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The ​Storm Crow #1

The Storm Crow

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Indigo's best YA books of 2019 * B&N's best YA books of July 2019 * Goodread's most popular 2019 debuts
The first book in Kalyn Josephson's "must-read" (Adrienne Young) Storm Crow duology, a YA fantasy series that follows a fallen princess who ignites a rebellion, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo and And I Darken.
Princess Thia was born to be a crow rider—a warrior. In her kingdom of Rhodaire, magical elemental crows keep the city running. But when the Illucian empire invades, they kill all the crows in a horrible fire that also robs Thia of her mother and mentor.
Then Thia's sister, Caliza, becomes the new queen of Rhodaire, she is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the Illucian heir in an effort to save her people. Prince Ericen is rude and cruel and Thia can't imagine traveling into the heart of an enemy city after so much has been taken from her.
But before she leaves, she finds a crow egg in the rubble of the rookery. Deep in the heart of Ilucia she must hatch the last crow, hold her own against the crown prince, and ignite a rebellion to take back what is hers.
Perfect readers who want:YA mental health storiesLGBTQ charactersGifts for teen girls 12-18Also in this series:
The Crow Rider (Book 2)
Praise for The Storm Crow:
"Clashing kingdoms, thrilling action, and an imperfect heroine make this a must-read."—ADRIENNE YOUNG, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep and The Girl the Sea Gave Back
"[A]mbitious worldbuilding and an engaging premise…; Anthia's battle with depression is portrayed with frank authenticity, and features well-developed LGBTQ in the Deep characters."—Publishers Weekly

352 pages, Hardcover

First published July 9, 2019

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About the author

Kalyn Josephson

8 books644 followers
Kalyn Josephson is the author of THE STORM CROW duology and the upcoming RAVENFALL (8.30.22) and THIS DARK DESCENT (2023). By day, she's a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,597 reviews
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
257 reviews4,848 followers
July 9, 2019
The Storm Crow is officially a new all time favorite read. Consider me obsessed x10000.

Quick note, because I get asked this a lot- yes there is a sequel coming ;) - and I'm lucky enough to have read an early version and omgggggg it's so good. So for those of you who get to the end and need more... rest easy! There will be more.




I don’t want to give away too much, as usual in my reviews, but basically we have Anthia, a crow rider and princess of a demolished nation, who at the beginning is barely able to get out of her own bed, let alone walk around her city after the destruction of her family and the magical crows. The losses she suffered left her in a pit of depression that she can’t seem to claw out of no matter how hard she tries. Anthia's sister - the only family to have survived the siege - is currently queen - but she's barely able to hold up against the enemy country who left their nation in ruin. As a last hope, she agrees to an arrangement for Anthia to be wed to the enemy prince as a plea for peace.

Enter Ericen, our resident evil-ish prince with a smart mouth and a scowl to match who knows just how to get under Anthia’s skin. Oh, and he’s pretty.

"He was everywhere; I couldn’t escape him. Surely, it would only be worse in Illucia. He was in my head, in my thoughts and my emotions. He’d burrowed underneath my skin with his vicious smiles and barbed, caustic words, and everywhere I went, there he was.”


He arrives at the palace to collect his bride, thus forcing Anthia into action. First of all, he rouses her into a frenzy - and their banter is priceless. Worse, Anthia not only has to marry him, she has to accompany him back to Illucia, his country.

Only, right before Anthia leaves, she discovers something (that I won’t say because spoilers)… and a little kernel of hope forms within her, despite the depression weighing her down daily. She forms a plan.

Thus Anthia and Ericen journey to Illucia. And I’m going to stop there because you just have to read it.

Anthia is the type of character that burrows deep into your soul. When you read her pages, you’ll feel so pulled in by her, you’ll forget you even exist. The depression rep is handled SO well, and SO needed in books these days. I can’t even describe it - the writing struck home so many times for me.



"Still, I clung to the rising hope, feeling as if I balanced on a glass precipice, waiting for it to shatter and send me careening into the nothingness like so many times before.

I knew what I needed to do, but working up the will to do it felt like trying to fight my way above water in a depthless ocean.
It was so hard not to drown.”


But it isn’t just Anthia (and Ericen - wink wink) who will steal your heart. In particular, there’s a STRONG female friendship that I can’t even begin to describe, as well as some other certain fun characters I won’t mention because spoilerrrrrs. Trust me, you don’t want to miss them.

In terms of writing - ohhh my gosh. Kalyn is the author I aspire to be. Her prose is gorgeous. It’s easy to follow, not cluttered with too many details, but also lush and descriptive and the right amount of lyrical.


*

Special shoutout

Kalyn is a dear friend and critique partner of mine, and I'm so excited for her book to be released. She's such a gem - and genuinely one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. But even despite our friendship, I seriously loved this book so much. This review is from the heart. In fact, my ARC is loaded with highlights, and I’m pretty sure I sent a billion screaming messages to Kalyn while reading it. I can’t wait to see what you all think! Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one!

(Psssst... and check out that COVER!) My sweet friend Melanie hosted a full blog cover reveal post for us, including a trailer (by yours truly) and excerpt! Check it out HERE!


***

Preview:



Omg. Everyone needs to add this to their TBR!

Just read that description. This book is going to be SO. GOOD.



Also, Kalyn is amazing just FYI.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
457 reviews162k followers
Read
November 1, 2019
I read this for an experiment I did on my YouTube channel where my best friend picked out my tbr. I was so surprised by this book! It had so many elements that I love in a book, from strong friendships to complicated sibling relationships to being an overall well paced story. I can't say it's the most original fantasy out there, but it definitely impressed me and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel once it's out.
Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,546 followers
April 11, 2021
That’s it, the world needs more young adult fantasy books about mental health.

“It’s difficult to walk against the wind. It takes strength.”

First, let’s do the this-meets-that and satiate your impatient beast of a curiosity, shall we? My beloved pitch would be: Eragon (finding the last egg of a type of magical creatures plus a certain twist) meets And I Darken (conquered land’s princess with special lineage plus Mehmed) meets Red Queen (Silver houses plus Cal plus certain scenes).

“Don’t let her silence the storm inside you.”

The Storm Crow is, to me, a book centering around mental health more than anything else; from the heartbreakingly accurate representation of depression, to the Rhodairen’s loss and hopelessness, Kalyn Josephson has truly explored the importance of this sensitive issue and the ways it could affect our lives.

What impressed me most was how, despite the painful nature of the matters undertaken in this book, Josephson managed to make it so hopeful that, despite my broken heart after the ending, I was left with a feeling of...lightness. Of possibility. This book is about overcoming those obstacles and being strong not only in spite of them but because of them.

“Pain begets pain.”

I would not say this debut has the most original plot, but it shines a fresh light on those elements by focusing on the mental health aspect and how each individual is affected by it—and nothing is really ever repetitive when told through a different narrative. There was the occasional convenience and clichés, but The Storm Crow wore its sweet, fun YA colours with such pride that it succeeded in being a perfect example of what good YA should strive to be.

Beware, it’s slow-burning, as fits the subject matter, but that fact takes nothing away from how enjoyable it is with the hilarious back and forths between Ericen and Thia, and the underlying feeling of tension ready to burst. As always, you can check out my playlist at the end of the review for an even greater reading experience.

“When I asked what the speed of darkness was, my mother said, ‘Snuff out the only candle in a room. Watch how quickly the darkness comes.’ And she blew out the candle at my bedside, dousing us in night.”
“I’m guessing there’s a moral here?” Kiva asked.
“Darkness spreads quickly,” I replied. “Quicker than light.”

