by Deva Fagan
*This review was originally written for Netgalley, which is why it is formatted differently than my regular reviews.*
Nightingale is a fun middle-grade fantasy novel. It follows the story of Lark, a young orphan doing her best to stay out of the factory. When the story begins, we find Lark in the middle of robbing the museum, needing to steal something so that she can pay the woman who runs the boarding house she lives in. Lark has no intentions of interrupting Prince Jasper and accidentally becoming the next Nightingale, the country’s fabled vigilante. But that’s exactly what does happen. And the story that follows is Lark’s journey of becoming the Nightingale.
The characterization was done very well. Fagan does an amazing job giving Sword a personality expressed solely through the limited movements a magical sword can do. The other characters were great as well. From the beginning of the book, I really enjoyed the story world setting. Fagan did a great job of getting it set up from the first pages. I also enjoyed how magic is viewed in the story world as science that simply isn’t understood yet. I’ve always found that to be a fun angle to take with magic.
The plot was fun and well-paced. I was a little dissatisfied with the climax and ending though. It wasn’t bad… though it maybe was a tad cliche? I’m not sure. No matter what, it didn’t ruin the novel for me. I just maybe would have liked to see something different.
I do think there was a formatting issue with the e-ARC I read since it seemed like a chunk of an action scene was missing, which made it a touch confusing to follow. But that was probably a formatting issue and not an issue with the book itself.
If you’re looking for a middle-grade novel with adventure, magic, friendship, and fun, Nightingale may be just the right book for you.
Cautions: magic; non-graphic, mild-moderate violence ***
*** It has been a while since I finished reading Nightingale and I did not take notes of what cautions were in the book. I don’t remember there being any other cautions besides these though.