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"A Harry Potter-esque adventure"
―Time Magazine[[src]]

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is the award winning novel and first book in the Nevermoor series written by Jessica Townsend. Hachette Book Group published the book on the 10th of October 2017, and was also Jessica Townsend's first published novel.


For Sally, first guest of the Hotel Deucalion

And for Teena, who made me think I could do anything, even this

Book Description

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks - and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's there that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart. Except for Morrigan, who doesn't seem to have any special talent at all. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests - or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.


This section requires expansion.


A crow at the conference

Spring of One, Ninth Age of the Wintersea Republic

"The journalists arrived before the coffin did."
―The opening line[src]

Set in Spring of One, Chancellor Corvus Crow reads a statement before a crowd of reporters on the death of his daughter Morrigan Crow. The short address from the Chancellor, that is intended to give the people of the state and city peace and safety, instead leaves the reporters with doubts and uncertainties.

Chapter 1: The Cursed Crow

Winter of Eleven, Eighth Age of the Wintersea Republic

"Morrigan has no need of counseling. She is a sensible enough child. She is well acquainted with her situation."
―Corvus Crow during the monthly meeting with the Registry Office for Cursed Children[src]

An apology letter from Morrigan

Set three days before the prologue, Morrigan finds the kitchen cat dead outside and knows she is to be blamed. She is a cursed child after all, causing misfortune to befall those around her. The Crow family's cook finds the girl with the cat and — grateful it was the cat rather than herself — ushers Morrigan into the house to meet with her father Corvus and her current caseworker. Morrigan notes the cook adding the cat's death to the end of a long list of other calamities before she heads into the meeting.

At the mandatory monthly meeting, the caseworker unsuccessfully tries to persuade Corvus to hire a child psychologist specializing in work with cursed children before he interrupts her, asking for the monthly list of incidents.

Chapter 2: Bid Day

"Four Bids! Two was was uncommon and three highly unusual, but four? Unheard of!"
―Chaos at Town Hall on Bid Day[src]

The Skyfaced Clock

Chapter 3: Death Comes to Dinner

"Things happen in life all the time. Unexpected things. Things you couldn't possibly expect because they're so very... unexpected. For instance, I bet you didn't expect your so-called death to arrive three hours early."
―Jupiter North to Morrigan[src]

Jupiter North enters Crow Manor

Chapter 4: The Hunt of Smoke and Shadow

"The glowing red lights weren't lights at all. They were eyes. The eyes of men, the eyes of horses, and the eyes of hounds."
―The Hunt begins to take shape[src]

Octavia the Arachnipod

Chapter 5: Welcome to Nevermoor

Spring of One, Third Age of the Aristocrats

"Nevermoor. If it's so great, why haven't you heard of it? Truth is, Morrigan, this is the best place —the best place—in all the Unnamed Realm."
―Jupiter North[src]

Border security into the Free State

Chapter 6: Morningtide

"We have bid a tender and triumphant farewell to the Olden Age, and now we must step boldly into the New. May it be a good and happy one. May it bring unexpected adventures."
―Jupiter North's toast to the New Age[src]


Chapter 7: Happy Hour at the Hotel Deucalion

Martha: "And to happen on Morningtide, of all days! What awful luck."
Kedgeree: "I'd say we've had splendid luck. A lobby full of people, and not a soul hurt? We can thank our lucky stars."
— The grand chandelier crashes[src]


Chapter 8: Interesting. Useful. Good.

Morrigan: "Forget it."
Jupiter: "You forget it. You forget it, from this moment on. Do you understand? You are not a curse."
— Jupiter and Morrigan discussing Morrigan's "curse"[src]


Chapter 9: Wundrous Welcome

"From today, you are official participants in the trials for Unit 919 of the Wundrous Society. The road will be long and difficult, but perhaps — just perhaps — something wonderful awaits you at the end of it."
―Elder Quinn at the welcome party[src]

Chapter 10: Illegal

"Either hand over her papers — her legitimate citizenship papers — or hand yourself over for arrest, and this filthy illegal for immediate deportation!"
―Inspector Flintlock[src]

Inspector Harold Flintlock

Chapter 11: The Book Trial

"Just take your time, Mog, and answer honestly."
―Jupiter giving last moment advice[src]

Chapter 12: Shadows

Summer of One

"Shadows are shadows, Miss Crow. They want to be dark."
―Mr. Jones[src]

Chapter 13: The Chase Trial

"The Chase Trial is not a race. Not exactly, anyway. It’s a game of strategy. You are not looking for a finish line; you are looking for a target."
―Chase Trial Official[src]

The Chase Trial takes place at noon on the last Saturday in Summer of One.

Nevermoor's Old Town district

Chapter 14: A Most Noble Steed

"You do realize this is a competition?'"

