Publisher: Stories Untold Press
Year of Publication: 2017
This book is about Ivy, an orphan whose unknown origin, who has lived for 16 years as a scauldron maid in a palace. Until one day, an incident forced her to leave the palace. When she crossed the border, the magic inside her awaken and it made her end up at a magic school called the Hall of Ivy. Her adventures started in this place, when she discovered something unusual about her that nobody even noticed, she was determined to find out the secret that had been long forgotten.
No, it’s not Harry Potter. It’s true that they have several similarities and the idea is very much the same, but Croswald is an entirely different world, I assure you.
D.E. Night did an excellent job to build the world of Croswald. The story set in a medieval era where there are castles, princesses, dragons, and of course magic. It takes time to fully understand the magic system in Croswald, because there are some original terms, magical creatures and magical things that I’m not familiar, such as scrivenist, hairies, glanagerie, but you’ll understand as the story progress. I’m amazed by how a glanagerie works, it’s original, I’ve never heard such thing before and it was so cool! I enjoyed my time wandering the magic school – The Hall of Ivy -, and learn some new magic skills in various classes, this is the exact same feeling from when I was discovering Hogwarts for the first time, that nostalgic feeling hit me right in the heart, I almost cry in happy tears.
This book is also packed with dangerous and magical adventures in order to reveal a secret history of Croswald. I love the thrilling adventure, you’ll keep guessing what will happen next. The pace is up and down, it’s a little too rushed off at first, then comes back to the normal pace, and then rushed off again, but I still enjoyed the story though.
I love Ivy, she’s a curious and a very brave young woman. She was accompanied by Rebecca, a very humble royal who never hesitated to help Ivy. And then there’s Fyn, a very cute and nice boy, and a little mysterious. Ivy, Rebecca, and Fyn make a perfect rebel squad, they are not hesitate to break the rules to set themselves in a little adventure to seek for the truth. I love every characters in this story. It’s been told that Ivy is a 16 years old girl, but for some reasons I keep thinking of Ivy being a 10-12 years old, I don’t know why, maybe it’s because Ivy’s behaviour and her way of thinking doesn’t match her age, I think. I feel the same too about the other characters, it feels a little bit off for me.
Overall, I love the originality of the story, and D.E Night’s writing make it more magical. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter and The School for Good and Evil, you should totally pick up this book. I can’t wait for the second book that will be published this year, the title is The Girl with the Whispering Shadow. Already added it to my to-be-read list!