DISCLAIMER: I was sent an Advanced Reader’s Copy of The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night and JKS Communications and D.E. Night in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating: 4 stars (4.08)
My rating: 3 stars (2.85)
Publish Date: July 21st, 2017
The Crowns of Croswald is a YA fantasy novel about a girl named Ivy Lovely who tends to oven-like dragons in the kitchens of an anti-magic castle. When she runs off, dragon in tow, she is met by a Scrivenist (think Newt Scamander) that whisks her away to a magic school for both royals and aspiring Scrivenists. The Crowns of Croswald is a highly enchanting tale that will bring you back to the magical days when you first discovered our beloved Boy Who Lived.
Speaking of Harry Potter, The Crowns of Croswald was a mirror image of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Maybe it’s the Hogwarts-esque magical school or the outlandish sweets. From a Hagrid dupe to rich, spoiled brats, it was quite obvious that D.E. Night was heavily influenced by J.K. Rowling.
The world itself was cute, and the detail with which Night describes this new world is exhilarating. I fell in love with the obscure gadgets and gizmos instantly. However, there were so many funky names and one-time mentioned brands and inventions and I struggled to get a grasp on what kind of world Night was trying to portray. I felt like Alice trying to figure out the inner-workings of Wonderland. There were many names that I wasn’t able to remember, and it felt like more of a detail-dump than worldbuilding.
Not only was the story difficult to understand, but it felt like Ivy Lovely was disconnected from the story. She barely faced any hardship throughout the tale, and as someone who loves death and heartache, it left me wanting more from Ivy. The way she talked was childlike and didn’t resonate with me – it was hard to connect with Ivy because she felt underdeveloped and too “#relatable” for my tastes. Since The Crowns of Croswald was marketed as a YA book I was shocked to meet a character that resembled a middle-schooler rather than a sixteen-year-old girl.
This brings me to my last point: this book is not a YA book. The Crowns of Croswald reads as a middle-grade novel and would most likely be a smash hit among the younger crowds if it were advertised as such. As I get older I want to read books with older characters, which makes it unfair for me to give The Crowns of Croswald such a low rating – it wasn’t directed towards my demographic. If I were 5-8 years younger I would have DEVOURED this book, but unfortunately it didn’t hit home for me. I do think that D.E. Night could really give Rick Riordan or Tahereh Mafi a run for their money though.
I hope you enjoyed my review of The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night! I should be posting another review soon, but who knows when I’ll be finishing one of the many books I’m currently reading. I’ve decided to nix the reviews of Sounds Like Me: My Life in Song and Lover Revealed because running a blog and keeping up a B+ average in college are harder than you’d think it would be.
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