Monday, May 21, 2018


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend

This new book by young Australian author Jessica Townsend has shot to the top of many booklists and won numerous awards*, and it’s easy to see why. She has created a fantasy world which immediately draws children (and this adult) in. Morrigan Crow is 11 years old and lives in Jackalfax, in the Republic. Born on an unlucky day, she is a cursed child and is now blamed for everything that goes wrong. At the end of each age, all cursed children die and the day for the end of the age is fast approaching.

As she awaits this depressing fate with a family who are keen to be rid of her and the burden she brings, she is whisked away by Jupiter North to the secret city of Nevermoor. Jupiter is sponsoring her to enter the Wundrous Society, an elite membership club of the most skilled and talented people in the city. She cannot possibly see why she should be included in the Wundrous Society, but the awful fate that awaits her in Jackalfax ensures she is determined to try. There are four trials that all candidates must complete in, requiring intuition, skill, courage and bravery. Over the year, she lives with Jupiter and his friends and employees at the Deucalion Hotel, a wonderful magic building that changes to match its occupants. She makes close friends along the way, including Hawthorne, another contender for membership who is a skilled dragon rider.

It’s an original, exciting and engaging book, which promises to extend to a series. It’s full of imagination, mystery, wonder, magic and creativity. Townsend has created a world very different to our own, but with enough elements of humanity and reality to make it recognisable and understandable. There are enormous cats that talk, umbrella rail transport networks, and very scary shadows and witches. Not surprisingly Nevermoor has been compared to Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins. While it’s a minor side note, I really liked that Jupiter was a single man who was competent, caring and friendly with children.

Both Miss 10 and Miss 12 loved it and keenly await #2 - Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, which seems set for release in September. I’ll be lining up to read it too!

* Winner, Book of the Year 2018 at the Indie Book Awards. 
Winner, Children's Book of the Year at the Indie Book Awards. 
Winner, Best Children's Fiction at the Aurealis Awards.
Winner, Younger Fiction at the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (UK).
According to Hachette 

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