Book Review: A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand

The Crown of Ivy & Glass. Image courtesy Sourcebooks Casablanca
The Crown of Ivy & Glass. Image courtesy Sourcebooks Casablanca /

Claire Legrand has made a name for herself within the YA realm and now, she’s venturing into adult fantasy romance with A Crown of Ivy and Glass.

The first book in a trilogy, A Crown of Ivy and Glass begins the Middlemist series and honestly, it’s one of the first fantasy romances I’ve ever read. While I enjoyed Scarlett St. Clair’s Fairy Tale Retelling series so far, I wanted to test my luck with a true fantasy romance.

There’s where A Crown of Ivy and Glass came in. Firstly, it has a beautiful cover and second, I flipped through the pages right to a sex scene so I was hooked. However, I will say that the fantasy is what lost me yet the romance is what kept me there.

As someone who is primarily a romance reader, that shouldn’t come as a surprise but let’s discuss a bit more about the story as a whole first.

A Crown of Ivy and Glass is a dense fantasy with amazing relationships.

As I said, I’m not someone who normally reads fantasy romances but I wanted to give this book a try and I tried my best. This book follows Gemma who is dealing with panic attacks while also feeling sickened by magic. Of course, her entire world is almost full of magic so things aren’t great for her.

Upon meeting Talan, it seems like things are looking up as she starts to feel better as the two are trying to unravel a rival family. While it started off scandalous and fun at first, the tone changed once the two were separated, and from there, it felt like more of a survival story for Gemma. It all comes to a head when we realize who Talan is and the mission Gemma, her sisters, and her friends must go on.

I’ll be totally honest and say that a lot of this went over my head. Maybe it’s because I’m not a big fantasy reader, but the thing that kept me hooked was the relationships. While Gemma’s relationship with her sisters was tense, I was intrigued by them. I loved seeing how things changed gradually for them and the three ended up becoming closer by the end.

As for the romance, it was clear Gemma and Talan were meant to be together. They dealt with so much and were willing to go to the end of the Earth for each other. At times, things felt incredibly high stakes and by the end, I was dying for these two. However, I would have LOVED to see it end up being a triad including Gemma’s best friend and sometimes lover.

Then again, there are a few books left, but I will say that I saw some seeds being planted for what I hope are future relationships. By then, maybe I’ll be more of a fantasy romance reader so I’ll understand more. If not, then maybe this genre truly isn’t for me.

Honestly, this book wasn’t my cup of tea but the parts I enjoyed were great. If you’re a fantasy romance reader or have read other books by this author, I’d say pick it up. I’m definitely going to try out the sequel so at least I’ll know what happens next with these characters and their relationships.

dark. Next. Shadows of the Lost is a fast-paced queer fantasy story

A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand is out now wherever books are sold. 

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