Genre: Quiet Fantasy
About The Book
Xelle is sure in her passion for magic, but struggles to find her place within the constructs that enable its study. Night Ivy offers the first verse of a wandering bard’s tale of fancy and fantasy, amidst the spires and shadows of the seven towers of Alyssia.
I have never read a better description of anxiety or the thought processes of someone who is neuro-divergent than what EDE Bell gives us in Night Ivy. We meet Xelle as she’s being asked to leave her magical studies and travel from her Tower to another, in order to pursue the source of rumors that, if left unchecked, could damage the ruling body of her magic tower. Xelle is uncertain of her task, the reason she was chosen, and exactly how to carry out her directive.
Night Ivy isn’t just an excellent description of the angst and confusion a person who isn’t neuro-typical might feel in unfamiliar or uncertain situations. It’s also a delightful tale of Xelle’s adventures outside of To’Arc, which is where Xelle is a study, or a student of magic.
She has been at her studies for a while, and has been indecisive about applying for the status of mage. Then, she’s given the task that takes her across Alyssia. Along the way, she meets interesting folks, has encounters with dragons, and wonders why she, of all people, was given this overwhelming task. Despite her own worries, Xelle proves herself worthy of the confidence placed in her.
The writing is excellent, and the flow and pacing help us feel Xelle’s anxiety and nervousness. The world-building is seamless, with beautiful details that give a real sense of what the world Xelle lives in is like. There’s a nice variety of characters, who provide Xelle with opportunities for friendship, romance, and utter bafflement, as she tries to figure out how to deal with behavior she has trouble decoding. I really enjoyed Night Ivy, from start to finish.
This seems to be the first in a series, and I hope that’s true, because I need more Xelle. I want to see how the intrigues from Night Ivy play out – while it is an excellent ending, it is something of a cliffhanger. Or, at the very least, it teases the promise of more.
And I definitely want more Xelle and Alyssia.
I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.