Goodreads: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Published: 15 July 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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’ve had this book sitting on my shelf since the moment it first came out so I’m glad that I finally read it. There are a lot of things I enjoyed about it but I think that there was a lot of potential for more, especially with the world building and character development. That said, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book and I was lucky enough to get an eARC for it, so I’ll be reading that in the coming week.
- For the most part, the writing flowed well and was easy to follow. It wasn’t overly descriptive but Josephson gave enough for this world to come to life. If you’re looking for a fast paced fantasy, this isn’t it. There isn’t a whole lot of action for the majority of the book–it’s more getting to know characters, being introduced to the world etc., but I don’t think the character arcs took over the main plot (and there is a solid one). Although the pacing felt a bit off at times, it was overall a very fast read.
- The existence and use of the crows was unique. I can’t recall a book where animals and humans co-existed so harmoniously and where the animals played such a big role in the stability and success of a country. The crows weren’t sentient but I liked the concept of a magical bond between a crow and their rider. Reading about the crows’ different abilities and seeing how it wove together to sustain Rhodaire was pretty magical and it was probably my favourite part!
“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.”
- I thought Thia was a great MC. After what happens at the start, she sinks into a deep depression and I thought that Josephson wrote about her experience in an open and authentic way. I think it was written in a way that makes it easy for people who haven’t experienced depression to grasp/understand, and as someone who has depression, reading my experience on page really made me feel seen (sounds corny but it’s true). Thia is fiesty and fierce and has a lot of strength within her and it was inspiring to see her pull herself out of that depressive state, but I appreciated that Josephson didn’t write her depression away because as in real life, it doesn’t just magically disappear. I also loved the strong friendship between Thia and Kiva, her best friend and bodyguard. Their support for each other never wavered and it was very clear that there was a lot of love and respect between them.
- I also really liked Prince Ericen. He’s a deliciously complex character that I really wished we got to know more about. He does experience growth and it was really interesting to see him battle himself because of who his mother is and his Illucian pride, but also what he knows in his heart to be (morally) right. He has clearly suffered greatly because of his mother and I felt sorry for him because despite it, he still craves her approval. I’m very curious to see what becomes of him in the sequel!
“Don’t let her silence the storm inside you.”
- Not gonna lie, I really didn’t like the romance. I was really excited when I started reading this and thought “oh yes, we’re getting an enemies-to-lovers romance, my favourite, bring it on!” but that never happened… And then I started to get love triangle vibes, I literally went *womp womp womp* because mmm no, we didn’t need it. I think the fact that I also didn’t fully connect with the characters meant that I just didn’t care about the romance? I didn’t feel the chemistry between them and I’m still convinced I feel more chemistry between Ericen and Thia. Thankfully though the ‘love’ doesn’t overshadow the plot.
- I enjoyed most of the world building but I thought details could’ve been better incorporated into the story. What I greatly appreciated is that there’s a glossary at the end that describes the kingdom and it lays everything out really nicely–the different sections in Rhodaire, the countries in the kingdom and their politics, economies, culture, etc. I had a better understanding of this world after reading that, but sadly that was after the book ended. Maybe it’s just me because I love maps but… I think this book should definitely have a map, too!
Overall, I’m really glad that I finally read this, and while it’s not a favourite fantasy, I still really enjoyed learning about the world and meeting the characters. I’m hoping that we get to know some of them a bit better in the sequel and I’m also hoping there’ll be a bit more action after everything that happened at the end of the book!
Have you read The Storm Crow or is it on your TBR?