Chapter 15: The Black Parade

Autumn of One

"They wore somber expressions, their eyes straight ahead. Here and there were empty spaces, and some of the people marching carried candles — one candle for each of the departed."
―The Wundrous Society's Black Parade[src]

Chapter 16: Follow the Glow

"It's part of the test. You're supposed to pick the one you're drawn to."
―Cadence telling Morrigan and Hawthorne about the candles[src]

Chapter 17: The Battle of Christmas Eve

Winter of One

Morrigan: "Who do you support? Saint Nicholas or the Yule Queen?"
Jack: "The Yule Queen. Obviously."
Morrigan: "I wasn't asking you."
— Morrigan trying to ask Jupiter which Christmas figure he supports[src]

Chapter 18: An Almost Jolly Holiday

"But I don't have a talent! Why am I even doing these trials when I'll never get into the Society?"
―Morrigan getting worried with the Show Trial around the corner[src]

Chapter 19: The Gossamer Line

Jupiter: "Some people who rode the Gossamer Line came back sort of . . . wrong. Their bodies and minds, once parted, never perfectly reunited. They were permanently synchronized, and it drove them to madness. This is very dangerous business if you don't know what you're doing. "
Morrigan: "I don't know what I'm doing!"
— Explaining the volatile nature of the Gossamer Line[src]

A painting of Ezra Squall in his twenties or thirties

Chapter 20: Disappearing Act

Morrigan: "When will he be back?"
Fen: "Didn't say."
Morrigan: "But—but it's the last trial tomorrow. He'll be back before then, won't he?"
— looking for Jupiter[src]

Two days after Christmas, Morrigan decides to tell Jupiter what she knows about Ezra Squall. She is dismayed that he is not there because the Show Trial is the next day.

Chapter 21: The Show Trial

"But most of all welcome to our candidates, the seventy-five brave young souls who have come so far, accomplished so much, and made my fellow Elders and me so very, very proud."
―Elder Quinn[src]

The final trial—the Show Trial—takes place at the Trollosseum arena on the fifth Saturday in Winter of One.

Chapter 22: The Mesmerist

"Cadence Blackburn didn't just have a knack, she had a gift. A weird, mean gift. But a gift nonetheless."
―On Cadence placing first after her trial[src]

Chapter 23: Foul Play

"Arrest these people, Inspector! Foul play! What was that, eh? What'd you do to the Elders? Some sort of sorcery?"
―Baz Charlton attempting to call out Jupiter's antics[src]

Chapter 24: Battle Street

"It'll be crowded down there. Stay close to Fen and don't wander off."
―Jupiter's warning to the group heading home after the Show Trial[src]

Chapter 25: Master and Apprentice

"You should have accepted my offer, but the truth is I don't need you to. You have already apprenticed yourself to me, simply by living past your eleventh birthday."
―Ezra Squall to Morrigan[src]

Chapter 26: W.

"But it wasn't tiny. It was big—a very big promise. The promise of family, and belonging, and friendship."
―Morrigan's reflection on receiving her W pin[src]

List of Deaths

Character Killed By Cause Of Death Circumstances
Unknown number of cursed children Ezra Squall The Hunt of Smoke and Shadow (Mentioned Only)

Cursed children die at midnight on Eventide as Squall wants to eliminate any potential threats to his power

Unknown number of people at the Courage Square Massacre and the eight other Wundersmiths alive at the time. Unknown method (Mentioned Only)

Attack on city of Nevermoor and citizens who were said to stand against him

2 People Train Derailment Squall attempting to find and exploit a weakness on the Gossamer Line


Morrigan's Christmas presents

From Saint Nick

  • Various chocolates, gingerbread, clementines, and a shiny pomegranate
  • A knitted scarf that looked like a fox
  • Red woolen mittens
  • Pakulski's Pickled Sugarplums
  • Finnegan's Faerie Tales clothbound book
  • Deck of silver-backed cards
  • A wooden hairbrush with a painted ballerina on the handle

From Jupiter

  • A shiny green sled

Morrigan's Birthday Presents

  • A lamb and parsnip dinner (Crow Family)
  • An oil-skin brolly (Jupiter)


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow was "the biggest-selling Australian children's debut since records began" (Hachette Australia).[1]

Winner[2] of:

  • Aurealis Awards, Best Children's Fiction - 2017
  • Dymocks Book of the Year - 2018
  • QBD Children's Book of the Year - 2018
  • Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year - 2018
  • Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year for Younger Children - 2018
  • Australian Book Industry Awards, The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year - 2018
  • Indie Book Awards, Book of the Year - 2018
  • Indie Book Awards, Children's Category - 2018
  • Australian Booksellers Association Awards, Nielsen Booksellers' Choice Award - 2018
  • Waterstones Children's Book Prize (UK), Younger Fiction - 2018
  • Cybils Award - Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction - 2018
  • West Australian Young Readers' Book Award, Younger Readers - 2019
  • Adelaide Festival Awards, Premier's Award (Best Overall Published Work) - 2020
  • Adelaide Festival Awards, Children's Literature Award - 2020

Other Accolades:

  • The Readings Children's Book Prize (Shortlisted) - 2018
  • A CBCA Notable book
  • Voted #1 in the Dymocks Kids' Top 51
  • New York Times bestseller



  • The book spans approximately one year
  • The motto for the book was "Step Boldly"
  • There are a few chapters that were edited from the final cut of the novel. These include

Possible Film Adaptation

It was announced in late 2016 that 20th Century Fox had acquired the screen rights for Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow[3]. A year later, news broke that Drew Goddard was attached to the project as a writer and producer[4]. It is hoped that, if the first movie does well, more will follow in the series. In April 2022, Paramount Pictures acquired the film rights from Fox. Michael Gracey was attached as the director of a musical adaptation of the novel, along with writing the original music, and both Drew Goddard and Sarah Esberg on board as the writers/producers.[5]

Notes and References