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 by D.E. Night
on July 21st 2017
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.
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.