In the world of Dhonielle Clayton’s, The Marvellers, supernaturally gifted children attend a multicultural, magic school in the sky to practice and share their ancestral magic. But as our hero Ella Durand soon discovers, even among the special, there’s discrimination, deadly secrets, and danger.
Eleven-year-old Ella is the first Conjuror to ever be attend the Arcanum Training Institute for Marvelous and Uncanny Endeavors. She’s excited, but nervous to be charting new territory for the feared and misunderstood community of Conjurors. Her father, a powerful figurehead among Conjurors sees it as an opportunity to foster understanding between magical factions. Ella’s mother would prefer that her daughter stay closer to home, but relents and lets her attend the school.
After Ella arrives, she learns not everyone is thrilled that a Conjuror is now attending the institute. From passive-aggressive roommates to classmates who throw microaggressions her way at every turn, Ella is in for an uphill battle. When a magical criminal escapes imprisonment, and the magical world blames Conjurors, Ella will have to summon all her courage and allies to make things right.
This novel was a thrilling read from beginning to end. Those who long to visit another magical school full of powerful spells, fascinating classes, and larger-than-life characters will find a lot to love here. Clayton’s worldbuilding is superb and she expertly draws you into the world of Marvellers, Conjurors, and Fewels.
Another strength of the novel is the lead, Ella. She’s tough, smart, and has a resilient spirit that allows her to endure the mistreatment she receives at the Arcanum Training Institute. Ella is a survivor, and I can’t wait to see how she grows as the series continues. She also has some great allies by her side, like Jason and Brigit. I’m also excited to see how those characters evolve future installments.
If you’re looking for a Harry Potter alternative with a diverse cast, compelling adventure, and breathtaking worldbuilding, you’ll love Dhonielle Clayton’s The Marvellers.
The Marvellers will be on sale everywhere books are sold on May 3rd.
DISCLAIMER: A review copy of The Marvellers was provided to me by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for a honest review.
Writer. Video Essayist. Film/TV Critic. Pop Culture Enthusiast.
When he isn’t writing for Geek Vibes Nation or creating content for his YouTube channel, Tristian can be found typing away at the young adult novel he has been working on for three years.