages into this book and I just couldn't get into the story. It felt very wordy and was very in my opinion information dumping I was also having a hard time with all the names and keeping the straight. But I want to revisit it at a later time with listening to the audio book because some fantasy works better for me in the audio setting rather then physical reading it.

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I have been sitting on this review for awhile this was my first book by this author and I was excited for the premise. I mean who wouldn't get excited when a book is marketed as "Bridgerton meets ACOTAR". Although I appreciate the effort that went into this book, I did not find the FMC nor the MMC likable. They lacked development and had no redeeming qualities. The plot was messy. It was marketed as adult however felt more YA. And even though I love YA... it just needed to be marketed better. Overall this book just wasn't for me.

Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read A Crown Of Ivy and Glass in advance!

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There are so many stunning things about this book. The world building, character development and magical system were all top notch. I never felt confused or like there was too much information. The pace kept me reading late into the night. I related to Gemma and her anxiety and felt Legrand handled it with great sensitivity. I am glad this is the start of a series.

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ACrown of Ivy and Glass introduces a new fantasy romance series featuring dark magic, demons, fae, gods, and a mysterious magical boundary realm called the Middlemist. If all that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is.

Brimming with interesting concepts and ideas, A Crown of Ivy and Glass suffers the classic first book problem of doing too much. Lady Gemma Ashbourne is wealthy and beautiful, a member of a privileged Anointed family blessed by the gods with magical gifts. One small problem: instead of magic, Gemma has been “blessed” with debilitating pain every time magic is performed near her. Distracting herself with beautiful gowns and glittering balls, Gemma can only blind herself to the truth for so long. Something is wrong with her – and the magic surrounding her is becoming increasingly strange, too. Teaming up with a mysterious man named Talan, Gemma attempts to untangle the truth behind her family’s secrets, the changes in the Middlemist, and the cause of her own condition.

Unfortunately, there’s just too much going on in A Crown of Ivy and Glass for the characters to be well-developed. Gemma reads as juvenile and vapid, which is actually the point, as Legrand reveals more about her character as the story progresses. Although it’s a clear stylistic choice, it wasn’t successful. Despite knowing from the get-go that there was more to Gemma than her antics, her narrative voice frustrated me and made it difficult to become invested in her story. I’m bummed because as a fellow spoonie, I was very intrigued by and appreciated that chronic pain is such a significant part of Gemma’s life. I wanted to like her but I just couldn’t. And this coming from a reader who usually loves “unlikable” narrators!

Similarly, I thought Gemma’s love interest Talan was bland and forgettable. Fortunately, the secondary characters delivered – especially Gemma’s grim older sister, Farrin. I gather her story will be the focus of the second book and I assume that’ll be a welcome change for those who didn’t love Gemma and Talan. Fair warning: we’re dealing with a serious case of insta-love here. At their very first meeting, Gemma and Talan’s chemistry is obvious but their emotional connection felt very forced. This is a fantasy-romance novel so of course I expected that their love would be a focus, but I would’ve much preferred to actually experience its development rather than witness its instantaneous appearance. Two cagey, avoidant people start sharing personal and private things right away? The characterization just seems off.

I’m disappointed to report that the major issue with this book for me is how poorly it’s written. Gemma’s voice felt awkward and forced, and Legrand’s writing felt quite “young.” Multiple descriptive sections and philosophical moments that are clearly meant to be impactful just felt…awkward. I’m actually shocked because I loved Legrand’s thriller Sawkill Girls, which really is a YA novel but it was much more mature than this one. The pacing was terribly uneven, with a few chapters packed with information and action followed by multiple chapters that read like filler.

The ending was my favourite part of the story (sounds snarky but it’s true!) because it hinted at the next couple in the series – seems like it’ll be a juicy enemies-to-lovers situation. I don’t plan to continue reading with the series but I may reconsider if the reviews look promising.

Not recommended.

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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. I did not finish this book at about 30% as I found the characters super annoying, and I did not look forward to reading more of this story.

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This book was a rough read for me, mainly because it felt very disjointed. Full transparency, I really REALLY enjoyed the first half of this book. Although I didn't always love Gemma, I understood her. Her relationships with those around her fascinated me. Her strength in the face of her chronic pain and fatigue, just drew me in. I loved her for so many reasons, even if she didn't always make all the right decisions. When Talan came into the picture I was sold. Although I knew there were secrets he was hiding, the two of them had a fire that couldn't be ignored.

The problem came in the second half of the book where it really felt like everything just kind of fell apart. The second half felt much more YA to me, after the beginning of the story felt so much more aimed at adults. Gemma's quest to become herself started feeling inauthentic and just... awkward. So much was being thrown at the reader at once. Secret after secret being revealed without a lot of fanfare. I should have been thrilled that so much was happening and yet I was annoyed and confused. The pacing was just so off, and it made this book tough for me to finish.

I won't be moving on to the next book.

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I would categorize this as a YA or possibly NA book. It felt a little too juvenile for being a full adult fantasy. With that said, I did enjoy it, especially the magic and worldbuilding. Talan reminded me of Timothee Chalamet, which I couldn’t decide if I liked or not. If the second book follows her sister, I might read jr.

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A huge thank you to NetGalley, SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca, and of course, Claire Legrand for providing me with an eARC of this book. I am voluntarily leaving a review, all opinions are my own.

