A quest for not only taking back their kindgom but also their magic.
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.
Title: The Strom Crow
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Publication: July 9, 2019 by SourcebooksFire
Target audience: Young Adult
This book was included in the FairyLoot December 2018 box. See the full unboxing here.
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Don’t judge a book by its cover.
This cover is absolutely gorgeous. When I first saw it, I was already half in love with it, and I hadn’t even read the synopsis. The word ‘crow’ immediately made me think of Six of Crows and the girl reminded me of Inej.
So yeah, I was ecstatic when this cover was revealed, and I still was when my brain registered that this is not another book in the Six of Crows series.
But The Storm Crow was just another generic YA fantasy that had me rolling my eyes and yawning from boredom.
The evil empire destroys the magic in the good kingdom. Nothing new, very common in YA. That’s exactly what happens in Children of Blood and Bone too. That book was so popular this year, and I don’t think we need the same plot over and over again. Side note (and unpopular opinion): I didn’t even like Children of Blood and Bone. I’m only halfway through and I’m not sure if I will continue it.
So, the premise is nothing new. That wouldn’t be such a problem if the rest of the book was good. It’s not.
Literally nothing happens. Nothing. I don’t think you can even spoiler anything, because it is so predictable, and you’ll know everything from reading the synopsis. Empire attacks, destroys magic. Protagonist has to marry evil prince. Protagonist finds magical egg. Protagonist has to hatch magical egg. That’s. It.
The characters are shit.
Our evil prince is a complete asshole, and not the kind of asshole that is still likable, y’know? Then suddenly, he’s super nice and supposedly ‘charming’. The author tries to sell that through a tragic backstory and all that jazz, but I just didn’t buy it. His change of personality didn’t make any sense to me and he seemed like a completely different person. Not believable.
Also, he constantly says ‘I’m not as bad as you think I am’ or ‘I don’t want to be your enemy’ or some variation of that. So fucking annoying.
The love interest Caylus gave me a little hope. At the beginning he’s adorable and he’s got that distracted scientist vibe. He reminded me a lot of Lazlo Strange (the protagonist of Strange the Dreamer. If you’ve read my review, you know that I love him).
The thing is, later he’s still like that, but I just can’t stand him anymore. I’ve realized that Caylus is just a cheap Lazlo Strange copy. He too gets a tragic backstory that I don’t care about and his personality doesn’t go beyond ‘adorable and confused’. He’s also supposed to be a really good fighter/warrior/whatever, but there’s also a scene where he bangs his head so hard that he starts bleeding. That doesn’t happen in like a fight or something, but in his room. Because he wasn’t looking. Some warrior he is. I hate this ‘clumsy person who’s also a really badass fighter’ trope.
Protagonist Anthia is just dumb. She thinks she can outsmart everyone but she’s just really dumb. I was excited for a depressed main character but I just didn’t care for her.
A weird thing that I’ve noticed: basically every side character is gay. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against gay people and representation does matter, but it just struck me as weird. It’s like the author is saying: “Sorry for making the protagonists straight! Let me make it up to you by making everyone else gay!”
Still, this wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve read. The writing is solid and reads easily. I appreciate the author trying to put a twist on an over-used trope. Instead of people having magic, it’s the crows that have it. Could’ve been cool.
P.S. Why do I have the feeling that Anthia and her crow are going to be the Avatar of this universe?
Do you plan to read this book? What’s the last hyped-up book that left you disappointed? Let’s discuss in the comments!