CW ➾ depression, PTSD, being burned, religious self-harm





But, Why Crows?

Despite the common belief that crows are evil, they are actually a symbol of magic and mystery, even luck. Most ancient cultures agree that the crow was the harbinger, guiding human souls into the afterlife (which explains the bad luck and death mostly associated with these intriguing creatures), and is the keeper of the Sacred Law and divination, too. In shamanic tradition, the crow is associated with witchcraft, and in Greek mythology, prophecy and good luck.

Today, the crow symbolises a new phase in someone’s life; a symbol of wisdom, intelligence, flexibility, destiny, and transformation. Which, I think, is enough to answer your unasked question.





Storyline

In a land of warmth and storms, magical, elemental, legendary crows are woven amidst the threads of Rhodairen life, so tightly that its people know no life without them...that is, until the Illucian empire steals into their capital, choking the life out of their culture. Their ways. Their crows.

That heart-wrenching devastation has thrown Princess Anthia into a cell of despair and depression, her thoughts trapped in a cycle of loss, imprisoned in a pain she cannot seem to escape.

And when Caliza, Thia’s older sister, agrees to a marriage between her sister, Thia, and Ericen, the crown prince of the conquering Illucia, to prevent another attack and more destruction, Thia finds she has to stand up and fight, to battle the depression ruling her mind. And that Illucia has things to hide...

“Crow or no crow, one way or another, you will fly. You were always meant to rule the sky.”

Determination shakes Thia when she finds a surviving crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, and starts brewing a plan with her sister to hatch the egg in secret—because it may be their only chance of regaining all they lost.





Storytelling & Golden Points

Not only is Josephson’s writing flowing and easy, urging you to not put the book down for a breath, she also pays much attention to the subjects she puts on paper, showing immense sensitivity and responsibility.

My heart bled and soared while reading the beauty with which the author led Thia through her depression, her fear of confiding in someone, of being called weak and dramatic, the urge to flee to a lonely corner, the need to feel and the frustration of having that joy dodge your grasp, the feeling that you were moving forward for a moment and then you weren’t. She wrote of the steps towards facing it, admitting it. And slowly, exquisitely, she showed us the path to light.

The reason this book was special to me, and that I would defend its representation until the end of time, is because it felt personal to me, having gone through it myself. Josephson wrote the about shock in a disaster, PTSD, and depression with admirable authenticity, capturing its truth and how it is not your choice. Thank you. From the depths of that chasms that is my heart, thank you :’)

“No. This isn’t your fault. The way you feel isn’t your fault.”

Moving on. As someone who is obsessed with politics I found that, even though this was YA, the little lighter politics sprinkled throughout were very much to my liking; such as the attention to the hardships of running a country and rebuilding after hitting rock bottom or the sensible explanations and obstacles that weren’t magically removed.

Another highlight for me was the parallel of Thia’s feelings and that of her whole kingdom; the apathy, the anger; it showed the truth of war, the decaying land torn apart, the people who had lost themselves, or as Kalyn put it, a kingdom “slowly fading, drifting into nothing like an abandoned ship into the night.”

But, most importantly, the religious conquest, the inclusion of which I found bold and fantastic. She would destroy their culture and give them hers, thinking they are blessed, taking away their identity, gaining wealth and knowledge from the conquered lands...the usual things.





Characterisation

“A storm.” She locked gazes with me. “A tempest of lightning and thunder with the kind of heart found only in legends. A heart full of kindness and courage and strength.”

Anthia (MC): Thia was a girl who had spent her whole life fighting; for her mother’s approval, for her place as a rider, for her skills and strength and knowledge. she’d pushed unwaveringly, and when she had met a wall, she’d shattered it.

Then she had stopped, falling down a pit of pain.

Her hurt, and fury, and fire were jumping put of the page. She acted according to her stubborn but admirable character, and then when the waves of depression hit, she acted according to it as well. Her slow transition—wanting to give up and succumb but desiring to fight it and help her people—was a joy to read and I loved her. And, in all honesty, I cried at the end seeing how far she’d come.

On criticism about Thia’s depression: I have read reviewers claiming Thia only said she felt drained but did not act it, which I beg to differ because that's not the way of it. Let me clarify: I do not know if those people themselves battled depression, but as someone who has I vouch for the accuracy of her situation. Someone who is depressed doesn't spend 24/7 crying or giving up; it does depend on the severity, but there are always times that the person wins the fight. Sometimes they would lose to those thoughts and feelings, sometimes the thoughts and feelings would lose to them.

“People are their truest selves at their most desperate.”

My favourite character was, however, Ericen; when I alternate between wanting to punch and kiss a character, you just know I love them. Arrogant, understanding, adorable, capable of being terrifying but also of being a total fool...I could go on for hours trying to explain why he will forever be my type. And, can we talk about how much of a Cal (Red Queen) he is with his obedience and defiance as he desperately clings to legacy and idiocy? Even better, he’s less of a Brick and more a snarky, smug version of Cal.

“Books are very underrated weapons.”

✦ Last but not least, I should mention Cayluss curiosity, attention, wisdom, and sweet, quiet strength, as well as Kivas boldness, bravery, understanding, and support were heartwarming additions.





Relationships

The Storm Crow is heavy with romance (maybe a little too much that it was weighing it down) but before that there is the female friendship that needs to be appreciated: Thia and Kiva’s bond was precious to me because of the incredible support; how Kiva would listen, understand, and urge Thia to take a step each day. As someone who has gone through Thia’s condition myself, I can’t stress enough how important having such a person is.

The romance, though, is a different story. Kiva’s romance seemed quite unnecessary and sudden to me, it was also barely there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted about the inclusion of an LGBT couple with such ease, but it came out of blue and was not much developed.

I can say the same about Thia’s relationship with Caylus; I adore their friendship and how they push eachother to heal, but neither was there a need for it turning to romance nor was it solid enough to seem lasting. I see why it would lead there—she was in such a foreign, cruel environment and he made her feel safe with his kindness and attention. But, I would like to quote my precious Warner (Shatter Me) to say, “You chose him because he’s kind to you? You should get a dog, love. I hear they share the same qualities.” #SorryNotSorry #NoOffence

“You’re a bastard,” I said.
Ericen stared at me, lips parted, before they slowly formed a smile. “You Rhodairens are very blunt.”
“No. You Illucians are just conniving monsters.”
His smile widened. “True.”

As for the romance I actually liked aka Thia and Ericen’s...I feel it made this sparking love triangle worth it. I know, I know, people hate love triangles for...some...reason, but if I have someone to root for, I usually don’t. What can I say, Eri is a gem and their banter breathed sweet, sweet life into my lungs. #DefendLoveTriangles

In fact, I was reminded strongly of Marecal (Red Queen) mixed with Warnette (Shatter Me). The cliff simile which I obviously noted immediately? Cal’s struggles? The last talk staring into the city but the opposite person leaving? And that jab though: Using Ericen’s feelings for me to manipulate him into joining me was something Razel would do. And Mare. Mare would do it too. Hello Red Queen. 😂

Anyways, far be it for me to complain. I’m not. I’m simply pointing to evidence that leads me to believe Team Ericen would be endgame.





Worldbuilding


“Myths are rooted in history and culture,” Caylus said. “They may be distorted retellings of fact.”

While there is much left unsaid, the myths and lands introduced in the first installment absolutely delighted me. From elemental crows and displaying how people, when given an easy way like magic, start to fully depend on it and are powerless without it, to a religion’s promise for ownership of the world leading to a kingdom’s conquests, and a nation with an elected government of only noblewomen forbidden to marry, Kalyn reveals her imagination and grabs my attention, making this land one I found quite enjoyable for the few hours I spent roaming it. Now, I need more.





