Title: Steel Crow Saga
Author: Paul Krueger
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019
eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: “A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic… and her own flesh and blood.
A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.
A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.
A thief with a broken heart
Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.
This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.” (Goodreads)
This book was quite long and didn’t feel like everything that was in it was necessary for the development of the characters or plot. I did enjoy some things about this book, while there were other parts that I didn’t care much for.
There are four different point of views that are included: Lee, Tala, Jimuro, Xiulan. Each has their own chapters and we also get a prologue from an entirely different character. At first I was confused by the prologue and a chapter for one of the characters because there wasn’t any mention of a timeline. Besides that part, it was easy to understand how the characters fit together.
There were a couple fascinating concepts that were included such as the “shades” and metalpacting. Although the concept of a “shade” was similar to other things that have been done like pokemon, it was still cool to see this. The concept of metalpacting is to bind your soul to metal, such as cars and weapons. I don’t think I have read anything that included something like this so it was refreshing to see.
When it came to the characters, they were diverse in backgrounds/representation. They were interesting but some of the scenes between them felt unneeded. I never felt a connection towards any of them which is something that I need especially for such a long book.
Overall, there were unique concepts used and I feel like many will enjoy this book but unfortunately it just wasn’t a book for me.