Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a beautiful middle grade novel by Jessica Townsend. The best way to describe this novel to someone who has never heard of it is that Nevermoor is Harry Potter meets Series of Unfortunate Events. If you were a fan of either of these, than you should pick up this book.
Morrigan is literally all of us being shoved into a new magical world. Normal girl goes to a magical land, but with one big twist. Morrigan is cursed and destined to die on Eventide. For now, she is stuck with her horrible family.
Morrigan was born on Eventide, and like all the other children born on that day, she grew up her whole life knowing that she would die on the turn of the next age. She would be just like every cursed child born on Eventide before. As a cursed child, she was accused of literally everything bad that went wrong.
She goes to Bid Day and gets 4 bids on herself. Which made no sense at all because no cursed child had ever been bid on before. Why would 4 patrons bid on a child to go to certain schools if she was going to die on Eventide.
This is when she first meets Mr. Jones, Ezra Squall’s assistant. He gives he an offer that she cannot understand and then she is pulled away by her father. This would not be the last time she would meet Mr. Jones.
Jupiter North interrupts her last dinner where her stepmom was excitingly giving the news that she is pregnant. So don’t be sad that Morrigan will be dying, I am replacing her and they should not be cursed. Jupiter is an eccentric character that is always circumventing around the truth.
He convinces her to come with him because he promises that she will not die on Eventide. They escape to the free state, Nevermoor in his giant mechanical spider named Ophelia and spend the rest of her time in the Wolfacre dodging the hunt of smoke and shadow. She quite literally fell down the rabbit hole and landed in the free state.
In Nevermoor, we meet a whole cast of characters that are far more interesting than anyone Morrigan had met before. Most of them live in the Hotel Deucalion which is owned by Jupiter. We meet Fen the giant cat and the head of housekeeping. Don’t worry, Morrigan questions this as much as you probably are as well. She is then immediately trust into Nevermoor’s Eventide celebration on the hotel’s roof.
She is given an opal, bird handled umbrella which would eventually become a touchstone for Morrigan. Especially in the way of the Gossamer line. The Gossamer line is a way of travel where your mind travels, but your body stays where it is. It was deemed dangerous and now only Jupiter uses it secretly. Morrigan would eventually find out that the Gossamer line is how the Wundersmith was finding their way into Nevermoor.
Morrigan could never understand what Jupiter saw in her because she does not have a knack. How could she get through the trials when she was not even special. Yet she gets through every trail mostly by the skin of her teeth. Yet, she was special in other ways.
The trials are for all of the candidates to be accepted into the Wunderous Society. The Book Trial, the Chase Trial, the Fright Trial, and finally the Show Trial. The last of which would be where you show off your knack to the elder council. They would decide if you would make the final 9 new members of the Wunderous Society. It would be these trials that would show how different Morrigan was compared to everyone else, but in a good way.
During these trials, Morrigan makes her first friend, Hawthorne. Hawthorne is a dragon riding candidate for the Wunderous Society. He’s a mischievous, adventurous boy and that is exactly what Morrigan needs. I really enjoyed this friendship and what each of them brought to it.
Jupiter, or Jove as he is called by some people (my nerdy heart loves this), is an awkward, but well loved character. He states that he doesn’t always know how to tell someone a hard truth. In Morrigan’s case it is that she is in fact a Wundersmith and instead of being the reason of Wunder issues, but the lack there of in state of Wolfacre.
Jack, Jupiter’s nephew, wears an eye patch. Morrigan discovers that his eye is not gone and lords it over him. Eventually, she finds out that she is a watcher just like Jupiter. When he lost the eye patch, he could see all of the Wunder inside of Morrigan. He knew what she was, but was not allowed to tell her.
Jupiter would have no chance to finally tell her the truth because Mr. Jones or Ezra Squall would attack. He would take Morrigan on a journey down the Gossamer line where she would learn her true power. He wants to take her under his wing, but she does not want to be a monster.
Wundersmith used to be a position of good, but Ezra Squall changed that when he became a monster. Morrigan was so afraid of being a Wundersmith because of him, but Jupiter was trying to change her mind. She could become a force of good like how the Wundersmith used to be. Now that she is officially a member of the Wunderous Society.
It shows how humans change over a course of time. Cursed children used to be a very sad affair, but it turned into them blaming the cursed for everything. The cursed children were just an easy scapegoat for people to blame them for their shortcomings or anything they wanted really.
This book is really about getting to be whoever you want. You are not beholden to destiny and there is no reason why you can’t follow your own path. Morrigan doesn’t find this until the end and I am excited to see what happens next.
I would give this book 4.5/5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed being on this journey with Morrigan.
What would your knack be if you were in this universe?