Book Reviews

THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW BY JESSICA TOWNSEND // spoiler-free book review: a whimsical story and lovely characters

I FINALLY READ THIS BOOK!! This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages and I just never read it? As goes for most of my books but let’s not talk about that.

Anyways, here I am, ready to talk about this delight. let’s just get into it.

Title: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Series: Nevermoor book #1
Author: Jessica Townsend
Page count: 374
Date published: 31 October 2017
Genre: Middle-grade urban fantasy


Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

STAR RATING (4.5 out of 5 stars):

Big thanks to Pan Macmillan South Africa for sending a copy my way! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This flipping book. It’s been sitting on my unread shelf for like eons A heckin long time that’s how long. But I just COULD NOT let another year go by and not read it. Both of my younger siblings had already read both books in the series and I just… didn’t want to feel left out anymore. I had serious FOMO people.

Anyways so I’ve obviously read the book and really enjoyed it as you can see by my rating. Just wow, this is just the most delightful middle-grade read. I’ve been wanting to read more from the genre and this was such a perfect pick to start off with. I had the most lovely time reading this one. It really deserves all its praise.

First off: THE WRITING STYLE!! I’m obsessed?? It’s so easy to read and also just so beautiful and lyrical. It doesn’t feel like it’s written for children, which is why everyone says it can be read by adults too. Which YES!! This book is just SO DELIGHTFUL!! I need to find other adjectives, I know, but it really is. Jessica Townsend has such a talent WOW!

The plot is really well-structured and planned out. The world is really fun and obviously whimsical and magical. My only vice, and the reason I didn’t adore it was because the middle of the book felt less engaging to me. I was super invested at the beginning and the end, but I felt the middle lacked world-building as I was a bit confused, after the like 70 page-mark. But the ending just totally redeemed it!!

The magic system is so unique and interesting. I loved the “knacks” which is basically a character’s magical ability. I’m trash for characters that have special abilities. It’s just so cool. But everything else too, the way rooms can transform themselves into bigger or smaller sizes. I love how everything is so weird and strange. It’s THE BEST!

Another thing that’s kind of related to the magic but I wanted to talk about a bit more was the “evil” magic. This book is very much compared to Harry Potter, which I agree with, it has the same magical feel. But it’s also similar in the fact that the villain is the character that was not always a villain but was consumed by their own magic. The Wundersmith (I’m still not entirely sure what Wunder is btw) is this being that is described as like clouds of dark smoke. I was creeped out near the end, idk how much that says about me but we all know I’m a scaredy-cat. Anyways, I loved that aspect of the story, figuring out what was up with the villain.

What really makes the book though, is THE CHARACTERS! They’re just so amazing, well-developed and vivid. They keep you connected to the story and I loved them so so so much. This book is also just filled with so many great friendships *insert heart eyes*

  • Jack: he’s Jupiter North’s nephew and at first I was iffy about the boy but you learn to love him so much, he’s actually such a great friend!!
  • Hawthorne: the purest of best friends. I loved him so much, his friendship with Morrigan is just,,, ahh wow!! We stan the softest boi that also causes tons of mischief and is a dragon rider. Yes? yes.
  • Jupiter North: he’s a peculiar character because you never really know what he’s up to or if he’s telling the truth. But all-in-all he’s such a great mentor to Morrigan and I really warmed up to him.
  • Morrigan Crow: I LOVED this girl, she’s a bit pessimistic sometimes, but she just wants a home and to feel loved because she had a horrible family (sidenote: her family, besides her Grandmother, along with the town were actually terrible and truly need to find someone else to blame for their dumb problems). Anyways, I loved the way she experienced Nevermoor and I loved how determined she was. She’s just such a great main character and I loved her with my whole heart.
me @ this book

AND THEN THAT ENDING!! Oh my gosh. I am so amped to read book two, hopefully super, super soon, and ahhh. It was so good and I NEED MORE!! I loved how everything came together and I just can’t wait to see what comes next.

~ kinda spoilers below but not really ~


  • The scene where Morrigan travels to Nevermoor
  • The “Step boldly” scene
  • The storytime scene between Morrigan and Hawthorne
  • The Christmas parade
  • The Show trial

“We have danced, we have dined, we have drunk our fill. We have bid a tender and triumphant farewell to the Olden Age, and now we must step boldly into the new. May it be a good and happy one. May it bring unexpected adventures.”
“Like an inkpot in the sky. Like a black hole,”
“And whatever you do, don’t close your eyes.’
‘What happens if I close my eyes?’
‘You miss the fun.”
I FINALLY caught up on all the dang reviews!! Thank GOODNESS.
*wipes brow*
Anyways, that’s it for this post everyone. I… have nothing else to say.





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