REVIEW: The Trials of Morrigan Crow: Nevermoor & Wundersmith.
Nevermoor follows Morrigan Crow who is known as a cursed child. She lives in Jackaflax a boring old town in which she is blamed for every bad thing that happens. You see, she was born on eventide, the unluckiest day in the world, and if a child is born on that day, they are said to be cursed. She is blamed for every thing, crops don’t grow, it’s Morrigan’s fault. Everything is her fault. These children are cursed to die at midnight on their eleventh birthday. As that day is coming, and the hours drawing near, Morrigan Crow finds herself being whisked away to Nevermoor, an unheard of realm, by the mysterious and colourful Jupiter North. They are chased by the things that are sent to kill her and thankfully are saved by the Nevermoor Barriers that do not allow people in unless they have the correct information about the realm. This is when Morrigan Crow realizes that Jupiter North has bigger plans for her. She doesn’t just get to escape her fate, Jupiter North tells her that she will have to compete for a place in the city’s most prestigious society; the wundrous society. In order to keep her in the city, she must win a place in the society; otherwise she will get deported and have to go back to her own land where she fears her fate will catch up with her.
To stay in Nevermoor and win a place in the wundrous society, she must compete in four different and difficult trials. ‘The trials are an elimination process, designed to separate the Society’s ideal candidates from those who are … not so ideal.’ The trials include, a book trial, a chase trial, a fright trial and a show trial. The first trial is an exam where you must tell the truth and not lie. The exam will know if you lie and will fail you in a matter of minutes if you do not answer truthfully. The second trial was the chase trial in which the candidates must hit a target to win a place in the next round. As a steed was needed to complete the trial, Morrigan Crow rode Fenestra, the magnificat that wonders the halls of the hotel Deucalion where Morrigan and Jupiter reside together. The third trial is a trial where the candidates must face their fears. It had previously been banned because it was too traumatizing. The trial showcased your deepest fear. And the final trial is a show trial where the candidates must show off their knacks. This is their skill essentially but Morrigan thinks she doesn’t have one and all throughout the trials this worries her but Jupiter stuns the audience into seeing what he sees about her and she wins the trial which is a mystery indeed.
What is a book without a villain? The wundersmith is portrayed as a hideous monster like creature that uses the wunder. Wunder is an invisible and powerful magic. It glows when it is present however, and to summon it the wundersmith must sing. This is when we find out that there are multiple wundersmiths throughout the time. It just seems that one has made the name become villainous and his name is Ezra Squall. Why I mention all of this information right at the end of my review, it because spoiler alert, Morrigan Crow is a wundersmith and that’s what Jupiter unveils to the judges. He reveals that she is a wundersmith and the council is all up in arms about it but he insists that for her own safety and Nevermoor’s she must be put through into the society and thus she is.
Overall this book gave me the middle grade vibes that I love. It reminds me of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson because of it’s mysticism and true wonder that no other books and authors can create but Jessica did just that. She created worlds that enchanted its readers. And although, I am not the target audience for this book, I love it nonetheless.
4 out of 5 stars.
Wundersmith follows on from the events from Nevermoor and introduces to Unit 919 of the Wundrous Society. This is the group of nine students that made it through the trial in the last book. They must attend the Wunsoc school. But all the society wants to teach her is how the wundersmiths are evil and they aren’t actually teaching her the craft. This then leads her to Ezra Squall, the big bad of the series so far, who wants to teach her everything about being a wundersmith. Despite his reputation she wants to learn more and allows him to tutor her and on the off occasion when the society and school is not doing what they should be.
Meanwhile this is going on, Unit 919 is being blackmailed to keep the secret of Morrigan being a wundersmith, or that’s what we are lead to think. This eventually leads her last remaining friends in the society to question her motives. What even is a wundersmith doing in the society? In addition to this happening, some members of wunsoc are going missing which leads the wunderous society members to think it’s something to do with Morrigan. And one of the teachers she actually likes turns out to be one of the villains. Oops. She sure does attract some bad ones.
Overall this book was just as fascinating as the last. Jessica created an extraordinary world in which these characters can play and our minds can experience in whatever format we choose. I listened to both of these books via audiobook and I simply loved Gemma Whelan’s narration of the characters. She makes the characters come to life in a way that nobody else can.
Overall 4 out of 5 stars.