Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Book I) by Jessica Townsend
Dare I say it? I think this book may equal those in the Harry Potter series. High praise indeed for this wonderful new series by Jessica Townsend. Magic and learning, delight and whimsy, dark tidings and tension, wonderful teachers and mad professors. Deep friendship and bullying enemies. Where to begin to describe the world of Nevermoor?
I’ll begin with Morrigan, an appealing protagonist to say the least. Born on Eventide Night, she is doomed to die on her 11th birthday. Since she was born, she has been cursed to be blamed for everything that goes wrong, every bit of bad luck and misfortune that plagues the residents of the town of Jackalfax in the Wintersea Republic. Fortunately, just before early Eventide, Jupiter North arrives, to be her mentor and save her from Death. He whisks her away to Nevermoor, escaping from the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow to arrive safely. No longer considered a curse, Morrigan accepts Jupiter as her patron and begins a series of trials to become a member of the Wundrous Society. As readers, we are treated to Wonder on every page. I love the setting of the Hotel Duecalion, where Morrigan, Jupiter and a host of fascinating characters live (including Frank, the vampire dwarf, and Fenestra, the Magnificat). The details are simply astonishing. One of my favorites is the way Morrigan’s bedroom adapts to what she needs and likes everyday–like the octopus armchair with cozy arms that wrap Morrigan in a hug as she settles in to read. Adventure and excitement about, the good guys are delightful and the villains are super-bad. The book has a satisfying conclusion, and points to way to Book II: The Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow. You are set for a terrific read!