Genre: Middle-grade fiction/fantasy
Stars: 3-1/2 out of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: Even a secret town cannot protect Ivy from a mysterious darkness…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. Before it’s too late…
Thank you to Netgalley and Stories Untold for this reader’s review copy, provided in exchange for my unbiased review.
This is the second book in the Crowns of Croswald series, following the adventures of Ivy Lovely as she learns about her family history and the magic she controls. Set in a Hogwarts-like school for everyday magic users and the royals who have their own magical powers, Ivy begins to form a circle of stalwart friends even as the Dark Queen continues to try to locate the source of Ivy’s magic to take it for her own.
Like the first in this middle-grade geared series, I felt like the writing was a bit young for my tastes but I know several friends’ tweens who would LOVE this series. The magic system the author has developed is quirky and fun and I wished for even more time at Ivy’s summer job learning how to mix potions. Ivy’s character is a bit further developed in this installment as she starts to understand how to control her magic, and the development of her BFF, Rebecca’s character had a few fun surprises along the way. Fyn and Ivy’s other school friends had more character development, which made for a great found family vibe.
The pace of this one was also a little slow for me, but I find that to be true with a lot of sequel books. The final chapters were packed with adventure though, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how Ivy and her group of friends figured out how to defeat the Dark Queen… at least for the time being.
A fun, light read for me – and again one I would recommend to middle-grade readers who like a strong female character, adventures and a fun magical system. 3-1/2 out of 5 stars.