Companions

Book series playlist: Spotify URL


Books in series:
➴ The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow, #1) ★★★★☆
The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow, #2) ★★★✯☆
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,366 reviews9,431 followers
March 20, 2021
So, with all of the stacks of unread books, Buddy Reads, library books, etc... I’m going to try to reread all of my physical books. I’m not feeling the same about certain books any more and I need to purge. I will probably be doing this with my book boxes as well. I would like to save money and buy my own books after reading them from the library and I can get my own bookish merch through other outlets.

I’m having a hard time with my ya books lately. This book was a favorite and five stars when I first read it but I’m changing this to a 3 star. The cover is still beautiful BUT, I’m getting rid of beautiful books as well if I don’t love them to death!

Old Review Below and FairyLoot Goodies

***********************
December Fairyloot! Clink on link below the picture to see the goodies.



THE GOODIES

I LOVE THIS COVER!!!!!!

This book was amaze balls!! Welp, looks like another ARC I will be preordering the hardback!

I’m going to add a few spoilers so Don’t read after the gifs unless you want a bit of spoilery







The shit hits the fan maybe a page out of the gate! Thia is having a good time out joyriding on one of the elemental crows; she was still waiting to get one of her own.

Thia is out with her friend, Kiva, who is a warrior. Then all hell breaks loose! The Illucians arrive and kill all the crows and kill many people including Thia’s mom. Thia’s sister becomes the new Queen and decides to marry Thia off to Prince Ericen of Illucia. Thia fought this tooth and nail but had to succumb to her destiny. My ass! And Thia’s ass too if she has anything to do with it.

Thia leaves with the Prince to go to his home. BUT.... Thia found a crow egg and is taking it with her. Thia’s sister is all for this as Thia must find the way and the magic to hatch the egg.

Thia meets the handsome boy Caylus, who just happens to be a rebel. Woot!! Oh, and the evil Queens servant, Auma is a rebel as well. Oh happy day!! The evil witch needs to be taken down.

Anyhoo, Caylus helps Thia find her inner power to hatch the egg!! And we have sweet little Resyries which means “ Stormbringer” and oh does he have a charge!!

Turns out the prince might not be so bad. Turns out that evil Queen has a whole slew of crow eggs! That bitch! And she needs Thia to hatch them. Not today dear Queenie! The gang escapes and are planning her take down! I hope the next book will have then raining hell down on the Queen. SIDENOTE: The Queen did have some bad things happen to her but she didn’t have to turn out the way she is but...

Either way, I loved the book and look forward to the next one!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

MY BLOG
Profile Image for jessica.
2,477 reviews29.6k followers
July 20, 2019
i am pleasantly surprised by how much i enjoyed this. its a very original and unique premise, which held my attention pretty much throughout the entire book.

i would definitely consider this a foundational book. its sets the scene for the story, but its quite slow in terms of plot. not a lot happens other than getting a feel for the characters and seeing how the different kingdoms interact with each other. i dont want to say the world building is lacking, necessarily, but i learned more from the glossary in the back of the book than i did from the actual story itself. still, the freshness of the story is what kept me reading.

for a debut, i think this is a pretty good start for an author and for a new series. like i said, this definitely laid down some great ground upon which the story can build, so im excited to see where it goes from here.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
422 reviews1,593 followers
September 23, 2019
In the Kingdom of Rhodaire the people rely on magical giant crows with elemental powers to help them with everything from growing crops, producing weapons and controlling the weather. The crows are not slaves but are revered. They work together with humans and are a part of their way of life.

This book starts out with Rhodaire being invaded by another Kingdom, Illucia. The crows are killed, several people close to our main character Thia die, including her mother the Queen.

Rhodaire finds themself in chaos, having depended for so long on the crows they no longer know how to survive without them. Supplies are running out and Caliza, the new queen, has hard decisions to make. One being - having to marry off her sister Thia to the enemies son.


If you're thinking this book will be like Eragon the only similarity it had was that Thia finds the last egg and she has a connection to it. The similarities end there.

After that action filled first chapter the plot mostly revolves around the hatching of the egg. The plot started out with a bang and then it died down and..... stayed dead.

And normally I hate it when people complain about a book being too slow in the beginning because most of time that is world building and the plot picks up. THE PLOT DID NOT PICK UP. I was waiting for something to happen.

It was a kind of plot that I've seen too many times before to the point where I could predict what would happen next.


I enjoyed the writing, it really hooked me in. The characters were likeble, some even loveble. The concept of giant crows with elemental powers was also highly intriguing and the diverse representation was really well done.

I especially liked that this book included depression. It was very new for me to read in a YA fantasy. I have no experience in depression so I cannot fully say if the rep was accurate. But as someone looking in, I learnt a lot about what people with depression must be going through.


About half way through the story line fell flat. I just wish I could connect with the characters and what they were going through and I feel that there was not enough background information on certain things. The ending was disappointing but I sincerely hope the sequel will fill in what lacked in this book.

You might think I'm being harsh but I did enjoy this book. It just did not blow me away. Keep in mind that this is an ARC and perhaps the final copies will be improved.

Will I read the sequel? Probably. If only for Caylus who is my favourite character and deserves all the happiness in the world.


Buddy read with Hamad 💫

ARC received from Edelweiss+ and publishers in exchange for an honest review

Publication date: 9 July 2019
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,573 followers
May 23, 2020

Here are the top five reasons you (Yes, you!) should read the storm crow.
1. Just look at that cover. Even if you never read it, you need this book on your shelf. It is gorgeous and will be a great edition to your bookshelf.
2. The writing will satisfy every reader. If your a reader who needs fast paced writing with lots of action, The Storm Crow is for you. If you love amazing images painted with words, The Storm Crow is your book.
3. The story. I won't go into it because I don't want to spoil but the story is basically a combination of Six of Crows and Brave. Anyone and everyone will love it.
4. The Storm Crow has a wide array of characters. Each one of them strong, brave and kind. (Well, most of them 😉😂). Every reader will become instantly attached to a character (or two of three or four...)
5. The Storm Crow will rock your emotions. It will make you laugh and cry. You'll fall in love with some characters and hate others.

In short: READ THIS BOOK!

Thank you so much to Sourcebooks for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Zainab.
360 reviews465 followers
December 4, 2019
I'll read anything with the word 'crow' in it now that I've read Six Of Crows.
This book was so good! I loved Ericen so friking much but the Caylus dude was awfully boring
Profile Image for Hamad.
972 reviews1,285 followers
June 29, 2019
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“People are their truest selves at their most desperate.”

🌟 Disclaimer: I received and E-ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review!

🌟 I think this book was just another general YA book that did not blow my mind! I am sure some people will like it and some won’t and I will try to be objective as always.

🌟 When it comes to the writing style, it was not bad! I found it easy to read and kind of intriguing. I finished it in 2 days. I think I just had enough of the same stories that it is becoming Eggshausting!

🌟 The main problem was the characters, they fell flat for me, there was the bad guy becoming good trope which I don’t mind! I just think that I didn’t care about any of the characters, if they died, I wouldn’t even care. This is a real problem for me as it turns out characters may be the most important thing in a story for me.

🌟 The other thing that left me disappointed was that not much happens in this book, the synopsis mentions elemental crows, I started to imagine the possibilities which were dissipated as soon as I started reading. The crows apparently appear in the prologue and few mentions here and there! There was a lot of time for crows eggs and while I was excited for that, the eggcitement died when it took so much time for anything to happen. I think this is like all a preparation for book 2 but some of the potential was lost in this one!

