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.
The story started with showing us how the Kingdom of Rhodaire falls when their queen and the magical Crows have been killed by the Kingdom of Illucia. Now, because of this, Princess Anthia has fallen in a deep depression, and her sister and also the current queen needs to fix what was left. To also avoid a war, Anthia needs to marry the Crown Prince of Illucia. With everything that’s happening to them, finding a crow egg inside the burnt rookery gives them hope that they can use it to get back what was taken from them, so they plan to hide it and hatch it secretly.
“A storm.” She locked gazes with me. “A tempest of lightning and thunder with the kind of heart found only in legends. A heart full of kindness and courage and strength. And when I looked at you, I saw only the woman you would become. The leader you would become.” – Kalyn Josephson, The Storm Crow
The story is unique, especially with the use of the magical crows. I like how there are different kinds of crows and how each of them matters to the Kingdom of Rhodaire. So, it was not surprising that Rhodairens are now struggling to survive without the crows because they live all their lives with the help of it.
“Don’t let her silence the storm inside you.” – Kalyn Josephson, The Storm Crow
The narration is okay, but the pace of the first half was too slow for me that it was dragging me out of the story. I’m just interested to see the story to the end that is why I didn’t DNF this. But, as the story came closer to the end, the story got more interesting because of the twists and turns in it. I am sure that I’ll be reading the sequel.
“For the longest time. I let those represent everything I lost, but I’m done. I won’t let my scars define me. Not anymore. From now on, they’re a symbol of what I have left to fight for. Of what I won’t let Illucia take from me.” – Kalyn Josephson, The Storm Crow
Another thing that I like is how the character’s depression was presented. I can relate to Anthia – on what she felt during those dark times of her and how she fights back to get out of it. Anthia is fragile even though she was described as stubborn and independent. I also find her brave when she decided that it is time that she does something to help her sister, who takes place as the next queen.
“I am more than my emotions, more than my depression and fear.” – Kalyn Josephson, The Storm Crow
The romance in the story is great. I like it when a love triangle was done well and is not confusing. I also love it when this story includes a queer romance, though it was not highlighted that much. Then, I’m happy to see how strong the friendship between Anthia and Kiva. It seems that they are more like sisters than Anthia and Caliza is. Then, I also found a mother-child relationship in the story, which is intriguing me because it doesn’t make sense that she will act like that to her child.
“The words pierced me like talons, hooking deep. I waited for the pain. Nothing came. Because this wasn’t real. This wasn’t happening.” – Kalyn Josephson, The Storm Crow
There is still a lot to discover in the story. I am not contented with what I know so far from the different kingdoms. I want to know more about their culture, tradition, and if there is history that might be beneficial in the development of the story. I like to talk more about this book, but I am afraid that all of what left unsaid are or can be seen as spoilers, so I’m leaving it to you to know more about the story.
“There was no greater advantage than being underestimated for what you lacked in physical strength. It was the quick, quiet predators you never saw coming.” – Kalyn Josephson, The Storm Crow
Overall, I am rating this with four stars. I am recommending this novel to all YA Fantasy readers who would like to read a story with a magical crow which touches queer relationship, family relationship, friendship, and also addresses mental health.
*Buddy Read with Chelsie at Crazy4Books*
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Series: The Storm Crow, 01
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
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.