“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”Oprah Winfrey
I received a request on my Instagram account to review a middle-grade fantasy book. I was pleasantly surprised. I doubted that I was the best person to review the book. I have read the Harry Potter series, but years ago, and I wasn’t the kind that had even read the series multiple times. I contemplated maybe not reading the book at all. But I guess by reading it, I did make the right decision. I have now written back to the representative and asked them for the second and third books in the series to review. This action of mine speaks volumes of how I feel about the book.
Being a tween reading the Harry Potter series is poles apart from being an adult reading one. As an adult, you tend to question everything; you don’t believe absurd events or happenings easily. It takes a lot more to impress you. As a reviewer, it was challenging for me as I had to rewire my brain to think and perceive as a tween. It was fun, too. I had forgotten about the magic fantasy novels sprinkle and had underestimated their capability in transporting their readers to a completely different world.
The book introduces us to Ivy Lovely and her slurry world. It is about Ivy’s journey to finally discovering her real potential and strength. Based in the town of Ravenshollow, we follow Ivy through her first year at the Halls of Ivy- a school for scrivenists and royals alike. I will let you read the book to know her world better.
I enjoyed my stay in Ivy Lovely’s world. I was intrigued by Derwin Edgar Night, impressed by Fyn Greeley, touched by the friendship of Ivy and Rebecca, and mesmerized by the world of Ravenshollow. Did it give me a Harry Potter feel? I won’t deny that it did. In the beginning, I couldn’t restrain myself from finding similarities. For everything that I came across in Ravenshollow, I tried to place its equivalent in the world of Harry Potter. In the end, I just felt that I was ruining my experience of the book.
But things changed as I kept reading. I was then so caught up in Ivy’s world that all I could think about were Ivy’s motivations, her next steps, her thoughts, and her actions. In a fantasy novel, an author’s creativity is put to an ultimate test. It is all about creating an entirely new world and giving your words enough power that a reader can recreate that world in their mind. It is also about giving the reader enough space to add their imagination. Night’s writing had this combination. Without giving out much of the plot, my favorite concept in Ivy’s world is that of a bird named Didley. Instead of ringing a bell to denote the end of a class, we have Didley- a multi-colored bird who flies into classrooms squawking. Didley has a special place in my heart. No particular reason. The bird was just adorable.
I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars. The book is riveting and will keep you engrossed. It is a page-turner and has an introduction to a lot of new and spellbinding elements in Ivy’s world. It is a definite recommendation. I would like to thank Netgalley and Stories Untold for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.