🌟 The world building was Okay, the magical system was not well established because there were not many crows as I mentioned! But some of the past events and clarifications were good to be honest.

🌟 Summary: Storm Crows was a book that promised things more than it could deliver! It was like many of the new YA books in terms of the structure, it has good writing but flat characters. It wasn’t what it was cracked to be (Enough with the egg puns! I don’t know how you read my reviews guys ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). Will I continue book 2? I am not sure for now, if it was a trilogy, it would have been a no, but since it is a duology, I may give it a chance!

BR with My new bestie, Queen of the winter court, the ravenclaw in our crew and a best reviewer!

Profile Image for Kalyn Josephson.
Author 8 books644 followers
July 8, 2019
Hi all! As we creep closer to the release date of THE STORM CROW and early copies start making their way into the world, I wanted to talk a little bit about the book, including some trigger warnings. I love this story deeply and I want to be sure anyone who picks it up is aware of what they’re reading.

- First, and most notably, this is a book about a girl living with depression. It’s about her struggles and her triumphs, and it’s about hope. As someone who struggles with depression, my hope is that this book can help others who are too. The most difficult parts are in the first chapter and a couple scenes in the early third.
- Self-harm is briefly mentioned in the latter half, to do with the enemy kingdom’s religion.
- There are a couple rather violent scenes toward the end, one of which involves fire, and the death of animals.

If you have any questions about any of these, feel free to reach out to me on here or through my website, twitter, or instagram accounts. I’m happy to go into more detail for those looking to better understand these warnings.

Thank you for sharing this story with me and I hope you enjoy it!
Profile Image for Kayla Dawn.
291 reviews883 followers
May 15, 2020
This was surprisingly good. The romance was a bit lackluster but other than that a very enjoyable read!
Looking forward to the sequel.
Profile Image for Angelica.
803 reviews998 followers
August 30, 2019
This is the second 'crow' book I read this month. It's also the second disappointing crow book I read this month. The first was The Merciful Crow whose greatest appeals were its beautiful cover and the fact it had the word 'crow' in the title.

Now I'm starting to think that crows, not as a species but as a YA trope, peaked at Six of Crows?

To be fair, you really can't do much better than Six of Crows. But that's just my totally biased opinion.

So, on to the review!

This book was ok.

It seems that lately all the books I read are ok and nothing more. Not unique or particularly interesting or even all that memorable. I'll probably forget most of this by the end of this year and probably won't even remember I read it by the time the sequel comes out.

The issue with this book is that it's one we've all read before. It has the same tropes and characters and elemental magic and world-building, only this time its more vague than usual and there are crows involved.

Seriously, what is world-building? This book clearly doesn't know. I wanted to know what the world looked like, how it worked, why it worked the way it did. I feel like I didn't get any of it and it made that made harder for me to truly get into the book.

I also really didn't love the characters. They seemed...generic. 

Anthia, the main character is suffering from depression. It was nice to see something like that being put in a YA fantasy as we only ever see things like depression being talked about in sad YA contemporaries. Still, that didn't get her a pass for being an extremely naive and kinda bland character.

Ericen and Caylus and Kiva were also pretty meh. I had no attachment to any of them. I didn't for any attachment to anything in the book if I'm honest.

There were instalove and love triangles and tragic backstories I didn't care about and a bunch of other things that are far too overused in YA at this point for me to be invested.

In the end, I just feel like I've read this before and I wasn't impressed with reading it again. Like it didn't bring anything new or interesting or worth the time I took to read it. That said, this isn't a horrible book. It just wasn't a particularly good one.

One thing this book did was good a lot of diversity. But, diversity does not a great book make.
Profile Image for Jessica.
21 reviews42 followers
October 22, 2018
HEY

hey ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

You know what's better than crows?

ELEMENTAL crows.

I was lucky enough to read THE STORM CROW early and LEMME TELL YOU. It's bloody brilliant. Josephson has crafted such a rich and gorgeous world that is SO REAL, I honestly swear it's out there somewhere.

And the characters--hello, Ericen is my fav, I call dibs--are so loveable (yes, even the bad ones...especially the bad ones) and complex, that they had me rooting for them from the start.

One of my utmost treasured things about this book is the depression rep, which is handled so beautifully. Honestly, our heroine Anthia means so much to me and I would 11/10 die for her.

THERE'S A LOT I WANT TO YELL ABOUT THE STORM CROW, but I advise readers to walk in blindly and be utterly transported in this lush, immersive world.
Profile Image for Stephanie Gillespie.
368 reviews181 followers
July 9, 2019
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger and Content Warning:  Depression, Self-Harm,Violence,

I really LOVED this book! The Storm Crow is filled with the potential to be a great, captivating series. It’s gripping within the first chapter, the characters are all amazing and the magic is uniquely written. With a large variety of majestic crows that can control the elements they provide everything needed for it's country.  The crows gave me major  How to Train your Dragon vibes. Josephson has created such a rich and gorgeous world!

"It's difficult to walk against the wind. It takes strength."

The story begins in Rhodaire,a magical kingdom where the elemental crows reside. Everything happens so quickly in the first chapter,Rhodaire is attacked by Illucia during the crow hatching festival. The queen,some other residents and the crows are killed and the kingdom is left in ruins. The crows being gone changes everything as the residents relied on them for their way of life, the kingdoms continues to suffer. Enter our protagonist Anthia, princess of Rhodaire, when her sister announces she is to marry the prince of the kingdom who destroyed them she is desperate to escape. As luck would have it she finds a crow's egg. When Thia and Ericen set off for Illicia  she takes Kiva along with her and the egg.

"A storm. A tempest of lightning and thunder with the kind of heart found only in legends. A heart full of kindness and courage and strength."

"Thia" : She is the princess of Rhodaire described as having brown skin tone ,and a born crow rider.She suffers from depression, the way its written was so well done,I have never read a fantasy novel that talked about depression before.Josephson does not sugar coat how crippling depression can be. I love how she continue to strive to help her country and overcome her negative feelings. I related to Thia in many ways.I especially loved her connection and passion for the crows.To help create a truce between Rhodaire and Illucia Thia is to wed their Prince.

Kiva: Is Thia's best friend,she is also a warrior who is assigned to protect the princess. Kiva and Thias friendship was everything! They have such love for each other, and their fierce loyalty. Kiva has also begun to develop a relationship with servant girl, I am anticipating such a cute romance in the sequel!

Ericen: Prince of Illucia, described as having pale skin, he is very sassy and reminds me a little of Rhysand which I'm so here for! I had a good feeling about him from the start even though he comes off as rude to Thia, I am cheering them on from the sidelines. I think there is more to him than we see right now.

Caylus : He is sweet and has some really cute moments, but I am not feeling him like I am Ericen. I felt like the romance between him and Thia was not necessary, but the author seems to be building up towards a long triangle.It honestly feels like she just fell for Caylus because he wasn’t an Illucian. It felt like he didn't have much of a personality and  Ericen is clearly the better choice.

“People are their truest selves at their most desperate.”

This is the first fantasy I have read in a long time that had me completely immersed into the story and I flew through this book.  At times it was a little predictable but It was a great first book in a series. I highly recommend picking this book up when it comes out and I am very much looking forward to the sequel as I have a feeling it's going to be amazing!

Buddy Read with Loranda

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Profile Image for Sol ~ TheBookishKing.
302 reviews178 followers
July 25, 2019
“Crow or no crow, one way or another, you will fly. You were always meant to rule the sky.”

This is easily one of the best fantasy novels to be released this year, and one of my new favorite fantasy novels ever. The Storm Crow is filled with beautiful imagery, amazingly powerful yet flawed characters, and a magic system that is adorable yet fearsome at the same time.

description

Overview:

Anthia is a princess of a ruined kingdom, desolated by the people of Illucia. Her mother is gone which causes her sister Caliza to take the place of Queen and most importantly, the crows are gone. Now Anthia’s whole kingdom, Rhodaire, heavily relied on these magic crows. Each type of crow carried a different type of elemental magic; storm, fire, water, air, earth, shadow, etc. So really they just worked with the crows for a peaceful life since magic was so easily accessible for them.

This book takes place three months after the murder of the magic crows and Thia’s life is truly falling apart while Illucian soldiers surround her city, waiting on orders from their Queen Razel to destroy them all. This can all be avoided though if she agrees to marry the Illucian Prince Ericen. Anthia really has no choice, so she and her best friend Kiva are whisked off to Illucia to be closer to Ericen and to the Queen Razel. But before she is set out to leave, Anthia finds one last storm crow egg hidden in the caves, giving Anthia and her people hope for a better future.

What I Loved:

There is not a single thing about this book that I did not love. The writing, while not overly flower and lyrical, is good enough to keep up a perfect pace while also creating beautiful imagery of this wonderful world. I also really love that from the beginning the author lets you know this is a kingdom with brown people, a mainly brown cast of characters, and very good LGBTQ+ representation!

Anthia is a powerful brown-skinned princess, who at the same time is battling a rough case of depression, while at the same time wanting to do what’s best for her kingdom and family. All her life she has wanted to be a Crow Rider, and finding this little Storm Crow Egg truly gives her hope and a newfound reason to live.

Kiva is Thia’s personal guard but also her best friend of forever. She’d do anything to protect Thia, but she also has her own life, she’s an amazing warrior, and she loves girls. I love that Kiva has a personality first and that personality isn’t her sexuality. She is such a strong presence in this book, that without her it wouldn’t be the same.

Prince Ericen is a jerk, I wouldn’t expect anything else from the Prince of a Kingdom that is trying to conquer the world. But he truly does want Thia to see him for who he truly is, which is soft and wanting a different world than what his mother wants. I really love him with my whole soul. I personally don’t love him as the love interest, I just think he is an incredibly complex yet soft character.

Caylus is a big soft-hearted scientist who ends up playing a hugely important role in this story. He understands Thia in a way that not a lot of people don’t and he’s fleshed out so well. In the little time that we know him, we find out so much about him that it makes it seem like he’s been in the story from the start.

Shearen is kind of the villain of this story as well as Ericens mother, Razel. What I love about Shearen is he’s a huge moody jealous gay who wants to get closer to Queen Razel and in order for him to do that he’s incredibly brutal and vicious. Shearens personality comes first though, he’s incredibly rude and cynical AND then it’s introduced that he likes guys. There’s this weird relationship thing going on with him and Ericen that is truly juicy and I feel like it could play a much bigger role in the sequel.

The diversity of this novel just flows so well, it makes the book so much easier to read and it makes it 100% more enjoyable. When it comes to the LGBTQ+ characters, their sexuality comes as an add on and it’s not their whole entire identity. More books need to take note and not focus on someone’s sexuality so much UNLESS that’s the point of the story. As a Queer Person, I hate reading Fantasy Novels where a character is gay and that’s literally the only interesting thing about them.

So not only is the writing super easy to read, the characters are incredibly diverse and easy to love, the story itself just draws you all the way in. There wasn’t a time when I was bored but there was always a time when I was stressed and worried about the outcome of this book. If you’re looking for a fantastic new YA Fantasy I think you should definitely check this book out, it deserves all the support. It’s such a unique fantasy world using Crows as the source of all magic and I really hope in book two that we get to know more about them and see just how important they are.

I could go on and on about what I love about this book but I’ll just cut it off here. If I was to shortly describe it I’d say a beautifully engrossing novel featuring a brown princess battling with mental illness, a jerk prince, a lesbian warrior, and an evil gay soldier. There’s also a little cutie in this who I would die for but I can’t talk much about him :)

Anyways! Read this book please, I hope you have a wonderful day, and Happy Reading!

~ Sol
Profile Image for jessy.
114 reviews23 followers
August 5, 2022
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?
Profile Image for Raquel Flockhart.
423 reviews310 followers
January 21, 2019
“People are their truest selves at their most desperate.”

I did it. I finished it. I don’t know why I did this to myself, I should have DNF’d it at some point. But I can be a bit stubborn and I wanted to see if something good happened towards the end. Guess what? It didn’t.

The Storm Crow begins when Rhodaire, a magical kingdom with elemental crows, is attacked by Illucia, another kingdom. The queen and the crows are killed and the kingdom is left in ruins. That changes Princess Anthia life, who is dealing now with depression and forced to marry Illucia’s crown prince. But Anthia is about to discover that hope is not completely lost when she finds a crow egg, the last opportunity of Rhodaire to get a chance to fight Illucia.

The premise sounds really cool. That’s the reason why this book had been on my radar for months and the reason why I got really excited when I saw the ARC included in Fairyloot’s December box. But the thing is that it’s been a while since the last time I disliked a book this much. No matter how much I try to find a single aspect I enjoyed about it, because I can’t find anything.

Let’s start with the first of my problems: the lack of descriptions. The settings aren’t described at all in The Storm Crow, which made impossible for me to imagine the different kingdoms, castles and streets. Descriptions are one of the most important aspects in a book, especially in SFF. You can’t mention only the colour of a couple of buildings and a few objects in a room. That’s not enough, it denotes a lack of care in the world created. The simple writing and the overuse of pet phrases didn’t help either.

Then we have the various inconsistencies and plot holes. The majority of the strategies don’t make any political or military sense. How is it possible for rebels to enter the castle that is described as the most guarded of all kingdoms? How the crown prince goes to enemy territory and eats the food without anyone testing it before? How is the princess allowed to go out of the castle without guards when she’s a political prisoner? How can Kiva choose to expend time with a girl she literally met the day before than protecting her princess and best friend the second day they are in Sordell’s castle? How can her people promise her a boat waiting for her in enemy territory when they are improvising the plan? And don’t make me start with all the inconsistencies around the ending.

The characters are completely flat and one dimensional, but at least we get to see some racial and sexual diversity in The Storm Crow—the main character is a WOC and there are some f/f and m/m relationships briefly mentioned. The thing is that all the characters fall in love after having literally met the other person just two days ago; insta-love everywhere. Anthia has interesting and emotional thoughts on depression, which I liked. But her actions contradict some of those thoughts, which was weird. Also, I can understand why she abandones her obligations about her kingdom because of her depression, but I can’t comprehend how she’s the first one critiquing the decisions other characters make when she’s so selfish. Her sister become queen and interposed her obligations above everything else, having to do something as hard as not taking her time to mourn her mom. I couldn’t understand how Anthia can blame her sister for the difficult decisions she had to make for her kingdom when she didn’t get the space or the time that Anthia was granted. She algo gets to blame her mom, Auma and Ericen for making some decisions when I don’t think it was her call to make some of those recriminations.

And getting back to the depression, I think using a psychiatrist word introduced in the 18th century in a medieval setting wasn’t the best decision. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s necessary to introduce something as important as mental health in a book and I liked how depression is handled in this one. But it would have been better if it had been included with accurate language that makes sense with the historical context in which the book is inspired. Something similar happens with the word 'anxiety'.

