Fourteen-year-old Jack has spent his life being shuttled back and forth between his divorced parents. He’s also spent a small amount of time in military school. One day his parents decide he needs more stability so they send him to spend his high school years with his grandmother in Glastonbury Manor, which she runs as a boarding house. The house is mostly empty, except for a handful of part-time boarders and a housekeeper. Jack quickly makes friends with his grandmother’s summer boarders – everyone but Ivy. Ivy is a peculiar little girl whose bossy attitude gets under Jack’s skin at every turn, yet he’s charged with the task of working alongside her on several occasions.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book because of the anime-style cover image, but I was impressed with Ivy’s Tangle and found it to be a sophisticated fantasy novel. Although the book centers on two fourteen-year-olds, I honestly think it should appeal to adults as well, and I really did enjoy it. The author’s writing is clever and entertaining. The action scenes were gripping. I also appreciated the background information the author included about fencing and sword fighting.
The only issue I had was that I found the ending left me with several unanswered questions. Since this particular book is the first in a series, I’m sure the story continues in books two and three. I hesitate to say that Ivy’s Tangle concludes with a cliffhanger, but I wonder if readers might end up being frustrated by the open-ended conclusion. Personally, I think it’s a great way for readers to get a feel for the author’s style and enjoy a sampling of Jack’s story. Since it’s currently free it’s a no-risk way to give the series a try. For that reason, and because I enjoyed the book so much, I’ve given it five stars.
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton