Happy Sunday you guys! I hope you’ve had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead! And just in case any of you are planning top stop by a bookstore on Tuesday for all those new releases – may I interest you in one I recently read and adored?
I was super lucky and excited when Sourcebooks Fire had me on board for another blog tour and once again for a book I was just super stoked about! I was very kindly sent a copy of the book to read early, so I could participate in this blog tour and here’s the post I came up with! 🙂 And just as a quick clarification, the fact that I got send this book did in no way influence my review of it – that’s all 100% true and nothing but facts have been mentioned. 🙂
Let’s just jump right in as there are quite a few things to talk about and we don’t want this post to get too long, do we?
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. (via Goodreads.com)
Depiction Of Depression After A Traumatic Event – The Storm Crow welcomes it’s readers into the world with a prologue that features the attack of the Illucian empire on Rhodaire and then jumps into the story just six months later and vividly shows the reader how our main protagonist Anthia, is dealing with the situation – which understandably isn’t easy.
I really and truly appreciated that we got to see this part of Anthia’s journey. We see her struggle to get out of bed or we see her just wanting to stay in bed whenever she is faced with another setback but also fighting that feeling as much and often as she can. I truly was rooting for Anthia even if I, at times, wished she would stick to her resolutions for longer but that’s on me, not the story. I can’t begin to imagine what this kind of depression feels like and how much continued work it is for anyone facing it.
Magic System & Inclusion Of Different Types Of Crows – I have to say, I don’t often read fantasy novels where animals play such a big role in the books’ respective societies so it was a fresh and fun element of The Storm Crow to see this society work in tandem with these various different crows. And they are part of every aspect of life too. They help with crops, water, weapon production, weather and the military among other things.
UPDATE: I was actually able to get a bit more information behind the author’s inspiration for the crows in this story from Kalyn, so I wanted to share that with you guys too as I thought it was quite interesting! Here’s what she had to say:
The crows in THE STORM CROW were inspired by an article I read about a little girl who fed her neighborhood crows. In return they brought her gifts and her neighbors called her The Crow Queen, a title that stuck with me (and was the original title of the book!). Initially I wrote a short story about a princess trapped in a tower and the crows who brought her pieces of the world. They brought her spring and the color yellow, and pieces of sunshine and whimsy. I thought that the end of it, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.
When I went back to the story, I got the idea for a kingdom whose way of life was based on these magical crows. After considering what sorts of industry they could be involved in (farming, war, transport, etc), I decided to base their powers around the elements. Earth crows to tend the land and help grow crops, water crows to water them and help sailors navigate rough seas, storm crows to control weather and battle crows to keep people safe.
A lot of what went into developing these magical crows is based on real crow research. Their diets, their personalities, they tendencies—they all come from real crow facts. They can remember faces, they hold grudges, they like shiny things, and they’re all about food food food. Though I’d definitely say there’s an influence of past and current pets of mine in there too. One crow acts suspiciously like my cat, Snags.
As for why crows, I’ve always loved them. I’m a big fan of birds. I think they’re fascinating and there’s such incredible diversity even among closely related species. But crows in particular have always had my heart. I think they’re adorable and beautiful, but mostly I love how intelligent they are. I saw a twitter post once that called them sky cats, and I think that really fits them and their personality, and certainly explains my love of them!
Women Being Powerful – Rhodaire is ruled by a queen, the person in charge of training the crow riders is a woman and the person responsible for the guards is a woman too. Plus, the royal family (and the kingdom of Rhodaire itself) are people of color which I thought was awesome.
And then you have the two sisters Caliza and Anthia who take on roles and responsiblities that are difficult and they try their very best to do their absolute best in their respective positions and I loved seeing that, especially with Anthia who appeared to struggle a bit more in the aftermath.
