crowns of croswald review

The Crowns of Croswald: A Book with SO MUCH Potential But…

I happily receivedThe Crowns of Croswald, a middle grade fantasy novel by author DE Night, last month for review. Not only was I happy to accept it because it said it was for fans of Harry Potter (um, ME!), but it also came in a really magical box (see photo below) with a fun magical bottle. I wanted to love everything about this novel; however, I just couldn’t.

The Crowns of Croswald: A Book with SO MUCH Potential But…The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night
on July 21st 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: JKS Communications
Buy on Amazon

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 received this book for free from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A curious young girl, a bizarrely magical world, and a quest to solve the mystery of one’s past

What didn’t work for me: 

1. The editing, unfortunately. This book felt really, really sloppy. It’s dripping with whimsy and magic, which could be awesome (see the things I enjoyed below!); however, sometimes it was so overpowering that I got lost in all the details. To slap a metaphor on it: It was like really, really murky water that needed to be filtered over and over again. There was just TOO MUCH going on, and it made my brain fuzzy and confused.

2. Along those same lines, sometimes the small storylines just ended? This happened on numerous occasions! Our main character set out to do something, and something would distract her while doing it, and then that thing never got mentioned again. It was like author also forgot what they were doing! There was one library instance where our main character needed to get a book to research something, and a teacher told the girls to be quiet, and then BAM “time for lunch,” and acquiring the book was never mentioned again! Nor did it mention if she even acquired it! GAH! My type-A brain can’t handle a train just rolling off the tracks like that. 

3. Ugh, I hate to say this, but it’s too big of a thing for me to skip: It felt too derived from Harry Potter. There was a ton of originality in this book, but the HP influences (whether intentional or not) were just screaming at me from the pages. It made for a difficult read, because now I was suddenly comparing it to one of the best fantasy middle-grade novels there is!

 What I really enjoyed:

1. All of the originality that DE Night had with her whimsical world! Yes, oftentimes is was overwhelming, but I can tell that brain of Night’s is packed with tons of magic. There were so many neat objects, magical happenings, and fun creatures.

crowns of croswald review
The awesome box that this book came in. It included a newspaper from that world and a “glenagerie” bottle, which is a very cool little concept that is introduced in the novel.

Bottom line is that it needed to be smoothed out a bit more with loads more editing. A young kid who loved Harry Potter may adore his novel simply because it’s overwhelmingly magical, so I would recommend only for middle-grade children at this point. 

What was the last disappointing book you read?

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  1. Oh WOW. Um. I am so surprised! I have seen this book floating around EVERYWHERE on bookstagram and I was starting to think I should check it out but now I’m not so sure hahaha OOPS. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I hate it when it feels like there wasn’t enough editing in a book, and that’s so random that it seemed like the AUTHOR forgot what was going on. It’s so ridiculous I’m laughing haha. Great review though!
    Esther @ Queen of Fantasy just posted Top Seven Things I Can Never Get Enough of in BooksMy Profile

    1. Yeah, they have done fantastic marketing for the book, so it’s getting a lot of publicity! I was excited to receive one, but definitely bummed when I read it. You never want to be the one who gives a book a bad review, but then again, you can’t lie either!!

    1. Yeah I definitely want to see more people’s reviews of this one to know that I’m not the only one who felt that way. Maybe I just missed something?

  2. I’m really surprised to hear that. Considering that it’s all over bookstagram and that it was so hyped up (with the interesting premise and the awesome box it came it going to many accounts), I expected it to be something amazing, like at least 4 stars. I added it to my tbr, but now I’m not so sure. It’s too bad you didn’t enjoy it.
    Nazish just posted Since You’ve Been Gone By Morgan MatsonMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I think they accomplished what they wanted with their advertising campaign! Some of the people who have gotten the boxes have read the book, but I think a lot haven’t yet, and were just sharing their excitement and synopsis with the world. I was really excited to dive into the book, but unfortunately was bummed. But definitely read other reviews, you might find that enough people enjoyed it that it’d be worth your time!