Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This review is spoiler free.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the author/publicist in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my feelings on the book or my review.
Are you ever really excited about a book and then when you read it, you find that you really don’t enjoy it, but know the whole time that its totally just a you thing? Because that was my situation with this book, I know that its actually a fairly good book, but for some reason the pair of us just were not clicking.
I think the main problem in our relationship was that I thought this book was about something else, which is clearly on me and not the book. I don’t actually know what I thought this book was, but I think I somehow thought it was some type of urban fantasy so when I was thrown into this high fantasy world I was very confused. I do not typically like high fantasy, which is once again on me, but I felt like this world was somewhat under explained. It could have just been that I just didn’t find myself invested enough to try and work it out, but I don’t think it was. I spent half of the time going “what?” or “oh, they can do that? interesting” which isn’t how I prefer to spend my reading time. If this world was a little better explained, I feel like I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.
The characters and I did not have the best relationship either, and by that I mean we did not have a relationship. I liked the main character, Ivy, but I never felt anything about her, I was very indifferent. I normally am at least rooting for someone in a book even if that someone is a random side character that barely gets page time, but I didn’t have that with anyone in this book. I thought her roommate was nice, though her powers were under explained, and I thought her love interest was a good kid but like, that’s about it. I just never grew attached to anyone in this book and I couldn’t really tell you much about any of their personalities or character traits because I just feel like they weren’t developed well.
This book also used the chosen one trope and I have gotten to where I just don’t like that trope, which is once again entirely a me thing. I just want something different and while this take on the trope was a lot different than some of the others I’ve seen, it just didn’t do it for me either. I can’t say too much about it because its spoilery but I just like, didn’t really care for it.
The villain of this book was another thing that I felt was under explained. Until the last fifty or so pages I could not have even really told you who the villain was, much less what their motive or grand plan was. Then once it was finally revealed, it seemed very cliche and underdeveloped.
All in all, this book and I just didn’t click. I felt like a lot was under explained and somewhat tropy and I just did not really enjoy it. It was not a bad book by any means, I just think that I’m not a fan of high fantasy and I have unrealistic expectations for the chosen one trope.