Great Relationships Between Female Characters – I absolutely loved the fact that The Storm Crow put two different female friendships in the spotlight and I especially liked the way the relationship between Caliza and Anthia develops over time as we meet them when things aren’t 100% okay and alright between them in the aftermath of Illucian empire invading Rhodaire. And despite their different positions they still very much love each other and respect the other and their respective strengths. Give me all the sisterly friendships, to be honest!
And the second relationship/friendship I adored was that of Kiva and Anthia. Kiva is Thia’s guard but also her best friend and never once wavers in her support of Thia. She will literally show up no matter what Anthia is going through.
That’s actually true for both Kiva and Caliza, Caliza just takes a bit longer. But they both support and uplift Anthia when she needs it the most and the same is true for Anthia with both of them.
There isn’t really uncalled for cattiness between the female characters. If one of them isn’t warming up to another female character it is 100% called for and understandable in the context of what’s happening.
Character Journeys You’ll Want To Go On – I keep talking about Anthia and her storyline but it’s the main one we’re following and you just simply can’t help but root for her and wish her the best and all the strength in the world. But I, personally, also found Ericen’s character quite interesting and I cannot wait to see where the author continus to take his arc!
In a way, he kept reminding me of Elias in An Ember In The Ashes in the way he appears to be entangled in this world and under the control of a cruel ruler but he seems to want a way out of it, maybe. Or at least he doesn’t want to be this cruel and does it more out of a sense of having to do it to appeal to his mother. There’s a lot of Elias in this too and if we get to see a similar plot for Ericen, I’m definitely here for it!
Banter! Lots Of It! – Man, do I love me a book that’s got banter going on between the characters! It’s the quickest and easiest way to draw me in and make me want to stay in your world and with your characters! Obviously by having characters with already established relationships their is a well of things you as the author can reference and play on for the banter too, which is awesome. It’s one of the reasons why I love established relationships between friends so much!
Anthia – Honestly, she deserves her very own point because I just truly and fully loved her character and the way she concurs her fears and the way she works towards getting out of the really dark days she has after the invasion. She is truly a strong character and I think she can be someone a lot of people can identify with and hopefully take inspiration and motivation from, the way Anthia did from the people who surrounded and supported her.
Animal Companion! – For anyone who is going to be as fond of an animal companion as I tend to be (hello Abraxos my love), this has the chance to be a book for you too! Resyries was such a fun and lovable addiction to our cast of characters and I’m sure he’ll have a lot more sass to offer us in the upcoming book(s)!
This Book Keeps You Engaged – I honestly flew through this book and I kept making little notes and writing down ideas of where the story might go or what kind of theories I had and that’s just the best feeling. I had been looking forward to this book for months at this point so to have such a positive overall reading experience was fantastic! I loved it so much, I recommended it to Caro too, who will be reading my copy in August. 😀
The only downside I was able to come up with for me personally, was the fact that some plot points where easy to guess but that didn’t bother me all that much because they made for a more (should I even say this) fun reading experience and has me even more excited for the sequel!
But now it’s actually time for the most exciting part about this post (possibly):
I’m lucky enough to be able to give away a copy of this book to one of you guys so if my review has you excited – or you were already excited about this book, make sure you share this post on Twitter (see how in the image below) and for a bonus entry, leave a comment below telling me why you want to read this book!
This giveaway is open until July 14th, 2019 and is open internationally! I’ll be emailing your shipping address to my contact at the publisher, so make sure you’re allowed to share your address. 🙂
Blog Tour Schedule
For those of you guys who want to check out even more posts about this book, make sure you check out the people mentioned in the blog tour schedule and give their posts a read and like too!
There we go! Nine reasons that made me love this book and that I’m sure at least some of you guys would really appreciate in the books you read too! So, if you are excited about this book and want this book – make sure you enter the giveaway!
But I of course still want to also hear from you guys! Where you planning on reading this book anyways? What had you most excited about it? Or was I able to convince you to put this book on your radar? Let me know in the comments down below (these questions can be used for your bonus entry too!). 🙂