Title: The Crowns of Croswald
Author: D.E. Night
Genre/s: Middle Grade, Fantasy.
Published on July 21st 2017
The Crowns of Croswald is filled with magic and adventure and I adored getting lost in the intricate fantasy world. I found the book to be a very enjoyable read and I think it is an excellent middle grade novel.
The book follows sixteen year old Ivy a girl who has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary away from magic until one day she crosses over and her powers are awakened. Leading her on a striking path, and ending up a student at Halls of Ivy a school for those who need to master their magic. After events unfold, Ivy has to delve into the mysteries of her past in order to save herself and Croswald before history is swept away.
The entire book was a fun read and I would definitely recommend it for younger readers just getting into reading. It's an ideal starting point and has so many interesting aspects. In a way it is very similar to other books out there but the whimsical feel of the tale and D.E. Night's writing made it more of an original read. I am a lover of books about magic schools so I knew going into this that I would most likely enjoy it but I was also wary because it's been done and it's been done extremely well. But the author managed to put her own spin on the trope and still create a thrilling plot.
I did however feel like the pacing was very jumpy and that did make it hard to get into at first. It was a little confusing at times but I think that was because I was overthinking things, and because I've read a lot of YA and Adult fantasy novels I think that made it harder for me to enjoy the book, but thats usually the case with middle grade for me anyway. So I'm actually surprised with how much I enjoyed it. It was also a very quick read and I managed to get through it in only a couple of sittings. If I hadn't been busy doing other things I think I could have read it in a day or two.
The world building and character development was definitely lacking in my honest opinion but what we did get was good, I just feel like there was a lot of scenes and moments where there was potential for more. The side characters in general could have used more development as they often seemed flat. Ivy was sweet and a well rounded protagonist however at times she did seem too juvenile for a sixteen year old, and the author continuously seemed to keep reminding us how old she was and yet it felt like she was thirteen and not sixteen. However I can forgive that as the book isn't aimed towards an older audience.
Overall I would definitely recommend it to younger readers that are only just getting into the fantasy genre or just into reading in general. It's whimsical and cute and the writing pulls you right into the story. But it might not be for you if you're used to complex fantasies. I don't like comparing books to Harry Potter because nothing can live up to it, but The Crowns of Croswald does have similarities, and if you do like the magic school trope like I do you'll definitely find this an enjoyable read.
Thank you to D.E. Night and her marketing team for sending me a copy of this beautiful book to read and review.