Book Review: WUNDERSMITH, THE CALLING OF MORRIGAN CROW by Jessica Townsend (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in black besides a girl surrounded by a ball of breaking glass on red
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: Yes - book 2



Wunder is gathering in Nevermoor …

Morrigan Crow may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And she is fast learning that not all magic is used for good.

Morrigan Crow has been invited to join the prestigious Wundrous Society, a place that promised her friendship, protection and belonging for life. She’s hoping for an education full of wunder, imagination and discovery – but all the Society want to teach her is how evil Wundersmiths are. And someone is blackmailing Morrigan’s unit, turning her last few loyal friends against her. Has Morrigan escaped from being the cursed child of Wintersea only to become the most hated figure in Nevermoor?

Worst of all, people have started to go missing. The fantastical city of Nevermoor, once a place of magic and safety, is now riddled with fear and suspicion…

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This book has sat on my shelf far too long. I loved the first book in the series, NEVERMOOR, and this is a sequel that I should have read straight away. It has all the fun of the first book, and I loved seeing more of Nevermoor.

As well as familiar faces (like Hawthorn and Jupiter) there are new characters introduced (like Miss Cheery) as well as characters from the first book who get more time (like Cadence). I liked seeing more as Cadence. Her Mesmerist knack meant that she couldn’t be particularly focused on in the first book, but in this second entry time could be spent on her growing friendship with Morrigan. It was also a nice contrast to the suspicion with which others viewed Morrigan.

The central plot of this book is a mix of mystery and school story, with disappearing people while Morrigan tries to navigate a school full of hostile adults and dull teachers. It was very nostalgic, conjuring memories of other books, and yet so wacky at the same time (underground school that has dragon flying arenas?)

There isn’t very much actual Wundersmith-ing in the book, not until the final act. There’s a lot of fear and suspicion over Morrigan’s abilities, but she does nothing with it. The back of my copy talks about there being a danger the Wunder will take her over and destroy her, but that wasn’t mentioned until the big confrontation. I think it should have come out throughout the book, to raise the stakes a little over her abilities. Otherwise everyone seems pretty OK with her not using her abilities and being mean about it.

That’s the big criticism I would level at the book – that her Wundersmith-ness is overlooked as anything more than a stigma for the majority of the book. I still don’t understand what she can or can’t do – or, frankly, what a Wundersmith is.

I feel like I should have SO much more to stay, but I am still reeling a little from the book I read last night, which is taking most of my processing/reviewing brainspace, so I’m afraid a short review will have to do! There’s a third book coming out this year, so possibly I’ll read it next year considering my slowness picking this one up? It’s certainly on the to-read list.

Read my reviews of other books by Jessica Townsend:

Nevermoor (this series):


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