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Morrigan Crow is on the Cursed Children’s Register so she gets blamed for everything from the kitchen cat’s death to a bad batch of marmalade. She’s also doomed to die in about a year, when the calendar turns to the time of Eventide.
Except Eventide comes much earlier than expected, as does help from a surprising quarter. Morrigan finds herself in Nevermoor, part of the Free State, a land that she’s never even heard of. A mysterious patron, Captain Jupiter North, has rescued her from her curse and now he wants to be her patron as she attempts to join the Wundrous Society. Morrigan doesn’t understand exactly what the Wundrous Society does but she knows that the life Jupiter is offering has to be better than the cursed, unwanted life she led back home. She’s determined to pass all the trials and become a member of the Society to make sure she’s allowed to stay in Nevermoor.
First of all, who can resist that cover? I just love it!
This was a fun, quick read. It definitely starts off pretty dark. Morrigan’s father makes it clear that he finds her and her curse to be nuisances at best. Her stepmother couldn’t be less interested in Morrigan. Everyone else is happy to have a scapegoat for their troubles, big and small, but most people won’t even look Morrigan in the eye. She’s such an underdog but has so much spirit that I had to root for her. (As an aside, I love her name. I’ve written a post about The Morrigan in the past and I’ve come across her in one or two more books since then. Morrigan Crow? Perfect.)
But Nevermoor is a land of enchantment. There are dragons, the Brolly Rail (a transportation system that involves dangling from your umbrella), and a hotel that constantly changes to suit its guests’ whims. Morrigan goes to bed in a beautiful wrought-iron bed and wakes up in a hammock. This is such a fun place to read about!
The pace was quick enough to keep me turning the pages but still had enough detail to capture my imagination. This is the first book in a series but it still wrapped up well enough. I’m curious to see how things play out because there were some big revelations at the end, but nothing that I would describe as a cliffhanger.
I recommend this for anyone looking for an imaginative romp through a new fantasy land.
If you liked The Trials of Morrigan Crow, you might also like my reviews of
- Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Buy The Trials of Morrigan Crow from Malaprop’s Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC or