Book Reviews

Review: The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

2020 is the year of sequels and I am HERE for it. The Crow Rider is the fabulous concluding sequel to The Storm Crow. This sequel is an action packed finale that asks us questions about sacrifice, war, and revenge. Keep reading this book review of The Crow Rider to find out what I thought about this sequel!


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: depression

The Crow Rider questions the ethics of battles that are lost with another on the horizon. Revenge and sacrifice, Thia’s story in The Crow Rider is one where she has to confront her own past. The mistakes of her family, her own promises, and the legacy she wants to have. Thia’s character evolution, including her bond with Res, was my favorite element of The Crow Rider. Flung into a position of power and responsibility, Thia has to figure out what losses are acceptable to her, exactly what she will bargain for to get what she wants – what is best for her people.

The Crow Rider felt more politically active than the The Storm Crow. Not only does Thia have to figure out what kind of ruler she wants to be, but how she can fight for the future of her kingdom. It may be a journey full of hard truths, wondering if our love is our weakness, and our own value. I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance in The Crow Rider, just because it felt like a piece of the story that wasn’t given as much depth and detail. I think it would have been just as compelling without it considering how character and action focused this sequel was.

In war, fantasy, and as a ruler I think there’s this impression that we have to be calculating and emotionally distant to make the “best” decision. But what I loved is how much The Crow Rider tackles this idea. It shows us that our bonds and love are not a simple source of weakness and that alliances, friendship, and trust as just as important as a ruler. This sequel also explores this idea of choice and agency – that we have a choice the person we want to become. War, pain, and loss can twist our hearts, but whether we it changes us forever is our choice.

Find The Crow Rider on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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