ARC Review: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow, #1)The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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.

Warnings: animal death, PTSD, torture, physical violence

The Storm Crow is a fantasy with a unique magic system, and a heroine who has to get past her depression and fight for her kingdom while in the hands of her enemies. Anthia is forced into a marriage pact by their invaders Illucia, who destroyed their magical crows and dismantled their society in a single night. Now living as the prince Ericen’s fiance in enemy land, she has to forge alliances and try to hatch the single storm crow egg she found, which may help their kingdom and others rise against the tyranny of the Illucian Queen.

The magic system of this novel is based on these huge magical crows, that have affinities to elemental magic and bonds with riders. Anthia, from the royal bloodline, should be the only one to know how to hatch the egg, but her mother, the Queen was killed in the attack, leaving her with no knowledge of how to go about doing it. Her grief drove her into depression for many months, which makes her guilt over that lost time weigh even more over her, and which drives her toward a risky venture. Her bickering with the prince also rouses her from her grief, and gives her a purpose, as does the cruelty of the Illucian Queen, who seeks to drive fear into everyone’s hearts. Along with her best friend, Kiva, she has to navigate a hostile court, and quietly work with a scientist who helps her crack (ha!) the mystery of the egg.

The relationships in the book are quite interesting in how they are rendered. Anthia’s relationship with her distant mother and sister, and her close friendship with her friend, whose mother was an exile from her own kingdom are all familial relationships presented in their varied complexities. Ericen’s abusive childhood in a kingdom that values strength and honor, is also something that draws her to him, even as he presents a tough and careless exterior. The romances in this novel could’ve done with more work, though. The pacing of the novel is kept fast enough, and I pretty much read it in one sitting, as it was quite engaging, and immersive. And finally, I loved the casual diversity in the book, with POC and queer characters abound.

Verdict: It is an interesting fantasy, unpredictable and with a refreshing magic system.

Is it diverse? WOC protagonist with depression, queer and POC secondary characters

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Sourcebooks Fire, via Edelweiss.

View all my reviews

Buy links

The Book Depository | Wordery

Releases on July 9, 2019

11 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

  1. I want to read this, but am a bit anxious. The last book I read that had a character that was depressed made me feel depressed and I’m worried if this one will make me feel the same. How did it make you feel?

    • It’s not written during her depressive episode so it doesn’t really describe it. It’s after she comes out of her episode, an even after that there’s only occasional mention of her trying to stave it off.

      Being depressed myself, I understand your concern. Personally, I didn’t get affected but if you need it I could tell you which chapters to watch out for

      • Okay that’s really great to hear. But I would appreciate a chapter warning. The only reason I haven’t picked it up is because I just had started a book that started making me feel depressed and I didn’t want another one to make me feel like that,

        The book that made me feel depressed is Magic for Liars in case that’s on your TBR, but it was just because I related with it so much. The character has issues with her sister and so do I and it really kind of got to me. I had to set it aside and honestly I don’t know if I will pick it back up.

            • Ch 1 & 2: discussion of her depressive episode from grief
              Ch 3 & 4: hints of guilt; fighting against lethargy
              Ch 5: lethargy
              Ch 8: grief and heaviness

              Hope this helps 😊

              • Okay, so after the first few chapters it gets lighter? That’s SO helpful. After setting aside Magic for Liars I didn’t want to dive into another book that would make me feel depressed and I’m glad to hear that this book probably won’t, but also I’m glad to have some warning ahead of time. I think I might write a mini review of Magic for Liars, just to warn others. But at the same time I never write reviews of books I don’t finish so I don’t even know where to start. But after the way it made me feel I don’t want to go back to it. So I’m kind of waffling.

                • Yeah, she is out of the depressive episode and has a purpose so it’s like ‘having a thing to wake up for’.

                  As for your dnf, I’d suggest writing a mini review as to why you couldn’t continue. Including warnings would also be great for others.

                  • I think that’s what I will probably do. Honestly I think it’s important to write a review on a book that made me feel so depressed. I hate giving negative press, but my reviews are for the readers, not the authors. Despite the fact that I love to help them out, readers are who reads my blog.

  2. Pingback: Diversity Spotlight Thursday #54 | YA on my Mind

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