Kid’s Book Review: Crowfall

Kid’s Book Review: Crowfall

About the Book and Author

Crowfall is a fantasy adventure from award-winning author Vashti Hardy. For readers who like a thrilling adventure, a central character who invites empathy, incredible world building, and a thought-provoking message about the fragility of the natural world this book is perfect! It is published by Scholastic.

Ironhold is an orderly place where “industry brings prosperity”, and where nature is pushed aside for progress. But when Orin Crowfall, a lowly servant boy, learns that the island itself is in grave danger, that knowledge makes him a target of powerful forces. He narrowly escapes on a small boat, but then faces a fight for survival with his robot friend, Cody, in the stormy ocean, pursued by a terrifying sea monster.

Can they make it to safety, somewhere beyond the horizon? And will Orin find a way back to save his family before everything is destroyed?
To succeed, Orin will need to dig deep for courage, trust in new friends, and, ultimately, have faith in himself.


Crowfall cover
Vashti Hardy

Vashti Hardy was a primary school teacher for several years, and has a special interest in children’s writing, especially free-writing and the use of journals and creating fantasy worlds. She has a first-class honours teaching degree with English specialism and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. You can find out more by visiting her website.

Now a successful children’s author, Vashti’s breathtaking middle grade fantasies are published across the world in several languages. Wildspark won the Blue Peter Book Award ‘Best Story’ in 2020 and the FCBG Children’s Book Awards and Brightstorm was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Books are My Bag Awards, among others. Brightstorm was also selected for Independent Booksellers Book of the Season and both Brightstorm and WIldspark were selected as Primary School Book Club Reads.

Book Review

You know that this is going to be a dramatic, explosive story from the very beginning, as it starts with a ferocious storm and a unique rescue

You know that this is going to be a dramatic, explosive story from the very beginning, as it starts with a ferocious storm and a unique rescue.

Orin Crowfall is a single-minded character who is passionate about nature. He lives in a world of industrialised perfection, made to believe that nothing else exists beyond the Divide. However, Orin soon discovers his grandma’s past life, uncovering her theories of other islands’ existence. When Orin spots Commander Forge taking the life light of the secretive, well-protected Eard of Ironhold, he must retaliate before it’s too late.

This is a moving story because the writer has created a character who goes on a journey and is greatly changed by the end of the book. Orin is not perfect and makes lots of mistakes which makes the reader more sympathetic towards him. It is also an interesting book because it makes you think about the way we treat nature, which is important for all of us to think about.

This felt quite different to other books I’ve read. If I was looking for a book to compare it with, there are some similarities with the ‘Mortal Engines’ books because they also explore the idea of the industrial world and nature. However, this book has a very different feel because in ‘Mortal Engines’ there is much more of a sense of fighting between the natural and the industrial but in this book they are presented as two separate possibilities.

Overall I thought that this was quite a gripping book which didn’t take me ridiculously long to read and I felt moved by the ending.

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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Alastair
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: science and space, Lego and sports
  • Dislikes: mushrooms and blue cheese
  • Favourite Book: Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
  • Favourite Song: Hello by Adele
  • Favourite Film: Star Wars