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The Wrinkled Crown

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  284 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Up in the magical, wrinkled hills, Linny breaks an ancient law. No matter how musical a girl may be, she must not so much as touch a string of a lourka before she turns twelve, or she'll be spirited off to Away. When the curse meant for her strikes her best friend instead, Linny must leave her home behind to try to set things right. If you walk down out of the wrinkled hil ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This isn't just a children's fantasy. This is a conceptual fantasy - a really good one. It's not high fantasy; there's no epic battle between dark and light. There's just Linny and Elias, who need a medicine for their friend Sayra, who's being pulled Away.

And so they have to head down to the city, where they've never been, to find Linny's aunt and a cure. They're never been, because, says the legend, people who leave the wrinkled mountains never find their way back. Wrinkled areas can't be mapp
Brandy Painter
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Anne Nesbet is one of those authors who always surprises me. Her book like they will be one thing, but they have so many fascinating layers. The Wrinkled Crown is my favorite book she's written yet.

Linny has been tethered to Sayra all of her life. From the moment it became obvious Linny had a talent for music, she was put at Sayra's side to keep her safe. To keep her from even picking up a Lourka and allowing her talents to be realized.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nesbet's voice, her style, is original. I couldn't immerse myself in this and race right through; every time I started to speed through as I can with most genre children's books I had to backtrack to catch what I missed.

For example, it's told in third person, which is excellently refreshing, but at the same time we're often inside Linny's thoughts, sometimes without being warned that we are: "How much time had Linny wasted... just because she was tired?" See, that's Linny asking herself that...
Belles Middle Grade Library
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This completed the prompt for travel/adventure for MG March. This was AMAZING! This is the 2nd book I’ve read by Anne Nesbet now, & I can tell she’s going to be a favorite author. This was such a creative story, & w/so many underlying lessons & messages that I love. The word “wrinkled” basically means magic is this book. So Linny lives in the Wrinkled hills. No matter how musical a girl is there, they’re not to touch a lourka until they turn 12-or they will be taken to the Away. She didn’t liste ...more
Jennifer Alvarez
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fresh voice in children's fiction! Anne Nesbet's writing is unique and captivating. I don't summarize plots in my reviews (who has time!), but this is a rollicking, adventurous tale. Linny will steal your heart and Elias (that Lummox) will have you laughing out loud.

On a deeper level, this book explores the tensions that exist between the scientific Plains people and the magical people who live in the Wrinkled Hills. The metaphor for all of this is found in Linny's Lourka, which is like a ban
I'm SO GLAD Linny is the narrator of this. Maybe it's just me, but Sayra seems like the much more typical and, therefore, less interesting choice.

I did think this was good, but it was too long! After (view spoiler), I was bored with every new crisis.
I haven't actually read it but im too lazy. ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pretty-covers
My reaction summed up in a gif:

Why. Why why why do pretty covers have meh books inside?

This book had an interesting premise. People living in a "wrinkled"(aka magical) town has a tragedy happen and the main girl has to solve the problem she caused.

It's such a good setup most of the time....however for me it fell flat on its ass for this book.

The thing is, I just never gave a crap about anything. Liny's quest? I felt like she was stupid. It is one thing to make a lourka and doom yourself but to
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a strange experience the reading of this novel was for me. I went from irritation/lukewarm enjoyment to exasperation to shocked pleasure, back to lukewarmness and finally to joy.

I was struck by the exuberant, gorgeous writing from the beginning, but equally, from the start there was something about the storyline that irritated me. I think it’s because the division of the novel’s world into ‘Wrinkled’ and ‘Plain’ seemed like such a clear and obvious analogy for magic/imagination/ versus sci
Apr 22, 2021 rated it did not like it
I got this book and a few more of this author's because they looked good. BOY WAS I WRONG! (SPOILERS) This book starts ok, then everything since she leaves the village is so bad I was spacing out so much I didn't realise her brother might die till an entire page later. The only good parts of the book are the very beginning and very end. The title isn't relevant to the end, and the damned thing isn't supposed to be a crown in the first place. The best part of the book was when I closed it. Then, ...more
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!

Some of my favourite kinds of middle grade novels are often the ones that are the most quiet and gentle. There's a lot to learn, there's often a good balance of morality and magic, which is exactly what we have in Anne Nesbet's The Wrinkled Crown.

If I'm being honest, I think what I loved about this book the most was just how gorgeous the writing is. It really does an amazing job of drawing the reader in, and it's rich in description. The stor
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Linny was a "hummy baby," clearly born with music in her blood. To keep her safe, her parents tethered her to Sayra for most of the time until she was twelve. (According to the lore of their village, any girl that touches a lourka before she turns twelve will be taken Away.) Linny and Sayra considered themselves mismatched twins and both had turns in saving the other's life. But Sarya didn't keep Linny safe -- not only did Linny touch a lourka, she built one herself. And on the night before Linn ...more
Tamara Nelson-Fromm
(I wrote this review AGES ago but I forgot to post it here. Opppps.)

