Thursday, October 14, 2010

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst.
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry.
Pages: 320.
What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.
After reading and falling in love with Sarah Beth Durst’s Ice, I had some pretty big expectations for Enchanted Ivy. But fortunately, the book soared high above every single one of them. Like Ice, it’s a gorgeously crafted story that takes something mundane like college and turns it into a fast-paced adventure.

What I really loved is how the plot takes dramatic shifts; Lily begins the book by accepting a challenge to find a ‘key’, and in exchange, she’ll receive an automatic acceptance into Princeton. But as she unravels clues and meets interesting enemies and allies, like Tye, the strange but cute boy with tiger striped hair, her aim changes and the story takes us to a completely new plot.

One thing that I love about Sarah Beth Durst is her ability to create these compelling creatures for characters. Even the evil enemies are ones that you want to know more about. I was happy to see that Enchanted Ivy didn’t stray from the strange either. Good gargoyles, bad gargoyles (that she based off of the real gargoyles at Princeton! How cool is that?) dryads, shape-shifters and fairies? Further proof of just how much of an epic fantasy this book was.

Overall, Enchanted Ivy was, well .. enchanting. The story puts on a new twist to the hardships of applying to colleges while pulling you on an adventure through mythical creatures, alternate universes that will put your imagination to shame, cute knights and shape-shifting boys. Sarah Beth Durst is one of my new favorite fantasy authors and I can’t wait for another adventure from her!

Other reviews for Enchanted Ivy:
Squeaky Books.
Fantastic Book Review.
A Bookworms Haven.
The Bibliophilic Book Blog.


  1. I've seen this one around the blogosphere and I wasn't really sure about it. But, I think I will have to read it now lol :)

    Great review!

  2. Great review! Enchanted Ivy looks amazing! I like how the cover has the gargoyles. :)

  3. It sounds awesome, I've been seeing this around. Glad to know it's not a letdown.

  4. awesome review - i have really got to read some Sarah Beth Durst!