*ARC Review* The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

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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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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

StormTitle: The Storm Crow(The Storm Crow #1)

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Release Date: July 9th 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

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.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY  |  KOBO |

GOOGLE BOOKS

 

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Author Information

KalynKalyn Josephson is 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). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“People would notice; they’d recognize the armor. But I wanted them to. I wanted them to know that the legacy they’d tried to stamp out still smoldered in the ashes.”

The Storm Crow is one of those books I couldn’t put down. Thia’s battle with her emotions and her enemies is powerful and captivating. The action in this novel is beautifully written and full of fantastical elements. I became so engrossed in the world and characters that there were times I forgot I was in the real world and not in Thia’s world.

The elemental crows were unique and fascinating and added a mystical touch to the story. Rhodaire’s crows are essential to their life and without them, the people have to learn how to perform simple tasks, such as growing crops. Life changes drastically for the people, and not just because the crows were lost; loved ones were lost, too, in the battle. To Thia, everything seems hopeless. All she sees is darkness and no light at the end; she doesn’t see how she can move on.

One aspect of The Storm Crow I highly enjoyed seeing was how depression was openly discussed. Thia realizes early on that the destruction of her world as she knew it threw her into a deep and potentially dark depression. Throughout the story, Thia’s depression helps shape her character and starts to give her the strength she needs to overcome the past and save her kingdom and people. Thia’s depression battles are detailed to where the reader could feel and/or see Thia openly struggling. Her depression felt real and raw. She becomes a master in hiding her depression behind a fake smile, but those closest to her can see the past is eating her alive. I haven’t read many YA fantasy books that openly mention/discuss depression, so I was surprised that this became a key point in The Storm Crow. There’s so many readers that battle depression, and I know to some it’s important to see depression depicted, especially in fantasy. How Josephson address depression in her book really lays it out for the world to see and for everyone to understand that depression is not something you can easily shake off. Her depiction of depression was, overall, one of the main reasons I loved The Storm Crow.

“I might be queen, but you were meant to be so much more. Crow or no crow, one way or another, you will fly. You were always meant to rule the sky.”

Thia is a strong and emotional person. She knows she has to go to Illucia, the kingdom that attacked hers, to try to bring peace and save her people. Thia, at first, believes everything is lost; the fight she once had in her is gone, left behind in the rubble of the battle. But that all changes when Thia finds an unhatched storm crow egg. To Thia, this changes everything. Thia has a newfound hope to fight for her kingdom and people, all from within the palace walls of her enemy. But there’s just one slight problem: Thia doesn’t know how to hatch a crow egg. Nevertheless, Thia refuses to give up hope; she refuses to give up.

The secondary characters in The Storm Crow were also what made this book a 5 star review for me. Her best friend and bodyguard, Kiva, share not just a best friend bond, but a sisterly bond. They’re relationship reminded me of my relationship with my best friend, and I love seeing those types of friendships depicted in fantasy stories. Kiva helps Thia battle her depression while staying in enemy territory. They’re not just best friends; they’re a team and both will do whatever it takes to see Queen Razel burn for her wrongdoings. Then there’s Caylus. Caylus is a soft yet incredibly smart and reliable friend to Thia; she trusts him so much that she relies on him to help her solve the hatching behind a crow egg.

And, of course, there’s Prince Ericen. At first, he’s a terrible, cold-heartless person; he’s basically everything that makes a villain. But he slowly starts to show Thia a side he’s never shown anyone, not even his mother, the ruthless Queen Razel. Ericen wants to build a trusting relationship with Thia but Thia doesn’t quite know how that’s possible when he’s the son of the woman that killed her mother. He’s a well described character with an interesting backstory.

“It was only you. Because I, like everyone, knew what you were.

A delinquent?

A storm. A tempest of lightning and thunder with the kind of heart found only in legends.”

Josephson’s writing is captivating and compelling. She weaves words together to bring a magical and powerful story to light. Her description of the kingdoms and the characters is wonderfully well-written and very descriptive. Josephson also knows how to depict feelings and relationships really well. There was phenomenal character growth with Thia and her companions; Thia really starts to come into her own and grow as a person and fighter.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Storm Crow. Josephson creates a world the reader can easily get lost in. If you enjoy an adventurous fantasy novel with lovable animals and relationships, then I definitely recommend reading The Storm Crow!

My overall review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on The Storm Crow tour!

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a finished hard copy of THE STORM CROW by Kalyn Josephson (INT) or a signed finished copy of THE CROW STORM by Kalyn Josephson (US Only)

** International as long as bookdepository ships to the country

Starts: July 9th 2019

Ends: July 23rd 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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Young Adult Book Debuts of July 2019

Every bookworm knows that every month is filled with some amazing book releases (sometimes so many that it’s hard to keep count!). And every month consists of at least one debut book/author. July is no different. Check out the young adult debut books coming out this month below!

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links below, except Book Depository. All commission earned goes toward supporting this blog.

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SandDancerTitle: Sand Dancer

Author: Trudie Skies

Publisher: Uproar Books

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: 

Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death.

But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued across the desert by the soldiers and guards of the noble Houses. To survive, she knows she’ll have to abandon her past and learn the way of the sword. But only boys are allowed to carry a blade. There’s only one solution…

Disguised as a young nobleman, Mina must make a new life for herself in the heart of her enemies. But she knows she can’t keep up the masquerade forever. With time running out, which will she choose to find—the truth or revenge?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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BeckoningShadowTitle: The Beckoning Shadow

Author: Katharyn Blair

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.

But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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SpintheDawnTitle: Spin the Dawn

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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StormTitle: The Storm Crow

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

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.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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WilderTitle: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery, LGBT

Summary: 

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

——
Please see author’s website for trigger and content warnings.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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BeforeIDisappearTitle: Before I Disappear

Author: Danielle Stinson

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Rose Montgomery parks her family’s trailer in Fort Glory, Oregon with one goal: to carve out a new life for herself and her little brother, Charlie. They need a fresh start for their family, and she thinks she’s finally found it in a town where nobody knows them.

But Rose’s plans come crashing down when, in an instant, Fort Glory disappears and every person in town vanishes into thin air—including Charlie.

Rose and four other teens become trapped in the Fold, a patch of woods caught halfway between the real world and the lost town. In the Fold, a mysterious force suspends the laws of physics, and everyone’s inner darkness has the power to kill.

To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon—or he’ll be gone forever.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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ShattertheSkyTitle: Shatter the Sky

Author: Rebecca Kim Wells

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Summary:

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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MercifulCrowTitle: The Merciful Crow

Author: Margaret Owen

Publisher: Henry Holt

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: 

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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See a July YA debut book missing? Let us know in the comments and we will add it to our list! 🙂

*Saturday Spotlight* The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

StormTitle: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Release Date: July 9th 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

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.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above, except Book Depository. All commission earned goes toward supporting this blog.

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Limited First Edition Print Run

Anyone that orders a copy of The Storm Crow will get an exclusive first edition print run copy with a beautiful design on the cover!

Storm Crow Preorder

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 About the Author

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Kalyn Josephson is 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). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)