Summing up, I really wanted to like The Storm Crow, but it didn’t work for me. The crows idea is pretty cool, but I couldn’t ignore the lack of descriptions, the flat characters, the various inconsistencies and plot holes, the unnecessary and multiple insta-loves and the overuse of some pet phrases. But this is an ARC, so hopefully some of those things will be improved or fixed in the final copy.

“Welcome to the life of a woman. Men say stupid crap to us all the time.”


P.S.: I'm not English, so if you see any mistakes let me know so I can correct them, please.

Profile Image for Sydni.
475 reviews74 followers
July 9, 2019
Edit 7/9/19 HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO THIS BEAUTY AS WELL!!

where do i even start i-


this book is going in my all time favorites i can’t comprehend what I just read.

what a FABULOUS way to start off 2019 glad this was the first read of the year wow

OKAY HERE WE GO


.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.

The characters have got to be some of my all time favorites.

Kiva and Thias friendship was everything. Their banter. Their loyalty. THEIR BFF RELATIONSHIP WAS EVERYTHING I NEEDED.

Thia was a character I related to in small ways but also wish I was more like. Her anger and passion for the crows was completely real I felt everything she was feeling and was cheering her on in every direction she took (even if it wasn’t one I wanted her to) because I LOVE THIS CHARACTER!

Her very real struggles with depression was something I was surprised about. I haven’t read many fantasy books where things like depression are brought up. I’m glad it was because it was comforting to see this badass character who suffers from something that I suffer from as well. I love that Thia wasn’t this perfect hero—but a very genuine girl who was working to better her own mental health, while also doing all the things that a strong—kickass princess does.

Her and her sisters relationship was great! So glad it wasn’t just annoying sisters not getting along but they actually own up to their faults and create ways to figure their problems out together :”)

we love mature characters

IM EXCITED FOR EVERYONE TO READ THIS.

Now I can definitely see a love-triangle forming and eh i usually hate love triangles bc it’s my way or nothing obviously....but this one I can tolerate because I like the book

BUT ERICEN. Give me a guy with a smirk glued to his face and a bad attitude and IM ALL IN. The other guy is sweet & all but....ERICEN. That can’t be all. I refuse.

Overall i’m very sad that this was AN ARC because that means an even longer wait for the next book which doesn’t have much info yet ;(. READ. THIS. BOOK.

Thanks fairyloot for including this masterpiece in your December book box! ON SALE 7.9.19!!
Profile Image for Meghan.
68 reviews23 followers
July 21, 2019
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

*4 Stars*

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book! The Storm Crow is absolutely filled with the potential to be a great, captivating series. It’s gripping within the first chapter and the magic system is unique and fun. With a variety of majestic crows that can control the elements, and even bend light, they provide the foundation for a country’s way of life. How could you NOT get sucked into the story immediately?! The relationships between the crows and their riders is charming and gave me all the feels, reminding me of my own relationships with my two kitties (who, unfortunately, cannot control the elements, but they do a pretty damn good job at controlling my emotions).

This book was easy to keep reading and not once did I feel bored or want to put it down. There were some things about it that made some of the story difficult to believe because I did not want to believe that the main character, Thia, was that naïve. That being said, the character is young and, in my opinion, her actions are representative of the mistakes that a young person may sometimes make as they are trying to figure out who they are and how to navigate their interpersonal relationships and environment.

I felt that some of the characters did need more depth and complexity to them to make me really feel like I could conceptualize their personalities and development throughout the story. Because of that, it would have been 3 stars for me. However, the reason I am giving this 4 stars is because there is a mental health component. Thia battles a depressive episode and her experience is written well. The mental health focus is a strong addition to Thia’s character as I feel it is something a lot of people will be able to relate to; therefore, allowing the reader to empathize with the character. With YA fantasy being, well, fantasy, it could be hard to relate to the experiences of the characters. Adding a mental health component to Thia’s story really gave me the ability to empathize with her and provided the story with more realism.

I highly recommend picking this book up when it comes out and I am very much looking forward to seeing how the series progresses.
Profile Image for Sophie "Beware Of The Reader".
1,249 reviews338 followers
January 10, 2019
5 stars

I can't believe this is a debut book!

I was in a book funk for two weeks. It never happened to me before but nothing tasted really exceptional. Nothing kept my attention.

I got this ARC of Storm Crow in a Fairyloot box (I confess that I ordered this box as I knew an ARC was included) and opened it without too high expectation but also I was curious.

The first sentences I nearly stopped because it happened in a universe that I did not get at first sight and as I said I had a hard time focusing these past weeks.
Yet I was soon immersed in that first night of celebration with huge magical crows raining sparks and fire or storm and rain or...
I had these pictured of magical fireworks and colors in a night sky created by these birds till...all Hell broke lose.
This dream began a nightmare. A night of destruction and annihilation of a country. A night of betrayal.

You got it I WAS IN!

I was engrossed in Thia's journey.

 

First through grief and depression. And that's another feather to the author's hat because how many times do you read about heroes being depressed in fantasy books?
And by depressed I mean really lost and wanting to hide under the covers all the time.
Depressed to the point you can't simply will to move and be better. Because it is not so simple. It does not work. It is beyond your control.
“This was why I’d hidden in my room, why I wanted to run there now. Alone, no one could make me feel like an ungrateful little girl, rejected and inferior. No one could look at me like Caliza was now: disappointed, impatient, accusatory. As if this were all in my head and it’d go away if only I tried hard enough.”

Hiding in your room and shirking your princess's duty making your people despise you?
The answer is simple: never. Or I have never encountered it so far. Even Feyre in ACOMAF was bad but Sarah J Maas did not go as far as Kalyn Josephson did.

Yet Thia before Rochnog was buoyant and daring. Full of life.

She will have to put herself back. For her country. For herself.



It was like the destruction of the crows snuffed all her vitality.
When she discovers the sole egg left unscathed from the disaster she knows she has to hatch it. It is the only chance of her country.
If she and her sister hope winning against queen Razel one day they have to get this last storm crow. Especially when prince Ericen heir to queen Razel and owner of a horrible reputation has to marry Thia.

This is the first book of a series, not published before seven months yet I want the sequel already!

You have all that makes epic fantasy and extraordinary read:

-Magic and magical crows;
-The clash of kingdoms;
-An evil and blood thirsty queen;
-A beaten yet strong heroine;
-A journey spiritual to regain her former self; intellectual as you have to solve the mystery to hatch crow's eggs and physical as Thia will follow prince Ericen to Rodel;
-A rebellion brewing undercover;
-A handsome enemy prince and an alluring inventor former fighter;

And many other things sure to enthrall fantasy readers.

I am really impressed and grateful to Kaylinn Josephson as she had my rapt attention and she gave back my love of reading.

Mark my words this is a future bestseller and bestselling series.

 
Do you want to read this one now?
 

Thanks for reading!

 
Sophie
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Profile Image for Vivianne.
333 reviews65 followers
October 31, 2020
The Storm Crow: 4.5 stars
The Crow Rider: 4.5 stars


1st read: 4.25 stars (June 2019)
2nd read: 4.5 stars (October 2020)

I really enjoyed reading The Storm Crow, it was gripping, funny, heartbreaking, fast paced and very well written. Furthermore it has awesome characters, a great villain, great LGBTQ+ representation and a fantastic mental illness rep (depression). I absolutely loved the original world and the elemental crows and am so excited what the next book will bring! Things I didn’t enjoy as much were the pacing, that was a bit too fast at times, and that the plot wasn’t as original as I’d have liked to see. But I would still really recommend!!

”Strength comes in many forms, the lion fears only the fox.”


