I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review by Stories Untold LLC. All opinions are my own.
Recap: Crowns of Croswald follows the story of Ivy Lovely, a young girl who finds herself forced out of her home and enrolled to study magic at the Halls of Ivy. While studying at her magic, Ivy begins discovering mysteries that slumber amongst the halls and learns about her unknown past. In her first year she makes friends and learns of a Dark Queen who wants to take over all of Croswald, but thanks to her friends and her witty quick-thinking she can protect the school, her loved ones and find the missing scrivenist of the famously cursed Wandering Family.
Publisher: Stories Untold LLC
Publication Date: January 23rd 2019
RRP: $12.99 USD
Personal Rating: 3.5/5
The Girl with the Whispering Shadows picks up immediately where Crowns of Croswald left off. Ivy has learnt that she is descendent of the last true queen of Croswald and the last serving member of the Wandering Family — destined to take down the Dark Queen after recovering the missing pieces of her royal stone. It is summer and Ivy doesn’t know where to go until her royal scrivenist sends her off a Town hidden in the mist where the sky is always filled with twinkling stars. There Ivy grows as an individual and starts understanding what her destiny is and what she must do to keep the people she cares about safe from the Dark Queen.
This whimsical fantasy is perfect for those who enjoy young adult novels that aren’t too intense or filled with drama. Much like the previous book The Crowns of Croswald series leans on the younger side of YA. It could be middle grade, but the protagonist is 16 (which is something I frequently forget because she is so young and innocent, my mind keeps believing she’s the same age as Percy Jackson). The real beauty of this novel is D.E Night’s world-building and magic system. The plot for The Girl with the Whispering Shadows was dreadfully slow, I felt like nothing really happened until 50 – 60% into the book. Thankfully the whimsical and magic-filled setting compensated for the lagging plot. And the real highlight of everything was scrivenist game of Quogo — where scrivenist duel with their quills using magic left behind in each particular quill left behind by their owners.
There is a subtle love subplot brewing between Ivy and an older student Fyn, but thankfully it was only hinted (unlike the first book where it suddenly was shoved in our faces) as Ivy and Fan learn to trust themselves as friends. I am interested to see how it further develops and how their relationship affects their decision making.
Overall, this was a charming story to get lost in during these weird anxiety-filled pandemic times, and I am looking forward to what adventure the next book takes!