This read more like YA than adult to me, and I think that was one of my biggest struggles with this book. I kept feeling like I was reading a YA fantasy, and not an adult one. Sure, there were some adult moments and themes that were a little more adult- but it didn't all click for me.

It's really hard for me to give this a proper review, because I think I struggled to get into it time and time again, it took me ages to get through. I love both adult and YA fantasy, but when it's tagged as one but written more towards the other, it makes it hard to connect to.

I still enjoy Legrand's world-building time and time again, but I'm going to be a little more leery and haven't decided if I'll hop into book 2 when it comes out, or wait it out a little bit.

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A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand
4/5 Stars

•••Spoiler free review below•••

This was one of the most interesting fantasy books I have read as of late! The world is so complex and the way we are introduced to the different aspects of our main characters feels so REAL. The pacing was a bit slow in the beginning but the information is necessary to fully understand our characters and the world. Once I got to the halfway point, I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next.

We follow Gemma - a spoiled, youngest daughter who should be anointed with magical gifts from a god, but instead has a body that repels magic at every turn. Her gifted family members are constantly in the midst of a scheme and she is fed up with it. She longs for love and to make her family proud. An encounter with the handsome Talan d'Astier - a disgraced foreigner with the hope to one day belong - leads to them making a mutually beneficial deal. But maybe everything she thought she knew was simply all a ruse. And maybe she has to more to offer than originally believed.

I can't wait to find out what happens in book 2! And I'm VERY interested in some of our side characters (*cough* Farrin & Ryder *cough*).

Read this book if you like:
- Bridgerton but fantasy
- developed side characters
- curses
- a strong fantasy plot separate from the romance
- the FMC saving the day

A Crown of Ivy and Glass was released in June and if it's not already on your tbr, it should be!
Special thanks to SourceBooks Casablanca for sharing a free copy with me in exchange for my honest opinions.

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Please check TWs Self harm and suicidal ideation throughout

The beginning gives similar vibes to Belladonna and House of salt and sorrows which made me want to like it more than I did. I didn’t love any of the characters, including the love interest.

I felt like I was being pulled into too many directions and wasn’t sure what to think. I do think if we could get a more center focus and then towards the end another part of the world it could be better.

I felt the beginning pulls of an enemies to lovers story brewing with two of the side characters that I would be excited to see develop cause that’s my jam

As always it maybe what someone else needs and it maybe for them but it wasn’t my new favorite.

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i love a good fantasy read and A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand totally fulfilled that need for me. I enjoyed the world building and the character arc throughout the book.

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review.

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I LOVED this book, we have already purchased it for our library and it continues to be a hit. The way the story is told leaves you wanting more.

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I got about 20% of the way through but couldn't get into to it so had to DNF it. I probably could have given it a better go but it didn't inspire me to pick it up. It wasn't very gripping and there was a tone of world building which didn't really make much sense. It sounded like a cool book and potentially one I could pick up again in the future but sadly it missed the mark :(

I haven't posted this anywhere as I only post full reviews for books I finish to given then a decent go

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The writing in this is very strong and well crafted. I enjoyed the premise and plot very much. My only critique is that the magic system was a bit confusing at first, but after I got into the story, it was lovely! I definitely recommend it!

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First let me say thank so much for gifting me an EARC of this book.

I am a big fan for Claire Legrrand’s Empirium trilogy so I had extremely high hops for this one. However I really struggled with this one. I found myself getting lost with the development of the story and the magic system.

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Thank you Net Galley and to the Publisher for the opportunity to read in exchange for my honest review.

Claire Legrand's "A Crown of Ivy and Glass" attempts to merge the allure of fantasy and romance within a lush setting, but it grapples with pacing issues that hinder the overall reading experience.

Set in a world brimming with magical abilities and complex social dynamics, the novel follows Lady Gemma Ashbourne, a character who, despite her glittering exterior, struggles with inner loneliness and a lack of magical powers. Gemma's encounter with Talan d'Astier, a survivor determined to restore his family's honor, forms the basis of an intriguing but somewhat convoluted plot. The premise holds promise, with a demon-fueled feud between families and the prospect of hidden strengths being uncovered.

The character development is a mixed bag. While the protagonists hold potential, there are instances where their actions feel contrived and their decisions lack the depth needed to fully connect with readers. Gemma's emotional journey and discovery of latent abilities could have been more engaging, but some of her choices come across as rash and inconsistent.

Pacing emerges as a significant issue within the narrative. Long chapters, coupled with slow-moving sequences, contribute to a sense of dragging that can test the reader's patience. Although the blend of romance and fantasy elements is intriguing, the book's pacing struggles often overshadow the excitement that such a mix should evoke.

The portrayal of emotions and relationships also wavers. While some interactions carry genuine emotion, others lack the depth needed to forge strong connections between characters. The chemistry between Gemma and Talan, despite being central to the story, occasionally falls short of igniting the expected spark.

Despite its challenges, "A Crown of Ivy and Glass" is not devoid of merits. Legrand introduces an interesting world filled with magic, treachery, and hidden power, drawing on elements that can captivate readers. There are moments of wit and entertainment within the writing, though they occasionally get lost in the narrative's overall pacing.

While the concept is intriguing and certain elements hold promise, the execution struggles to maintain consistent engagement. The novel may appeal to those who appreciate a blend of fantasy and romance, but its challenges make it a somewhat uneven read.

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This one kind of dragged for me. The chapters were so long. I'm going to try another format because I have heard great reviews. Audio seems to be easier with long chapters for me.

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