Title: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
No. of pages: Hardcover, 352
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Date Read: July 1, 2019
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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.
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me a copy of The Storm Crow to review!
Since I first heard about this book late last year/early this year, I’ve been intrigued about this book and its story. And I was right to be intrigued because it was amazing and one of the most unique books in this genre that I’ve read in a while.
The Storm Crow follows the fall of Rhodaire, a country that has been captured and invaded by its neighboring country, Illucia. Rhodaire’s prosperity was due to magical, elemental Crows. Since Illucia invaded and destroyed the rookery, the country is having a hard time keeping its people safe and fed. Though her country is struggling outwardly, Princess Anthia is struggling inwardly. As things begin to get worse, Thia’s sister, now the queen, is forced to agree to an engagement between Thia and Ericen, the crown prince of Illucia. As Thia is now thrown into a country that has decimated hers, Rhodaire’s only hope is in an unhatched crow egg that Thia found in the remains of the rookery. This last egg is the one thing that other countries might get behind and they might ally with Rhodaire–if Thia can figure out how to hatch the egg. While in Illucia, Ericen’s mother, Queen Razel is hiding a huge secret of her own that could once again decimate Rhodaire. What follows is danger, mystery, and adventure as Thia, Kiva (her best friend), and Caylus (an inventor in Illucia) try to keep the last crow safe to hopefully defend their countries against the ever growing power that is Illucia.
Y’all. It was so hard for me to put this book down. Josephson did such a great job of storytelling. If you get nothing else from this, know that this is one HECK of a story. It’s got so much packed into it, but it’s super well done and not overwhelming at all. The details are incredible. The characters are so well written and you can truly understand what they’re feeling. The dialogue in this book–terrific.
My favorite thing about this book is the way that Thia’s depression and PTSD are written. When the rookeries are destroyed, Thia was right there. The description and inner monologue that Thia has is so well described. It truly conveys what it feels like to have depression: the struggle just to get up in the morning, the indescribable sadness, the weight that feels lodged on your chest, the loss for words when people don’t take the time to understand that it’s not just something you can choose to move on from. For those that have never felt true depression, this is a book that I would push them towards if they really wanted to read an account. Although fiction, I think that sometimes books can do a better job of explaining things like mental illness better than we can speak it in real life. This book truly does it justice.
I also really liked the main and secondary characters and their development over the period of the book. Thia, Kiva, and Caylus are all characters that you geninuely want to be around. Thia, as the main lead, you get more of her story and all of her thoughts. Kiva was such a fun character and was truly a best friend to Thia. Kiva’s also super loyal and has a heart of gold, especially in doing what she thinks is morally right. Caylus was probably one of my top favorite characters. He really made his way into Illucia by fate and I’m glad he did. His story also gave a bit more insight into the rule and conquest of Illucia into other neighboring countries, not just Rhodaire. Also, Ericen probably has one of the best character developments I’ve read, but he’s also a product of his culture and upbringing. Once you read it, you’ll understand.
I do have to say, in the beginning I was really confused about the crows. Were they normal sized and the people small? Or were the people normal sized and the crows enormous? To end any confusion, it’s the latter. And also, this was a super breath of fresh air. Josephson, on the sly, wrote a dragon story, but didn’t use dragons, and came up with her own system of magic unlike one that I’ve read (unless I’m forgetting). I LOVED IT. And you will too.
The Storm Crow released on July 9th. This is one of my favorite reads of this year and you don’t wanna miss it!
Kalyn Josephson is a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies.
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