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 tried to start this book like three times and kept getting interrupted. But, I finally hunkered down and read it. Quite glad I did, actually. At first, I was struck by the similarities to Harry Potter. But, as I kept on reading, I found the world to be very immersive and entertaining.
We first meet Ivy as a lowly scaldrony maid (that means she’s in charge of the beasts that function as ovens for the castle’s meals). In quite the turn of events, she gets herself chased out of the only home she’s ever known, left only with a note from a mysterious visitor she’s made friends with.
Ivy is then thrust into the real world, full of magic that had been kept from her by a stifling spell. We experience quite the harsh introduction to the world as the poor girl is thrown directly into the madness of preparing for the first day of school and the renowned magical academy.
The first thing to come across about Ivy’s character was her care for magical creatures. She takes along the scaldron that got her kicked out of the castle, naming it and offering to keep it with her as a pet. She’s also very adventurous, and doesn’t like the sound of the word ‘no’.
I will admit, a few of the things that she gets away with are a bit suspect, like it shouldn’t have been so easy for her to do the things, but if higher ups were supporting her, then it might end up making sense. I’ll have to read further books to fully understand that one. This book sets up a lovely segue into a sequel, so I’d be overjoyed to read more.
Also you should definitely check out the author’s website. Very nice and polished, one of the best author sites I’ve seen. Also, after you’ve read the book, you might realize that the author’s name sounds familiar… 😉
I was kindly provided this book for free in exchange of an honest review.