Book review: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Title: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Publication date: 9 July 2019

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult

Page extent: 352 pages

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads blurb: 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.


This was a very unexpected book. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to get – magic crows? The idea was so utterly random I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But them I started reading. And oh my god, I REALLY enjoyed it?! It was so much fun! Whilst I don’t think there is anything particularly unique about the plot structure, the book itself, the magic system, and world all pull you in and I found myself rather captivated! 

The Storm Crow opens with a bang. The kingdom of Rhodaire is under attack by the dreaded Illucian empire. In a single night, the kingdom is decimated. The magic crows which once propped up their entire kingdom, are gone. Thia, crown Princess, is thrown into an awful depression after that night. Hiding away, she can’t bear to face the outcome of that awful night which massacred her kingdom. But now her sister has been forced to arrange a marriage between her and Ericen,the crown Prince of the country who invaded them and destroyed the kingdom, all to try stop the war brewing. 

This story starts in a whirlwind of action. Whilst there isn’t much happening in the first half of the novel, after the opening scenes, the story never feels slow or boring. I was immediately drawn to all of our main characters. Thia, the main character who drowned in the wake of invasion. Her depression felt both realistic and was incredibly gratifying to see in such an action heavy YA fantasy. It was thrilling to see her find her faith in herself again and fight to save her kingdom. Ericen, our evil prince, is exactly that. Full of sneering anger and disgust, he is the picturesque enemy prince. But as we read further, we see not all is well in his world, most especially his relationship with his mother… Kiva, my sapphic, sword wielding goddess!!!! I adore her in every way and if she and Auma do not get a HEA I will FIGHT someone. Kiva is Thia’s best friend, and she accompanied Thia to Illucia to protect her. And then there’s Caylus, sweet baker and inventor, helping Thia with her research plan.

I think any book that gets me to coo adorably over birds deserves so many awards. (The birds in Australia are terrifying, they’re all the size of dogs). I adored the crow magic system, it felt so fantastically unique and interesting. I loved all their different powers and how that impacted lives in Rhodaire. I can’t wait to find out more about them in the sequel! 

The one thing I thought a little odd, was the romance. Ericen doesn’t seem like an idiot. And yet despite his mother destroying the Kingdom (like 6 months ago! It’s not been long), he is all shocked and upset when Thia doesn’t like him?! What? That just really made no sense at all to me. I think perhaps if I had believed his whole ‘falling in love’ thing more then maybe that would’ve worked as a blinded by love thing? Maybe? I don’t know. Either way his rapid emotional changes felt a little disingenuous. In saying that, I did think he was a very interesting character, and I really liked the way his relationship with his mother played out. It’s going to make for an interesting sequel! 

All in all this book really surprised me. There is nothing particularly surprising about the plot, but I really liked it – it was so much fun and the magic system is amazing. I want to be a crow rider so much. Would definitely recommend this one!

Paws out,
Rach + Draco

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