The Wrinkled Crown by Anne Nesbet is set in a world that has two sides: the plain side based in logic and science, and the wrinkled side where everything is made of magic and stories can come true. This is a very interesting middle grade novel, but it is confusing and hard to follow, the plot moves rather slowly and the characters fall a little flat. It reminded me a little bit of Fly by Night by Francis Hardinge and other histo
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
For full review please go to:, Twitter @camartinez, Facebook "5 Girls Book Reviews"

REVIEW BY: Michaela, age 11 years, 4 months


This book kind of bored me, it wasn't as magical and fun as I thought it was going to be, but my sisters would love this book.

However, I do have a favorite part and character. My favorite character is Linny because she is brave, like me. My favorite part is when Linny finishes the lourka.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile-fantasy
It started out interesting, but once Elias and Linny got separated and Linny became involved with the Plain and Wrinkled squabble, I lost interest. I ended up skimming the last hundred pages. I think the story could have wrapped up in 200 something pages. I also found some of the details to be irrelevant to the plot, which made it tedious to read and there were too many parantheses randomly appearing. I personally did not enjoy the book, but other fans of middle grade fantasies might.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book joins the extremely short list of books that I put down before finishing. The world is mildly interesting, but I could not care less about the characters, and the writing is lazy and repetitive. I'm usually game for anything fantastical, but this one's got me licked. Moving on to books that are fun or thought-provoking. Anything. ...more
Ms. Yingling
E ARC available at Edelweiss Above the Treeline.

Had its moments, but I have a library of medievalish fantasies that no one checks out any more, so probably will not purchase.
May 13, 2021 rated it it was ok

The Cover is absolutely stunning and beautifully breathtaking – but does it serve the story? Not really. It does fit perfectly overall, and I wouldn’t know how to do it differently, but the illustration simply promises too much.

The story itself is quite interesting I’d say. I loved the mystery about the village Lourka, up above the hills, and the magic that surrounds the wrinkled land, but that’s quite it.

The characters are totally nerve-taking and annoying. Everyone seemed so dumb in t
McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I came across an ARC of this book in a Little Free Library a little while ago and was instantly pulled in by the fantastic cover.

Now that I've read it, I'm happy to say the story is just as magnificent as the cover. The whole world Nesbet created was fantastic. It was so easy to slip into the wrinkled town of Lourka then go on an mind-bending quest with the fun, quick-witted Linny. Such an interesting and amazing story with a great cast of charact
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Wrinkled Crown is a slightly less traditional but all the more compelling take on fantasy. Showing the concepts of war, prejudice, and division from the perspective of an innocent but hopeful and engaging twelve-year old, it uses magic (wrinkledness) and science (plainness) to represent common divisions in every type of world. Linny is a girl born in a town where girls are forbidden to touch an instrument known as a lourka until their thirteenth birthday--but she is also born with music in h ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the village of Lourka, girls are not allowed to touch the stringed musical instrument of the same name or else they'll be spirited off to Away. Linny has music in her bones and can't help herself. After building her own lourka and upon Linny's 12th birthday, the voices come, but instead of taking Linny away, they steal her best friend Sayra. To save Sayra, Linny decides to travel outside the village and into the Plains, a place where magic doesn't exist and people use medicines and technology ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good fantasy, very original. The writing carries you along in the story but is also inventive and full of unexpected turns of phrase. The protagonist has a striking narrative voice. Although this is middle-grade (the protagonist is 12 and there's no "adult" material), it's very philosophical/ conceptual in a way that I appreciated as an adult reader. (My 10 year old also loved the book, so I don't think this makes it uninteresting to children.) ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Hmm...I did like the magic vs. science aspect of the book. Overall, it was a nice novel with a decent plot. However, I felt like the characters were too young for it to be believable for me. I also think the first 100 pages were quite boring. I only got really invested in the story after a little bit. Yeah, I had a couple of other issues with it as well, but I don't want to get spoilery. Overall, I do think this is a great book for a younger audience.
Mimi Lala
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read it for a book club. Really enjoyed it.

I was a bit confused in the beginning, but the more I read it the more I wanted to know what would happen next.

I’m glad Libby was able to save her friend. And can’t wait to read on to see what happens.

Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful juvenile fiction read that had unexpected twists and turns.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Three stars because I'm not the target audience.

Has an interesting voice, pretty solid plot.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting. Parts were slow.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Love, love, love everything Anne Nesbet writes, and this is no exception. A wonderland a creativity - like Lloyd Alexander's BOOK OF THREE meets Jasper Fforde's SHADES OF GREY. ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fun quick read with a really interesting and unusual world. Good characters, dialog, setting; fair plot that droops a little in places. Would have enjoyed a little more exploration of the implications of the "wrinkledness" of this world. ...more
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