Contains spoilers from down here!


__________________________________________

Things I liked!
- This book has a very gripping beginning. Not only has it a heartbreaking, action packed, mouth gasping prologue (which was a tiny bit info dumpy with all the crows, but that could be forgiven), but also the chapters after the prologue really entertained me. This book sucked me right in and it was hard to put down.

- I really REALLY R.E.A.L.L.Y! appreciated the mental illness rep in the beginning. I come across this way too less in the ya genre. And I felt sooo bad for Anthia. It was just so well done and so relatable. I also loved that throughout the book she kept struggling and mentioning this and when she has a hard time she again threatens to fall back into it.

- It was very interesting to see a kingdom that has been relying for so long on these magical creatures, loose them in one instance and then how they needed to cope with that. I really enjoyed the political aspects like how are they going to get food when they can’t get water from the water crows and all crops are dying since they don’t have system for water while they always relied on the crows.

- This book had some very refreshing things about it. The magic system, world and elemental magical crows were so original! So enjoyable! So renewing! I enjoyed every minute of that and I’m almost sad that we only got to read the prologue with how the world with the crows used to be (but I have high hopes for the future!!)

- I appreciated the bond between Thia and Kiva so much. I really felt like they were true friends! How Kiva tried to help Thia get out of her depression; not by saying you’re an adult get over yourself but by taking her on walks through the cities, getting her out of bed. But also the other way around and how Thia helped Kiva. I loved their humor and them teasing each other with e.g. potential suitors.

- Speaking of Kiva, I absolutely adored her as a character. While she starred in her friendship with Thia, she was also a great character by herself. Loved how protective she was, her background was super interesting, and I LOVED that she was into girls and how open she was, I really hope she and Auma can have a future!

- Which brings me to the next point: it was soooo refreshing to have a world where women are equal to men. I’m a bit tired of the fantasy were the girls have to prove so much more because they are girls, or where they are denied opportunities, and scolded. I loved that Illucia has a queen, loved that the woman could rule by themselves, loved that they were all powerful fighters, loved that Kiva and her mom were guards. Plus a world where bisexuality and being gay is totally normal. No looking weird, no scolding!

- It was also incredibly funny what made the bonds between characters even stronger.

- During my reading experience I kept thinking “this book is so short with only 338 pages, what could happen in the end that makes me want to continue the series”? Well this could happen. I was soooo stressed for the characters to get out of there.

- I think Razel is the flawless villain for this story. Something in her past happened that drove her to be blinded by insanity and hate. But she is also very smart and strong. I really loved her for some reason and felt bad for her. I don’t know it was just perfect for this story.

- The writing style was also great. I love it when an author can tell a lot in little pages.

- The romance between Thia and Caylus wasn’t my favorite thing in this book because it develops over a short amount of time but I didn’t find it annoying and by the end of this book I could appreciate it a lot.

Things I didn’t like
- The plot is not renewing. And I’m a bit tired of seeing things repeated in YA all the time. Some examples; a society is overthrown by others and they must work in an alliance to overthrow the big bad tiran, the prince that seemed cruel and stuck up is actually nice and caring and will help, the main character is married off and doesn’t agree, a divergent crow, a sort of love triangle, a rebellion is already there and the MC uses that to her advantage. I would have liked to see some more originality in the plot.

- Furthermore I think everything moved a bit too fast. Usually I’m a fan of that, since fast pacing books keep me interested and invested in the story. However with a character with depression I would have liked to see some things more flashed out and slow down. For example; it was kind of ridiculous how Thia called a meeting with the highest ranking officers and started to dictate and throw suggestions out about overthrowing Illucia around page 80 while at page 70 she couldn’t get out of bed or even think about rebellion because she was so weak. I would have liked some time in between, some recovering period to make it more believable. I had the same experience with Thia’s time in Illucia and with Caylus. It just felt a bit too rushed and I would have liked some things more flashed out. This book is short enough and could have used another 100-150 pages.

- The only thing I wasn’t a fan of with the plot and with Thia’s character was that she was too naïve to understand that Razel would just let her get to the city and bakery unfollowed. Thia is the princess of the enemy kingdom, Razel is smart and cunning, she is not going to be let roamed free around the city to start rebellions and hatch and raise her crow. And thus I wasn’t surprised that after a while Razel stole Res and tried to blackmail Thia by torturing her friends. Furthermore I also saw it coming that she stole the eggs instead of destroyed, even though I really enjoyed this twist!
Profile Image for L. | That_Bookdragon.
252 reviews12 followers
July 10, 2019
4.5/5 ⭐ || this was a buddy read with @annesbookishtravels

"Books are very underrated weapons"

This book was an amazing book. I had the chance of receiving an ARC from Fairyloot in their December box and I don't know what took me so long to read it. Anne and I both agreed: this book was a very pleasant surprise.

The concept was also very original. The kingdom of Rhodaire is dependent of magical crows who have elemental magic and are rideable by trained riders. There are Sun Crows, Storm Crows, Earth Crows and many others which make you want to have your own and arrive in style to work is it only me? Oh well. Life is made possible in this kingdom thanks to the crows because they regulate the weather and help give resources to the people of Rhodaire. Unfortunately, the attack orchestrated by the kingdom of Illucian causes the death of all the crows and brings chaos and poverty to Rhodaire. Anthia and Caliza are faced with a new issue: how to keep Illucian from attacking again. The only solution found by the now queen Caliza is to marry her little sister Anthia to the prince of Illucian: Ericen.

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Plot-wise, I thought this story was amazing. It is true that it can be a bit slow at times but I found myself really enjoying it. The pace was great because it allowed for the story to feel more real and not rushed, jumping from one event to the other. On the contrary, it took its time to introduce us to some characters and to reveal plot twists. There is also a lot of action going on in this book and the mental illness representation is amazing. Indeed, Anthia is victim of depression and I thought it was really well portrayed. The only thing I didn't understand was that this book is compared to Eragon and as someone who absolutely hated this book, I thought it was infinitely different, the only similarity being the crow egg.

The characters were also amazing. I loved Anthia and seeing her not let her depression define her despite it still tugging at her, which is something I know too well. No matter what one does, their depression is always there. However, the good days are here too and Anthia's were fantastic as well. Kiva, her best-friend, was also a great character. I liked her attitude and her banter. The girl deserves a hug. Concerning Ericen, I was scared he would be the typical bad-guy brat but he was so much more and I won't reveal anything because it would be spoilers. I was intrigued by him from the beginning and he didn't disappoint. Caylus, I think, was my favorite. He was kind and I think he also has a lot to give for the next book. I can't believe I now have to wait until the next book comes out *cries*

As an overall conclusion, I would like to applaud Kalyn Josephson. The Storm Crow is an amazing debut novel and I was hooked by her writing almost instantly. That prologue was amazing and I cannot wait for the next book to come out because THAT ENDING OMG!

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Profile Image for Beth.
659 reviews567 followers
August 30, 2020
5 Stars!

I don't know what it is, but every time I do a Buddy Read with Alexis I always absolutely adore the book!

Hands down the metal health rep in this book has blown me away, I'm pretty open and honest with my own mental health and at this present moment I am off work with Depression and Anxiety, and this honestly made me feel heard and represented which I don't think I've ever seen in a fantasy book.

I'm not going to go too much into a review as I'm not in the right space at the moment but I had to write about the above because for me I found it so important.

Genuinely didn't think I'd of enjoyed this as much as what I have, but I loved it!
Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah .
643 reviews453 followers
July 9, 2019
I was so excited to read this fantasy book because the concept sounded amazing, and it was quite a good read for many different reasons. I’m so happy to be on the blog tour and able to review this book on its release day. Happy book birthday to The Storm Crow!

