Review: D.E. Night & The Crowns of Croswald

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night is a magical middle-grade read whose similarities to Harry Potter are not a drawback! I got a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, so here we go!

The Story & Plot

Ivy Lovely is a nobody. She works in the kitchens of a castle, sleeps in a room without windows, and her only friends are the cooking dragons. She’s never seen daylight and enjoyed a nice meal. Until one day, destiny catches up to her and magic finds her.

That’s how Ivy ends up at the Halls of Ivy – a prestigious school for royals and scrivenists, both gifted with their own sort of magic. Her innate curiosity leads her to discovery at every step. But when her life is threatened by the Dark Queen, Ivy has to use all of her wit and abilities to unravel the mystery surrounding her and a man no one remembers.

As I said, the book seems heavily influenced by Harry Potter. I thought this might rub me the wrong way, but The Crowns of Croswald’s world is its own and was captivating. It was quite imaginative with the different castes and their skills, the creatures and magic introduced. And I just love hefty worldbuilding, with magical creatures and strange places.

We had the scrivenists, Ivy being one of them, who explored everything around them to put it into writing and sketch the world thanks to their extraordinary photographic memory. And we had the royals, the ones who wielded the stones of power and the scrivenists served.

To be honest, I couldn’t really distinguish the two castes, the difference fell somewhere between the cracks. But that might be due to the fact I read quickly, The Crowns of Oswald is a page-turner.

The Crowns of Croswald is a fast-paced and beautifully written book, and even though it becomes cluttered toward the end, dumping info every other page, it’s still extremely engaging.

The Crowns of Croswald’s Characters

Couldn’t connect with those, unfortunately. I really like Ivy, how curious she is, prone to breaking the rules, and thirsty for knowledge. But with complete disregard for those around her. She came off as a bit self-centered, nothing mattered but unraveling the mystery, regardless of who might get hurt in the process.

The supporting characters were interesting but, for me, came off as two dimensional. I believe they have more to show and I hope that happens in books 2, 3 & 4, time will tell.

Should You Read The Crowns of Croswald?

I was a bit skeptical at first, the book being middle-grade lit. But it turned out to be really magical really quickly. If you like middle-grade books, if you enjoy an imaginative piece of fiction, you should definitely give the book a shot.

The Crowns of Croswald is planned as a four-book series. Three of the books, this one, #2 The Girl With the Whispering Shadow, and #3 The Words of the Wandering, are already out and they’re definitely going on my To-Read list. My final rating for D.E. Night and her debut novel is 3.5/5*. Despite some of the drawbacks I mentioned briefly, The Crowns of Croswald is an engaging and imaginative read.

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The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night
I’m a copywriter by work, reader by heart, writer by night & a daydreamer all year round. I dabble in graphic design whenever time’s left. I breathe words and try to weave worlds.
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