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The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Cover of The Trials of Morrigan Crow
The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Nevermoor Series, Book 1

An instant New York Times bestseller!


"Poignant....A Harry Potter-esque adventure." —Time Magazine


A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world—but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination


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.


Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

An instant New York Times bestseller!


"Poignant....A Harry Potter-esque adventure." —Time Magazine


A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world—but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination


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.


Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

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About the Author-
  • Jessica Townsend lives on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, but has lived on and off in London for a few years. She was a copywriter for eight years, and in a previous role, was the editor of a children's wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Nevermoor is her first novel.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 31, 2017
    First in a series, Townsend’s spellbinding debut introduces Morrigan Crow, a cursed girl from the Wintersea Republic, who brings bad luck to everyone she meets and is destined to die at midnight on her 11th birthday. The Hunt of Smoke and Shadow, a terrifying shadowy entity, is poised to kill Morrigan when a mysterious man named Jupiter North spirits her away to Nevermoor, an independent, magically warded city where the Hunt cannot travel. Jupiter belongs to the elite group called the Wundrous Society, and he wants to sponsor Morrigan’s membership. She doubts that she will pass the four entrance trials—particularly since she’ll be battling 500 singularly talented children for one of nine available spots—but she agrees to try: without Society membership, the Nevermoor police will deport Morrigan back to Wintersea, where the Hunt is waiting. Morrigan is a captivating heroine, filled with moxie and wit, whose unexpected second chance at life gives her the opportunity to discover who she truly is. Whimsical worldbuilding, humorous dialogue, and colorful supporting characters complement an adventurous, magic-filled plot that champions bravery, self-confidence, and hope. Ages 8–12. Agent: Gemma Cooper, Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2017
    Readers will feel as though Harry Potter is meeting Alice in Wonderland in this first of a new series.Morrigan Crow, a pale, white child, was born cursed. She's the town scapegoat, blamed for everything bad that happens in Jackalfax. All cursed children are expected to live for 12 years, and as Morrigan is about to turn 11, she has one year until she dies on Eventide, when the old Age gives way to the new. Unfortunately, experts have incorrectly predicted the length of this Age, and Morrigan will die in just a few days. With not even a year's worth of a future, things look bleak, but then the letter arrives. It's an invitation to compete for a coveted spot in the prestigious Wundrous Society. On the day she's to die, Morrigan's new patron, white, freckled, and very gingery Jupiter North, whisks her away to Nevermoor, where the competition takes place. Successful completion of the four trials of the competition will earn Morrigan lifelong Society membership, giving her what she's always wanted: to belong. If she fails she must go home, where the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow (the death of all cursed children) will kill her. Several important secondary characters have brown or dark skin, including Jupiter's nephew, Jack. The geography, politics, and magic of Morrigan's world are created with care, and Morrigan is a brave free-thinker readers will look forward to meeting again. Not genre-shattering but a solid read for genre fans. (Fantasy. 8-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2017

    Gr 5 Up-Morrigan Crow is cursed and doomed to die on her 11th birthday on Eventide night. She is blamed for every bit of bad luck and misfortune that plagues the residents of the town of Jackalfax in the Wintersea Republic. When Eventide arrives early, ushering in a new Age across the realm, Morrigan is faced with the prospect of her premature death-until a strange man named Jupiter North arrives. Together the two escape the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow and come to the Free State city of Nevermoor. Miraculously alive and possibly no longer cursed, Morrigan can make a fresh start. With Jupiter's help, she has the chance to compete in a series of trials for a place in Nevermoor's most revered group: the Wundrous Society. If she succeeds, she'll also earn her place in Nevermoor and finally have a home and a caring family. Despite Jupiter's assurances, Morrigan dreads the final Show Trial, where the remaining competitors will have to demonstrate their astounding talents-something Morrigan is quite certain she doesn't possess. Morrigan will have to step boldly and learn to trust her new friends if she hopes to pass the trials and join the Wundrous Society. Townsend's debut fantasy revolves around Morrigan's struggle to find her place and discover her own worth, all while she completes magical tasks and investigates the strange world of Nevermoor. This dynamic title is filled with intricate world-building that brings the renowned figure of Jupiter North and the rest of Nevermoor to life. Set over the course of Morrigan's year of trials, this entertaining and fast-paced story is filled with astonishing details, such as the Hotel Deucalion, where Morrigan's room changes to suit her mood; the Wundrous Society grounds, which turn the weather up a notch; and even a giant talking "Magnificat" named Fenestra. VERDICT Readers, like Morrigan herself, will feel at home in this evocative novel where magic and confidence go hand in hand. An excellent and exciting work.-Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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The Trials of Morrigan Crow
The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Nevermoor Series, Book 1
Jessica Townsend
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