One of the things I loved about this book had to be the representation. Our main character becomes scarred and burned very quickly, and she struggles with a phobia of fire and dealing with her own body image at some points in the novel. Even though she is a royal main character, we get to see a lot of Thia’s depression and how it affects her daily life. In no way does her depression make her less of a strong female character. Although I was unsure about the depression representation in the beginning, I think it improved the further along into the novel we got. (This is not an ownvoices evaluation of the depression representation.) I also loved that we had a lot of LGBT+ secondary main characters, and that was normalised in the world.


Speaking of the world, can we talk about the fun world building! I absolutely loved the concept of the crows and their magic. The further along we got into the story, the more I wanted to learn all about them and how they grew and worked. I was not disappointed, as Thia is also very intrigued with the crows too. Although I wondered how the crows could be so easily defeated if they were so powerful? I got a good sense of the land and city the novel was set in, as well as the customs and rulers. It never got too overwhelming and I loved being in this world.

I also really loved all the political games and tense royal alliances and relationships. There is a war going on in this book, or more so a ruler who has decided to conquer the other cities. I think the political games and scheming raised the stakes in the book and made it a lot more suspenseful. The queen of Illucia was a very good baddie. She was cut-throat and cunning, and I completely believed her motivations for why she was doing what she did. Most importantly, we got to see her evil happening. I really hate when books tell you about a villain’s horrible acts but never show it – it’s very much NOT the case here, which is brilliant!


I also liked the complexity of certain characters in the novel. Especially, Ericen. He goes through an internal struggle in this book and the more we got to know him, the more I loved seeing the intricacies of his position and moral opinions. I also liked that some of the deceased characters who we are seeing through other character’s memories were portrayed as imperfect when living. It didn’t stop them from being mourned or cared about in memory. Often it is easy to portray all deceased characters as perfect people that should be missed, but I liked that dose of realism.

I’m a bit unsure of the romance. While I liked the romantic interest and have to admit he is really cute, I also felt like the romance happened quite fast and a bit too quickly for my liking. I didn’t get a sense of real chemistry. But I did like who he was.


The book was very well paced, and I was never bored because there was also something new happening. This was such a good opening to a series, and I am curious to see where it will go next with book two! Which I will definitely be reading.

This review and others can be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2019/0...
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
883 reviews273 followers
January 27, 2020
For a debut novel, in the flooded teen fantasy genre, The Storm Crow provides what I was hoping for with a little twist here and there. The easiest way to describe this is expect the Crows to be equivalent to Dragons in most stories.

Plot
There are politics, different countries (at war of course), and strong relationships. Not only are there some partners meeting up, but also lovely friendships and even some sisterhood moments. This places Kalyn Josephson in a category above most of the average YA writers of today; as she was able to create love in more than just the average pairing.

Depression
I would be surprised to learn if Josephson hasn’t had some mental health moments in her life. The descriptions and emotions of our lead gal who is suffering from depression are very well done. And instead of having the depression last a day and magically getting it better; The Storm Crow focuses on finding our lead gal purpose and inspiring her to have desires.

Overall
I’m really impressed with Josephson’s first book. If she continues to improve on what she has begun in The Storm Crow I’m confident she will be the next big teen fantasy author. Her pacing, descriptions, world building and characters are all at a quality above the average author in this genre. The more I think about this book the more I feel my four stars might be too low. So consider this one a solid 4 stars with an opportunity to jump to 5 if the sequel carries forward on par or stronger.
I just need to keep remembering that a giant Crow is as cool and sleek as a Dragon. 😉

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Sasha .
292 reviews286 followers
September 8, 2019
2.5 for me
That book has lots of potential. The idea was interesting, the plot etc but it didn't work for me.
The reason why it is a 2.5 is because it is after all her first novel.
I finished it in no time because it was really easy to read. It was a fast read not because it was a fast-paced book or very addictive but just because it was easy...

The problem for me was the absence of world-building. I have no idea how the world works, what the different kingdoms look like. Etc I don't know anything about anything. Except that at the very beginning a kingdom that apparently worked somehow with elemental Crows was attacked and lost all the Crows. That's it. At the end of the work you have like a summary of the different kingdoms, the different types of crows etc but I find that a bit too easy. I feel like in fantasy books, the authors should teach us everything we need to know in the story not in a glossary or whatever at the end.

The tropes were the regular ones so in other words the story was very predictable. The characters were annoying and very cliché. Everything was or going to fast or not going anywhere at all. I still think that that book had a lot of potential. Maybe the sequel will blow our mind. I just didn't find it special.

Also please don't compare it to Eragon, because the only similarity that you will find is that the main character found an egg. And that's it. Yes there is apparently a strong link between a crow and the rider but I didn't feel it.

Also at the very beginning the main character admits that she is depressed. talking about depression in YA is not something I saw very often. I don't think it was well illustrated but it was at least there!

I was waiting for things to happen but nothing. It was too flat for me.

There is a character that made me thing of Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer. So I hoped for it to get better but nope. then you have the cliché Prince who is nice then five minutes later he is a complete jerk. Then you have the entire kingdom future that depends on one brainless character etc
And also everything was too easy. I mean the main character got everything she wanted even from her enemies just because she said "Yes, your Highness"... Nothing made sense...

My review sounds really bad, like I hated that book. I didn't. I read it easily and in no time. It was just a regular YA Fantasy,, with the same tropes all over again...
Profile Image for Bookish Pengu.
371 reviews161 followers
July 14, 2019
I really really wanted to like this. I even pre-ordered it and was so excited when it arrived before the official publication day.
Sadly most of the scenes felt rushed. They were not bad by any means but I would have liked a bit more detailing, a bit more time to get a feel for the situation.

Our main character has to deal with depression and I was so so amazed how well the author handelt this difficult topic.
She was also quite likeable altough I didn't feel as attached to her as I would have liked. Again blaming this on not enough details and descriptions. The lack of those engouarge to not built a bond.

The side characters came along a bit dull and one dimensional. I didn't like the male love interest(s) and everything about Auma was quite obvious. Kiva altough I enjoyed reading about but she also felt a bit stereotypical - which didn't stop me from liking her nonetheless.

The world building was again a topic which the author should have used more time on. The economy of Rhodaire was completely dependent on the crows and without them the whole country just crumpled. This seems like an unreliable resource to be dependent on but it kind of reminds me of us humans and our energy so there's that. But the tale of how the crows were made was also a bit short. I love little story interwoven into the bigger one but here we have it again: Take your time Josephson.
Oh and if the crows are intervening with the wheater shouldn't this affect more than just the country of Rhodaire?

The villain of the story is quite typical in comparison to other young adult books. She is portrayed as this evil queen which does everything to keep her power. Yet I did not feel anything of this. There is only one scene near the end were I can agree and say: Yes, that was evil.
But she mentions most of the time how she wants to break Thia and control her country yet she lets her roam freely in through the city and do what she likes. I kind of get it for a later point in the story but she really doesn't seem that evil. I mean she has a whole army, just conquer the country, take everything like you have done before (I mean they don't have the crows what are they going to do?) and move on.

The supposed to be rebellion was also a let down. Everything again happens so easily and in such a short matter of time it was really unbelievable.

I think the author wanted more than she could deliver. She had a really good idea but I think with a bit more time and more pages it could have been better. Nevertheless it was still good and I will continue the series in hope that the second book is better. We at least have a good basis for that so my hopes are set.

Still a bit disappointed though.
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