The Storm Crow reads like an homage to many beloved fantasy stories while bringing up something fresh and thrilling at the same time. It’s a fast-paced story with a decent premise, diverse characters and it deals with depression which is something that’s hardly ever been addressed in many fantasy stories.
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. (synopsis via goodreads)
On Sale: July 9th 2019, SourcebooksFire
I was a bit doubtful to pick up this book because of the arranged marriage trope which doesn’t appeal to me that much. But I put my skepticism aside because all I could think about was magic wielding crows, magic-wielding crows, magic-wielding crows. I love that aspect of the book—the magic system and mythology were interesting enough to keep me reading. It was one of the best parts of the story as a whole. The other best part of the story, in my opinion, is Anthia’s friendship with Kiva. I love their scenes together and you could feel how much they really care and how passionate they are for each other. It’s beautiful and fun to read.
As far as the characters go, I like how most of them are written with such grey morality. From Anthia, Prince Ericen, the Crown Prince and the Queen of Illucia, Razel, who I thought was super intriguing! In fact, Thia and Razel’s interactions were one of my favorites. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the character of Ericen. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of him, but his vulnerability has proven to be something really relatable. I respect his decisions and I understand the reason behind his motives. He’s interesting and I really to know what happened to him next.
Personally, I tend to avoid tropes such as arranged marriage in stories. But I was pleasantly surprised how it worked out well in Storm Crow. Perhaps it’s because the interactions between Anthia and Ericen didn’t feel like it’s forced. I enjoyed their bickering, their conversations felt natural and more importantly, they didn’t fall helplessly in love with each other within days of knowing each other. I was thrilled because I’ve always wanted to read a fantasy story with a decent romance. And while I was taking delight in that aspect, I wasn’t prepared for the love triangle trope to ruin this potential romance for me. Completely unnecessary.
The writing was good but I thought there was nothing special about it. This reflected in the constructing of what could’ve been a brilliant world of fantasy. The integral functions of elemental crows were not explored thoroughly as well. At times, I felt disconnected to the story because it lacks in descriptors of the settings which is crucial to completely enjoy and immerse yourself in a story.
The Storm Crow has a huge potential to become a great fantasy read and it has a lot of rooms to explore and grow into to make it just that. For the sake of magic crows and what could possibly happen next to Ericen, I would still root for this book and wait for the next one to come out. I heard this will be a duology so I’ll expect more.
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.