Welcome to my stop on the The Invitation blog tour! Huge thanks to Random Things Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.
CW: Domestic violence, child abuse
After reaching her breaking point, Lucy decides to run away with her dog, Crumbs. However, she didn’t expect to end up in a completely new world, the kingdom of Archmond, after being summoned there by wizards. At the same time, young Queen Abigail wakes after the terrifying vision that her archenemies have finally, successfully, brought the girl into their kingdom who is prophesied to destroy everything she has built. However, Lucy doesn’t know how she feels about being this kingdom’s heroine or even if she wants to be…
Our protagonist Lucy is accompanied by her dog, Crumbs, on her unique journey. Within the first couple of chapters we learn so much about Lucy and her home life which immediately endeared me to her. I also liked her initial reaction when she arrived in a mysterious new place as it felt very real and in keeping with her character. Although I thought I knew the important thing about Lucy from the revealing opening chapters, I was pleasantly surprised to see that towards the end her character is developed even further with some great twists which I wasn’t expecting at all.
For me, this novel has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it: we are introduced to many characters throughout Lucy and Crumbs’ journey. However, although many of the characters we’re introduced to are very interesting and do a lot to illustrate the different areas of the world and the different societies within it, but some seemed to disappear just as you were beginning to connect with them. As this is the first instalment of a new series, I am very hopeful that they might make a reappearance in future novels.
Following on from the Alice in Wonderland feel, it isn’t just the array of characters that we’re introduced to that gives the novel this feel, but the smaller stories that they bring as Lucy journeys across the land. This really helped with the pacing in the second half of the novel as it felt like there was more happening and we got to see a lot more of what this world has to offer. Although we meet a lot of characters and Lucy finds herself in along the way – I did like the recurring narrative of knowing what was going on in both kingdom whilst Lucy was travelling. This also was great for reminding the reader of the purpose of Lucy’s quest.
The second half of the novel was definitely my favourite and has me excited for the next book in the series, especially with the new knowledge we gain at the end of the novel. The world that Webster has created is certainly large and varied and I’m looking forward to learning more about it. We are given certain bits of information but not always in a lot of detail, however this is generally because Lucy is new to everything and, for the most part, the reader is learning along with her.
Despite the slightly slow start to the novel, I found myself really enjoying the stay by the end and was completely invested in Lucy and, of course, Crumbs. I also can’t wait to learn more about Bear!