I really enjoy reading young adult fantasy books. I also love magic. So when I read the synopsis of “The Storm Crow” I new I had to read it! Thankfully, I found it on audiobook so it was easier for me to get to it, as I wouldn’t have to wait for a few weeks to get it!
Rhodaire is a tropical kingdom that lives a peaceful life. They have huge magical elemental crows that they ride and they are not used only at war! There are storm crows, earth crows, healer crows and so many other types of crows. The crows are connected to their riders through a special bond and they can communicate through that bond so as to bring the needed result. The people in Rhodaire love their crows, because they help them in everyday life and because they are beautiful, magnificent creatures.
All that till the Illucian empire invades Rhodaire and all hell breaks loose. During a festive day, fire breaks out and and all crows are burned to ash, along with their eggs. Many soldiers die that day and so does the Rhodairen Queen and her trusted companions and counselors. Her two daughter survive, but at what cost! The elder one, Caliza, get’s to be queen at her mother’s place, a job she was always preparing for but didn’t want to take under such circumstances. Her people are in pain and hunger and they have lost all their glory. Furthermore they have Illucian solders at their boarders threatening to attack at any point. She has to find a way to make peace with the ruthless Illucian Queen for the sake of her people.
Princess Anthia (Thia) on the other hand was devastated by the disaster. She was training to become a crow rider and now there are no crows. She loved those beautiful creatures more than anything else and loosing them, her tutor and her mother on that same day was more than she could handle. She has been hiding in her room, refusing to get out of bed, as she saw no point at it. But eventually she has to get out of her bed, out of her room, as she is to be engaged with Prince Ericen, son to the Illucian Queen Razel.
It’s the first time I read about depression in a young adult fantasy book, but I think it was wisely used in this one. The story makes good use of Anthia’s state and her struggles as every day goes by. We see her hopes going high and down with every encounter she makes, but we also see her triumphs. Thankfully Anthia has a good friend on her side. Kiva is her personal guard but she is also her best friend. Their relationship is strong and loyal and it starts way back. It’s a great example of friendship between women!
I really liked how Prince Ericen is portrayed. He has his own issues and his own troubled life which is not visible at first. Even though in the beginning he is not easy to like, I sympathized with him later on when I learned more about him and his past. It’s not easy to be the son of a cruel queen, especially the son Ericen is.
Caylus is a character you would easily like. He is a soft-hearted scientist, that is curious and kind and he truly understood Thia. It turns out he has been through some rough times too, but he is trying to leave it all in the past.
Overall, I really liked this book, even though I wanted a bit more of the world building. We get only glimpses of the crows’ abilities, but since they were all killed very early in the book, I can understand why it wasn’t there. I can’t wait to get the rest of the story on the sequel!