The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
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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.
The Storm Crow is the brilliantly imaginative first novel in Kalyn Josephson’s debut duology, when I first read the blurb I was hooked instantly by the words ‘magical crows’.. have you ever read a novel featuring magical crows? I sure haven’t! I could not wait to dive into this novel and discover more about the magical system. I’ve read this novel twice now and each time it has surprised me with the intricate detail of the world’s magical system, it is a magical system like no other! The author has carefully plotted out roles for a whole variety of elemental crows within Rhodaire’s society and I was fascinated from the very first page.
This novel is heavily steeped in political warfare between neighbouring kingdoms, I love political young adult novels, the tension and suspicion between both royal families kept me hooked until the very last page. Possibly my only criticism of The Storm Crow is that the plot began to feel a bit predictable quite soon into the novel, there was perhaps one twist I didn’t see coming at all but the rest of the story followed a very general fantasy novel plotline, however due to the amazing magical crows I didn’t mind quite so much about the obvious story!
The protagonist, Thia battles depression after a traumatic event, there is on page representation of the struggles she faces when dealing with her mental health issues, she must also confront the misconceptions of others about her depression whilst dealing with her own self loathing and attempting to move past her grief. All of the characters in The Storm Crow were brilliantly written, there were villains who I hated from the moment they spoke, a queer best friend always on the look out for her next girlfriend and the cutest and clumsiest love interest ever to exist!
If you’re looking for your next fantasy fix, The Storm Crow is sure to fit the bill, it’s magical system is so unique with a story full of suspicion, secrets and snarky characters! I would fully recommend this amazing duology to anyone in need of a fantastic read. If I haven’t convinced you to buy a copy of this novel yet, I’m not entirely sure what will!
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> The Extraordinaries by T. J. Klune – Book Review
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> Havenfall by Sara Holland – Book Review