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.
I’m giving the storm crow a strong 3.5 stars. It was mostly a four star read, but a couple of minor points let it down.
I loved the concept of the crows and I would have liked to have seen more of them than just the prologue. I also really loved getting to see the impact of such a society losing a major part of how they function. The crows aren’t just for battle, or weather or whatever. They help the whole society, from farming to infrastructure. When Thia shows Ericen around and we see that, I really felt the impact of the attack.
This book also has lots of rep – Thia is black, and there’s lgbt+ characters. Perhaps most importantly, as it’s rarer, Thia also has depression. I both loved and hated this. I thought her frustration with people’s reactions to her (and the reactions themselves) were spot on, and that was so great to see in a book. And I feel that she would have felt hugely affected by the attack, so it was genuine. That said, it felt sudden, because we skip time. And she seems to come out of it too easily. And finally I really just wanted her to have more support than just her friend and sister, who were trying to “snap her out of it”. Despite that being a great reaction to see, I’m sad no one realised she was depressed and tried to get her help. I just wanted a little more here because it’s so great to see it dealt with in a fantasy book.
My other main niggle is that it is a little predictable, following a fairly standard ya fantasy premise. That said, it’s a very enjoyable one, and a well written one. I particularly enjoyed the queen, even if her revenge motivation doesn’t work for me. Ericen and Thia both flip flop a bit on emotions, but are fun to read.
I will be picking up book 2, but will have to hope it moves away from the formula a little more.
Buy The Storm Crow from Amazon UK.