The Crow Rider

Sourcebooks/Fire. (Storm Crow: Bk. 2). Jul. 2020. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492672968.
Gr 6-10–In the closing volume of the duology that began with 2019’s Storm Crow, Thia is a princess of Rhodaire, a kingdom broken and under attack by the rival kingdom of Illucia. She has succeeded in hatching a storm crow—a member of a magical race of crows that can be ridden, and that once anchored the kingdom and gave it its power—until they were obliterated in a fire that also killed Thia’s mother. Now it is up to Thia and her crow, Resyries, to gather supporters and defend Rhodaire. But Res is young and untrained in crow magic—not the inspiring symbol that Thia needs him to be. Nevertheless, with the help of Thia’s friends, family, and some unexpected allies—who all have their own agendas—they rally for a final confrontation. As magic and revenge collide, Thia must decide who to protect, and at what cost. The complex cast of characters allows for exploration of love, loyalty, and trauma, with motivations explored on all sides.
VERDICT In tension-filled scenes, themes of friendship and trust shine through, making this a satisfying conclusion to a fantasy duology with appeal for younger teenagers beginning to explore the genre.

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