Why is it so special? A debut Aussie book, Jessica Townsend had eight publishers fighting for the rights to work with the book. 20th Century Fox bought the film rights based on the synopsis alone. Foreign translations are already being worked on. For a first-time author from Australia, this puts Nevermoor already in the realm of Harry Potter, and we can guarantee that Nevermoor lives up to its well-deserved hype.
Morrigan Crow is a cursed child. Not only that, the book begins with something entirely unexpected: she dies in the prologue – not even the first chapter! From here, we go back in time to find out more about the poor cursed girl. Morrigan was born on an unlucky day, and cursed children have superstitions circulating around them. Everything that goes wrong in her small town is blamed on her. From heart attacks to flooding, it’s all her fault, and she’s expected to write apology letters each and every time something goes wrong. A cursed child is doomed to die on their eleventh birthday, and it seems that her life is drawing closer and closer to an end.
But then, out of nowhere, a strange, enigmatic man appears. Jupiter North, a odd man chased by shadows, whisks Morrigan away from her home into the safety of a secret, magical city: Nevermoor. Morrigan discovers she’s been chosen to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. But it’s not easy. She’s got to participate in four dangerous tasks against hundreds of children, all with magical skills and talents. The only problem is, Morrigan doesn’t seem to have any talents at all. But she has to get into the Wundrous Society, or else she’ll be turned from the city… and outside of Nevermoor, Morrigan could die…
While it definitely begins with a Gothic style feel, The Trials of Morrigan Crow quickly opens up into a dazzling array of events and places that truly reflect Jessica Townsend’s profound skill in world building. Everything about the world is wonderfully strange, and the magic infused in the book will delight all young readers.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow is recommended for readers ten and up, but we can guarantee you it’s a book for the whole family. The best part? It’s the first in a series, and with other books – at least nine – and a film on the way, Nevermoor is set to be an enthralling series, already on its way to becoming a modern classic.
JESSICA TOWNSEND lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. She was a copywriter for eight years, and was once the editor of a children’s wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is her first novel.