By: D.E. Night
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Stories Untold
This review will contain spoilers from the first book. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second installment of The Crowns of Croswald series. It is the continuing adventures of Ivy Lovely and her friends as she attends her second year at the magical Halls of Ivy school. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot is evenly paced and builds up to a magical battle between the Evil Queen and the Scrivenists. We learn much more about the Scrivenists in this book. This is a unique magic system where Royals and Scrivenists are interconnected. As a lover of all kinds of fantasy, I think this series is a wonderful introduction for young adults to the genre. I also think fantasy fans of any age will enjoy this fun, magical ride.
Summary (from Goodreads)
Only hours after Ivy Lovely discovers that she is the fulfillment of the Moonsday promise, she is whisked away from her beloved school to Belzebuthe, a secret town for only those with magical blood.
Ivy sets out on a mission to uncover the second facet of the Kindred Stone while eluding the Dark Queen’s wrath. But even when she’s supposed to be safe, something is shadowing Ivy. She will need all her natural-born magic and more as she battles to find the rest of the Kindred Stone and return to the Halls of Ivy.
The Girl with the Whispering Shadow
We found out that Ivy Lovely is the rightful Queen of Croswald at the end of the Crowns of Croswald. In addition, the stone in her crown is the most powerful, but was split into 3 pieces to hide it from the Evil Queen. Ivy is given one piece of the stone from a former family scrivenist. Her family was cursed to wander for 7 generations and the rightful heir was thought to be lost. In addition, their scrivenits wandered with them. Ivy was hidden at birth in the slurry fields and became a scauldron maid for her protection. Once she was found, the curse was broken.
Now that Ivy knows her birth right, the hunt is on to find the other 2 pieces of the stone before the Evil Queen. Put together, they are said to have the most powerful magic. Ivy already has magic in her and is learning how to use it.
Ivy’s next adventure begins in the fun little town of Belzebuthe over her summer break. Because she is in danger, this town is hidden from everyone and she will be safe there. She winds up a her friends Fyn’s home. I felt like spending the summer in this little town. It is always nighttime because of the spells, but there is a magical star filled sky where you can fish for the stars. Stars are filled with wishes. There were floating umbrella’s, Bramble’s Fritters and Nosh, Quinton’s Brews and Hodgepodge and the bookstore, the Lie Burries. I loved that play on words for a shop filled with fantasy books.
Ivy embarks on her second year of school. With her friends Fyn and Ivy be her side, she must find out why threatening shadows keep appearing and do battle with an orbis (a large ogre-like creature) sent to kill Ivy. In addition to the fantasy element, we see Ivy coming of age. She has more confidence in herself and her abilities. She is far from the scauldrony maid she once was. Fyn is getting ready to graduate and Ivy realizes just how much she cares for him when she knows he will not be at school the following year. At the end, Ivy will be staying with her best friend Rebecca over the summer.
This second book in the Crowns of Croswald: The Girl with the Whispering Shadow was just as sweet and wonderful as the first. We see the characters grow, their abilities grow and their bonds deepen. The story is well paced, with parts that describe the world Croswald interspersed with exciting scenes of magical battles.
I find the use of the scrivenists use of quills to write spells in the air a clever play on the typical use of wands. It is the same for the unique stones in the crowns of the royals. Each quill and each crown is uniquely suited to its bearer. Royals are not “better” than scrivenists. They are dependent on each other and each royal family forms a special bond with their scrivenist.
I highly recommend this book to young adults (or anyone who enjoys a fun fantasy). The strong-willed, smart, and clever Ivy Lovely and her friends is a story that will seal a young adult’s love for fantasy.