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.
This book is lovely. To me, it feels like a mix of Harry Potter, Diana Wynne Jones, Alice in Wonderland, and many other favorites and classics.
To start, the story was from a perspective that made it very easy for one to relate to the characters. This is where the Alice component came in. Similarly to Carroll’s famous tween, Ivy is written in a very relatable fashion. This is in part to the POV, but also to the character. Ivy had a great, genuine, childlike personality. Yet, she is written in a way that makes it very easy for readers to become her.
The world building was great as well. Although it was very Harry Potter-esque, the story and world were beautifully unique and magical. It was written in such a charming style, nothing taken too seriously, all the while maintaining a ‘rather serious’ plot line. This is where I saw a lot of similarities to Diana Wynne Jones (who you all know I love). It was such a happy, and light story, that really captivated me.
The plot itself was well written, in a way that made you forget that there was a story. As in, you were experiencing it along with the characters, rather than trying to read purely for the plot line (if that makes sense). It was more of an experience than a story – which was marvelous.
Overall, I really loved it. It is truly appropriate for all ages – again, very Harry Potter-esque in that quality. I highly suggest you all go check it out on July 21st!
5 out of 5