(A big thank you to StoriesUntold and NetGalley for supplying a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!)
“The Girl with the Whispering Shadow” is the second in the “The Crowns of Croswald” series, and I have to say, I enjoyed it even more than the first. The author seemed to develop their writing style and the story itself was more complex, yet included helpful explanatory information.
This story follows the adventures of Ivy Lovely as she begins her second year at a magical school. She attends classes with her quirky friends, all while trying to escape the wrath of the Dark Queen.
I particularly noticed and loved:
– Ivy’s character development: Her personality and actions were more fitting for her age in this novel. I connected more with her this time around.
– Explanation of magic: The author gives a more detailed explanation of magic and a scrivenist’s role in the world.
– More relationship building: Ivy’s friendships and interactions with others felt natural, and I felt I saw more the characters’ personalities shine through in this book compared to the first.
– Creative ideas: I loved the concept of fishing for stars, “soggy jogs,” and melted milkshakes (a treat that builds off actual melted milkshakes). These highly original concepts are what kept me reading.
Like the first book in the series, “The Girl with the Whispering Shadow” is extremely reminiscent of the Harry Potter books in some ways. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books way back when, but I would have preferred less similarities, simply due to being “Harry Potter-ed out.” Young readers (the intended audience) may not notice (or care) as much, but I have no doubt most adult readers will immediately be struck with this comparison.
These similarities include the name of the students’ favorite game (“Quogo” here, compared to Quidditch, although Quogo is an entirely different game), some crossover in plot points (overarching themes, characters’ place in the story, etc.), and the glanageries’ role (used to access memories just as the Pensieve was in the Harry Potter stories). I wouldn’t let the Harry Potter influence turn you off the story, as there are large sections of the story that truly feel like the author has created an entirely new world.
The book was fun to read and created that perfect “cozy autumn ambience” that I love in fantasy stories. I will definitely keep an eye out for further books by this author!
Read this book? Heard the hype? Leave a comment and spill your thoughts!