The Crowns of Croswald is a book about Ivy Lovely and her journey to become a scrivenist, a type of wizard. As far back as she remembers, Ivy has lived and worked at Castle Plum. Her main job there is to take care of the castle’s scaldrons, a type of dragon capable of cooking food. One day, as she wakes up to start her day tending to the scaldrons, everything goes wrong. Her morning starts with waking up late, and ends with getting fired. Suffice it to say, by midday, she must leave Castle Plum. She grabs her few possessions and heads off into the world, not having a clue where she is going.
Strangely, though, as she leaves the borders of Castle Plum, she is met by a bizarre beast that comes from out of the blue. Off hops a driver who invites her to get in to one of the strange houses the beast is pulling. As she does, she is met by an older man with a welcoming smile. The man surprises her by telling her that she is indeed a scrivenist, and she is to attend the Halls of Ivy. Stunned, Ivy sits down to gather her thoughts as the cab transports them to their destination. Join Ivy on her journey to become a scrivenist. But be warned! Ivy’s journey is not as it seems, and there is a strange evil in the land that must be faced...
When I first started reading The Crowns of Croswald, I found it began a tad slowly and was a bit confusing, but that didn’t last long. I soon found it to be exciting and hard to put down. I loved how the book provided a new take on magic, where quills were used in place of the typical wands or hand waving. The characters were fleshed out fairly well and I could easily picture them as real people, and the theme of friendship above all obstacles can frequently be found throughout. Overall, I am eagerly anticipating book 2, and would love to read it when it comes out. I would recommend this novel to ages 11 and up, or to anyone who enjoys Harry Potter, as this series has elements that resemble it.