Series: The Storm Crow #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire (7.9.2019)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 338 pages
Source: I own it
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.
Not gonna lie, I am hella disappointed in this book. This was my most anticipated 2019 debut, and my second most anticipated non-sequel release of 2019. Perhaps my hopes were just too high, but when I heard magical, elemental crows I was STOKED to read it. What an awesome-sounding concept! And indeed it was – I loved the crows and how the different types worked: sun crows for healing, earth and storm crows for crops, fire crows, battle crows, shadow crows…it was seriously amazing! I desperately wanted more of that.
But sadly, I didn’t get it. The very first chapter was explosive, epic, even…but that’s where it stopped. After the initial opening battle, there was ZERO magical crow interaction until well over 200 pages into the book (that is more than two-thirds of the book!!). In fact, other than the awesome concept of the crows, this book was HORRIBLY generic. It felt exactly the same as all the other hundreds of high fantasy books out there. Princess forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, starts a rebellion to save her kingdom, falls in love, blah blah blah. I’VE READ IT BEFORE, THANKS.
I was terribly bored because of that, I didn’t give a single crap about any of the characters, and I felt absolutely nothing for the romance. It’s kinda hard to connect to a romance with someone that the MC, Thia, (and you as a reader) barely even knew. There was really no buildup – she met him, had a couple of interactions, and BAM! they were kissing and getting mushy. Eye roll.
The only characters I remotely liked were Kiva, Thia’s fiery best friend and protector, and Ericen, the prince she was betrothed to. They were the only side characters that had any real depth. As far as our main character, Thia was stubborn to the point of being petulant. She did stand up for what she believed in, but she was childish and brash and it grated on my nerves (and kept me from connecting with her). I did like that she was struggling with depression – that was the only thing that made her remotely relatable. I thought the depression was very well handled, too.
The end did thankfully pick up a bit, and I got more of the storm crow action I was hoping for. (Just a teeny bit, though -__-) Despite feeling bored and apathetic through 90% of this book, I am intrigued by the crows and would like to see where the series goes in hope of seeing more of that magic!
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5