Title: The Storm Crow
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Series: The Storm Crow #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.
That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.
But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.
“Tonight, I would choose my own crow. I would become a rider. And one day, I would earn the tattoo and become the royal Corvé after Estrel.”
I cannot even begin to express how excited I was for this upcoming release. Partly because that stunning cover caught my eye the very first time I saw it and made me want to read the synopsis, and party because I’ve been hearing a lot of praise, so I had such high expectations going into The Storm Crow, and I overall ended pretty satisfied with its outcome.
The plot was a bit weak during the first half of the story, and there were parts where I wasn’t really bored but I felt I wasn’t as engaged in it as I wanted to. However, it’s true that once we reached that half mark things started to become more interesting and everything started to make more sense.
One of the strongest element I found this novel had was the magic and the world building. For a first book in a series, I was pleasantly surprised to see such a complex world with so many unique magical elements, and I found myself wanting to know more about them. I particularly adored how the author made the whole magic system purely based on the crows, and the ways she took and explore it throughout the book. Also I deeply appreciated the fact that there was a little glossary at the end of the book, full of descriptions about the different places and the different types of crows and the variety between them.
Another thing I absolutely adored about this book was the characters. It had quite a variety of them, and not only that but I was so happy to see a main character that had depression and PTSD in a fantasy novel, and see that representation. And speaking of her, Thia was such an amazing protagonist, and definitely one of my favorite things about The Storm Crow. Not only she had a very smooth and realistic evolution throughout the story, but since the entire time we were reading the story from her perspective, I found her so flawed but brave, that made it quite easy for me to connect with her and understand her fears and wants. She had such a beautiful and close relationship with Kiva, and I really enjoyed their dynamics and how much they cared for the other.
“I was floating in limbo, my future gone, my past all too present. Now, more than ever, I wished for a crow to carry me far, far away. We’d fly straight past Korovi and Jindae to the unexplored wilderness in the east. We’d never stop.”
And oh, my my, how I loved the bond between Res (the crow) and Thia. Even though it wasn’t the main focus of the story whatsoever, I was still so happy to see some interactions between them, and her training him and the little things that were going on. It added a soft touch to the novel, and made me fall in love even more with crows.
I’m still not sure how I feel about the romance, though. There was kind of a weird love triangle at some point, and I guess I was expecting a hate-to-love type of romance, but it ended up being something completely different. I still enjoyed the interactions between those two characters, but I feel it happened a bit fast, especially with everything that was going on.
The ending, like I mentioned before, was absolutely fantastic. There were some twists and turns that I definitely wasn’t expecting to see, and I think it ended in quite a high note, and the climax of the story, though it was introduced a bit late, was done pretty well and left me wanting for more.
Overall, despite having some well known tropes, I still really enjoyed The Storm Crow and I’m so intrigued to see how the story will continue after that ending. I really loved the world and the characters, and totally think that those two elements made the reading experience so much interesting and the story stood out to me more.
TW: self harm, torture.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
“I wanted him to know that I was angry, that as close as I’d come, I had not been defeated. Rhodaire had not been defeated. I wanted him to know I would still fight.”
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