Title: The Crowns of Croswald (The Crowns of Croswald #1) by D.E. Night
Published: July 21, 2017 by Stories Untold
Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½
Notes: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinions on the book.
Noteworthy: huge Harry Potter similarities, full of magic
From Google Books
In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic and her life is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
I have…very mixed feelings about this one. I love Harry Potter, don’t get me wrong, but I was rereading the series as I was reading The Crowns of Croswald and I just didn’t feel like reading more Harry Potter. The similarities to HP were striking for several chapters and I really dragged my feet in the beginning.
“‘This all sounds lovely, but I, I can’t be the girl you’re looking for. Look at me…I-I’m just a girl. A nobody.‘”
The chosen one troupe is my least favorite troupe out there (and I really don’t mind half of the common troupes). This wasn’t the best handled case of the chosen one but I admired how Ivy relied on her friends to get things done, and all the glory wasn’t given solely to the main character.
“‘I feel like I need a break.'”
“‘A break from what?'”
The main character wasn’t my favorite. Ivy was bland, impulsive, and absent minded. There wasn’t much to love about her, and most of the side characters outshined her on several occasions. I really disliked reading about her, and if it weren’t for the interesting plot, I would have DNF’d. I was consistently wondering how the character is 16 when they had the maturity and thought processes as a 11/13 year old. She wasn’t self aware or conscious of her decisions at all, and that really bothered me. Most of the characters were two dimensional and unexciting.
“Anything can happen. Anything you want, but only within the bottle.”
The magic was so fun, so whimsical. There were situations that made me laugh and smile, and I loved the strange and peculiar elements of the magical world. The author wasn’t afraid to experiment and play with the magic in this book which I loved. What’s the point of having magic in a book if you don’t have some fun with it? Unfortunately, many of the fantasy books don’t push boundaries and have fun with the magic elements so I’m glad this part of the book delivered.
The way information was delivered in this book wasn’t my favorite. Ivy, apparently, didn’t need to know the details of the strange things happening to her which I found absolutely ridiculous. Her lack of curiosity when it concerns her own life is laughable and yes, it works to lengthen the book and somewhat aid the plot, but it was so unnecessary. Even the big reveal wasn’t fully and clearly explained, but rather given in bits and pieces.
Overall: I expected more from this. It was fun and lighthearted but frustrating to read through underdeveloped characters and clueless situations. The magic and the revelations at the end saved it, and I will definitely consider picking up the next book in the series.