*ARC Review* The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

Crow Rider Cover

Title: The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2)

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: 

Princess Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’s show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

Book Depository

And if you preorder, make sure to submit your receipt here to receive 1 of 2 bonus scenes (either in Ericen’s or Kiva’s point of view)!

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Author Information

Kalyn

Kalyn Josephson is the author of THE STORM CROW duology. 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 four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl).

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

If you would like to read my review of The Storm Crow, click here. Please be aware that this review may include some spoilers from book one. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. All quotes below are from an early copy of the book and may not be in the final story.

“Maybe leading didn’t mean just making decisions and enforcing them. That was what Razel would have done. What my mother would have done. Maybe leading meant being the kind of person people wanted to follow.”

Kalyn Josephson has done it again! The Crow Rider is one heck of a ride. Bustling with countless action scenes, gripping emotional character interactions, and beautiful relationships, it’s a sequel that truly outdoes its predecessor. And The Storm Crow was one of my favorite reads of 2019, one I didn’t think many fantasy reads could top, but the sequel is absolutely breathtaking. This sequel is overflowing with emotion and magic and exquisite writing.

“A thousand feelings bubbled to the surface: the need to prove myself capable, to be strong. To handle things myself for once. To be a leader. And with that, the fear that I would fail, only to slip back into that heavy darkness.”

In The Storm Crow, Thia dealt with a deep depression and a lingering hopelessness. She didn’t know how to move on from tragedy. But then she grew, she fought her darkness and found the light she needed to fight her demons. And now Thia knows her life, her world, is worth fighting for and she will stop at nothing until the one who hurt her kingdom is dead. She still faces challenges with her mental health (and so do many side characters), and that’s what helps make her character feel so real. Thia’s character development is so strong and beyond relatable. She’s no longer afraid to speak her mind and fight battles. She knows she can rely on those closest to her for support, even when there are downfalls and hard decisions. And that knowledge is part of what makes her one of my all-time favorite book characters.

Of course, her relationship with Res is the absolute best. They remind me of my relationship with my dog, which gave me a new love for this story. Res is brave, courageous, willing to protect those he loves, outspoken, and also has just a little bit of a sweet tooth. I constantly caught myself smiling and reminiscing during these scenes; Thia and Res’s relationship is so similar to mine with my dog that it made this story extra meaningful and special. I could relate to just about everything and everyone in Thia’s life in some type of way and that was something I truly loved about this story.

“You have every bit the potential to become a monster as I do.”

On the villain side, Razel is a notable opponent. She is every bit the monster people fear, and Thia will stop at nothing until her reign ends. Josephson brought a power-hungry villain to life within these pages. She is, without a doubt, an equal foe for Thia. The battles were intense and had me gripping the book and my eyes glued to Josephson’s words. Razel is a villain that believes friends and love are a weakness, but Thia is set on proving her wrong; Thia knows that it’s not a weakness, it’s a strength. And that strength is what will hopefully change the tide of the war.

Josephson’s writing is poetic and lyrical, her story filled to the brim with lush world building and phenomenal character development. Josephson has created an intricate world with a wonderful magic aspect. What I liked is that Josephson further explores the magical elements of this world. I loved the new information on the elemental crows and the captivating storytelling behind the Sellas. This world, this story, is remarkable and stunning and everything I love about fantasy books.

The Storm Crow duology is by far one of my top favorite series. There’s not a single thing I do not love about this series. It’s a duology I will continue to support and recommend to anyone looking for a great fantasy. And I cannot wait for Josephson’s next story!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Instagram Giveaway

Visit my Instagram page to enter to win The Storm Crow duology set, hosted by myself and lily at Lily’s Latest Reads! All rules and disclaimer information will be found on my The Crow Rider Instagram post! Giveaway closes Friday, July 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

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There is nothing better than a great cup of coffee and an even better book.

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