Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons--the ordinary one and a magical one--and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.
When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage--and a little magic--to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.
- ISBN-13: 9781416986454
- ISBN-10: 1416986456
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
- Publish Date: October 2010
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-10-04
- Reviewer: Staff
In this variation on the magic child goes to school theme, 16-year-old Lily Carter accompanies her grandfather and dim, frail mother to Princeton for Reunions weekend. At the Vineyard Club, an exclusive undergraduate "eating club" (modeled on actual Princeton institutions), Lily meets her grandfather's former classmates and is invited to undergo the Legacy Test: if she can find the Ivy Key, she will automatically be admitted to Princeton. Amid crowds of good-natured strangers clad in orange and black, Lily does not at first question the help she gets from a boy with tiger-striped hair. But when stone gargoyles move and books in the library attack, Lily stops taking her assumptions about reality for granted. College admission seems an odd choice for Durst's (Ice) YA fantasy premise; teens generally look upon college as an opportunity for real life to get better, not an event requiring imaginative escape. Readers for whom the admissions process is not an imminent issue may be more intrigued. Lily's naïve perceptions and the book's simple moral framework also point to a younger audience for this bit of nostalgic whimsy. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)