Review: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend

Goodreads: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1)
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Panda Rating:

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.

Unsurprisingly with everything going on right now it has been more than a little difficult to focus on reading*, but apparently middle grade books are really working for me! I still remember the first time I read Harry Potter when I was 9 and this book gave me those exact same feelings. This was such a wonderful adventure and I’m really excited to continue it in the upcoming books!

*Also I apologise in advance if this ends up being a windy-non-sensical review because aside from finding it difficult to focus on reading, my brain’s also not having it with writing reviews 😂

I wouldn’t say that The Trials of Morrigan Crow had any really surprising or unpredictable elements but Townsend’s writing was entertaining and I was always eagerly anticipating what would come next. I do think there are many similar elements in the plot and world building of Nevermoor as there is in Harry Potter but it really didn’t make me enjoy this any less. The Hotel Deucalion was amazing and I would love nothing more than to go there and visit this enchanting place where rooms adjust to occupants over time, objects grow organically to suit the hotel’s mood, and where everything is lush and decadent but still feels 100% like a homey home! Not to mention all the fantastic residents of the hotel. Who wouldn’t want to meet Frank, vampire dwarf and party-planner extraordinaire, and Fenestra, the giant Mangificat who is also head of housekeeping?! All the characters, even the ‘minor’ ones such as the chauffeur and cleaner, really brought the place to life.

Our main characters Morrigan, Jupiter and Mog’s BFF, Hawthorne Swift, were just as easy to like. Morrigan is a spunky and loveable heroine who has experienced so much wrongdoing in her short lifetime. Can you imagine a life where everyone blames you for everything that goes wrong in town and the surrounding area? Not to mention being part of such an unloving family such as hers. Her character growth was also well done as she slowly learns to accept that she’s not a curse and she comes out of her shell by making friends. One of the best moments is when she realises that she has love and support because she’s basically been “adopted” into the Deucalion family–I love found families and this is a great example of one! Jupiter was an interesting mentor figure full of charming quirkiness and witty humour that I’m sad we didn’t see and learn more about, but I really hope we get to in the coming books! Hawthorne Swift was the trusty sidekick who was frankly a bit of a hot mess but funny and just as loveable. I loved his friendship with Mog and how they supported each other through the trials without their friendship feeling imbalanced or weird. I’m keen to see how their friendship continues in the upcoming books!

Overall, a very entertaining and well-written story full of adventure, magic and an enchanting world that I won’t soon be forgetting. I enjoyed this so much more than I expected to and I can’t wait to continue with the series. Despite only reading book one so far I know the Nevermoor series is one I won’t hesitate to recommend. If you’re looking for a book to take your mind off all the negative news right now, definitely give this one a try!

Have you read The Trials of Morrigan Crow or is it on your TBR?

25 thoughts on “Review: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend

    1. Thanks Jess! I would definitely recommend it 😊 I wasn’t expecting much because I’m not usually a big MG reader but it was such a pleasant surprise! I can’t wait to continue on with the story 🙂 Fantastical MG fiction is really great!

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  1. I loved «Nevermoor» so much! [that’s probably why I still haven’t read the sequel even though I bought it ages ago…!?] *facepalm*

    Middle-grade has been a savior. I read 4 middle grade books in March and I feel like they were the only reason why I got rid of the horrible reading slump feeling. Brrr.

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    1. Haha I have a feeling the same thing is going to happen with me too! Especially since I want the US version (I think it’s US) since they have the best chapter illustrations 🙈 And I’m not going to be getting it until I can go to the store! I’m going to go back to MG after this I think…

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  2. I don’t really read middle grade, but I don’t think I’ve heard even ONE negative things about this novel, and I’ve seen bloggers of all genres recommend it, which is convincing. Also, I agree! This sounds very relaxing, so perhaps it would be the way to go for me right now. I’ll need to get my hands on this! Great review! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Veronika ❤ The hype surrounding this one is also what got me to pick it up in the first place and I'm definitely jumping on the hype train because it's so worth it! I'm so glad that I got it and read it because it was so fun 😍 I also really don't read MG and that had me worried initially but no worries at all! Lol

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  3. Yaaay, I’m so glad you finally read this and loved it! I totally got those “first time reading Harry Potter” vibes from this book, too, and it was so nice to have that kind of nostalgia! I so love that picture, too. Doesn’t Jupiter North look all dapper and handsome? He was definitely my favorite in this series, though I loved pretty much all the characters. xD Now you just need to read the sequel!

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    1. Omg YAY! I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who got those OG HP vibes from reading this 🤣 It made me so happy! It’s definitely the best kind of nostalgia 😉 Jupiter doooes look super dapper in that photo 😍 It makes me want more artwork for this book! Haha I really do need to read the sequel. I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon (I’m so annoyed at myself for not buying it before this pandemic struck 🙄🤣🤣)!

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      1. You should look up the alternate covers for book two and find the one that matches that. I can’t remember which country it was. Bulgaria, maybe? It’s every bit as gorgeous, though! I just got both books for my mother for her birthday, hoping it’ll give her and my younger sister something to read while they’re stuck inside. xD

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