First and foremost, I was given this book from the author’s publisher : Stories Untold, in exchange for an honest review.
Let’s dive in kids
This book is great for anyone who has ever wanted to dwell into a magical world, if you’re a reader or a writer this story is for you. It’s a middle grade fantasy that throws the reader into a different type of fantasy world and a magical school. Which I am sure many of us have read these stories of the protagonist being tossed into a new world, in this story our main character; Ivy, has both grown up in this world, but is also learning about a lot of things along with the readers.
World / Concept:
I was really interested in the story’s concept of magic. At first I thought it was just so cool that the scrivenist magic was a concept as well as the royal’s and their magical stones imbued into their crowns. As it helped give off two different types of magic which made me think of some anime’s I’ve seen where there’s different types of magic whether by instruments or innate. Which again, cool.
In this world there are scrivenists who are able to do magic with their quills, magical inks, and they can basically use magic via art and writing which was super cool to me. I think I just really like magical worlds with nerd-infused magic. But also, there are royals, so princes and princesses are able to use magic with their stones that are in their crowns. Different stones help their user with different magics which sometimes can be pretty useful, hilarious, and other times just an overall nuisance.
Our main character: Ivy is an orphan who gets a letter inviting her to join the Halls of Ivy where she will learn how to use her magic, which she thinks is crazy because her entire life she grew up as a scaldrony maid aka super low maid / kitchen aid. But she gets to the school and she tries so hard to be a good student, and she’s so curious and is so invested in learning about what she’s dreamed of and so she just digs and digs into everything there is to learn so she can figure out why she’s dreamed of this random man her whole life.
Ivy is actually a pretty decent main character, she is just trying to live life, learn magic, and hopefully make some friends. She tries to stay to herself at first but of course it’s a school so there’s one girl, Damaris, that is a princess and absolutely obnoxious for no reason. And luckily, Ivy does make a few friends! Yay!
Rebecca, Ivy meets princess Rebecca while the two are in town sending off their belongings. From their very first interaction you just know that Rebecca wants to learn sqwinch studies aka she wants to be a scrivenist and not take the lame classes that royals normally have to take. Turns out that Rebecca’s stone is super annoying to her as it transforms her at random into different creatures so she hates it. She ends up being Ivy’s roommate and the two become best friends which is super nice as the two are actually really nice to one another. Rebecca sews her own dresses and has apparently multiple hobbies that aren’t necessarily ‘ideal for royals’ like y’know, doing things for yourself.
Fyn is this guy that is seriously EVERYWHERE which cool and all but I was weary of him the entire time. I can’t lie I thought he was going to turn out to be an antagonist or something. But maybe he is just nice?? I don’t know, I guess that’s a problem for the next book.
Winsom Monocle is this old mentor that is hiding in the castle and starts to friend Ivy and clearly knows more about her than he lets on and he also just teaches her SO MANY THINGS. So she is super above and beyond in her classes. Without giving away too much about him, he was just a cool old dude genuinely interested in Ivy’s wellbeing.
The mystery / Ivy trying to figure out who the man in her dreams and drawings was was pretty cool as it gave a bit of intrigue.
I think that the character names were kind of all over the place, some were pretty whimsical, while others were very normal i.e. Rebecca (whom I liked from the get-go don’t get me wrong, she’s cool!) it just seemed a bit odd to me sometimes is all.
The idea of the magic inks and quills and all that was pretty cool.
Ivy being able to keep a dragon as a pet??? 10/10 decision in my opinion.
The Compass Startus seemed like a cool concept but also relatively invasive. This is like their overall notebook, it’s for notes and school related things that will update EVERYONE on someone’s findings. Which cool idea but like how many students get by on someone else’s hard work?
The Compass Individualis is the creepier one because the Selector (who’s in charge of the school) can just know what you’re up to all the time?? No thank you.
But seriously, I did enjoy this book. I actually have a few unanswered questions so I look forward to reading the next book!
Tell me if this sounds like something you’d like to read or if you’ve read it what did you think?