Thanks to Leigh Bardugo I am now strangely drawn to any book with the word crow in the title Let s see how this goes We all have such finite time even when the spirits are kind representation own voices asian inspired author is Filipino asian inspired worlds and characters Sanbu Islands Phillipines inspired Tomoda Japanese inspired Shang Chinese inspired Jeongson Korean inspired Dahal Indian inspiredueer characters gay bi lesbian trans ff relationship mm relationshiptrigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers Even though I really really enjoyed this I have to admit I was a little disappointed because I was expecting this to get 5 stars be a new "All Time Fave But Alas We Ll "time fave alas We ll with the things I loved the avatar and pokemon inspired elements avatar and pokemon were both HUGE parts of my ch sanbuna lore had countless monsters but the worst of them wore a human face highly entertaining and eventually heart wrenching modern fantasy centering on the aftermath of war steel crow saga is set in an industrialized world in which a number of countries are slowly recovering from the repercussions of imperialism and colonization at the heart of the story are four main characters who all take on a POV at some point and show some great character arcs and growth throughoutconsidering how character driven this novel is i ll take a moment to describe each of themfirst p sergeant tala a young woman who s been fighting in the resistance of sanbu ever since she could pick Behind the Throne (Morgan Crowe Trilogy, up a gun the only manner of existence she knows is war always ready to fight always ready to die it s the only thing that s still holding her together even once the war is officially overtala is stuck with the task of escorting jimuro the only surviving royal member of the tomoda empire home safely bookish stuckp and painfully removed from his country s role in the war he s being sed as a pawn by sanbu save his life put him on the throne and ensure peace rather than possibly kickstart tomoda s oppressive regime once hot on tala and jimuro s heels is xiulan a self styled detective with a flair for theatrics 28th in line for the shang throne xiulan wants to prove to her family that she is worth considering as a ruler her plan delivering jimuro straight into her father s handsin order to do so she enlists the help of lee a ick fingered thief from jeongson a country long oppressed by tomoda and shang both lee cares about very little other than money and freedom and as she tags along with xiulan she s not afraid to mouth her offthrow some gimmicky magic of summoning soulpacted animals or manipulating metal into the mix and you ve got a surprisingly engaging cross country roadtrip that s great for bonding recovering from psychological trauma and examining the complex issues of "COLONIALISMTHIS IS A FUN NUANCED BOOK WITH A BIT "is a fun nuanced book with a bit a young adult ish vibeits world is truly a modern fantasy Captivated by the Millionaire universe we go a bit beyond the gaslamp stuff of guns and trains and movep all the way to cars movies telep. Four destinies collide in a niue fantasy world of war and wonders where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battleA soldier with a curseTala 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 debtJimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire Now that the revolution ,
Hones etca lot of the book s pagecount is spent on the intricacies of the cultures of the four main countries in this book sanbu based on the philippines shang based on china jeongson countries in this book sanbu based on the philippines shang based on china jeongson on korea and tomoda based on japan krueger has got this down flat from mouth watering descriptions of various dishes to subtle ways of how etiuette language and customs have formed our four protagonistsit makes the world feel all the rich and believable i ve seen some people mention how it s lazy as it s taken directly from countries existing in our world all that makes me do is raise my eyebrow and think about the TONS of highly praised classic fantasy that also takes directly from hm "i don t know how about the english "don t know how about the english the plotting of this story is good enough to give its characters an incentive to move towards an end goal but the true heart lies in how they developthe story starts out with two main pairs tala and jimuro awkwardly navigating the roles of freedom fighter and former colonizer and then there s xiulan and lee masters of witty banter and flying by the seats of their pants who hide a lot of pain and heart My Mother, a Serial Killer underneath humor and deflectionand it s great to see all of them grow especially jimuro and xiulan the privileged of the two they start out with borderline offensive and hurtful ideas about tala s and lee s cultures and way of living and it s not just a cheapick Redemption Arc that s thrown around here for either of them the process takes time and has many layers which gives a genuine weight to the growth of these charactersi greatly admire krueger s ability to The Italians Stolen Bride underline the necessity of acknowledging the horror of an imperialist system and not walking away from your crimes by taking responsibility for them while also examining the trauma and pain from the point of view of someone who s part of that imperialistcolonist regimeit s the individual versus the systemic issues and it was done in a way that openedp dialogue while still recognizing injusticeand despite its heavy themes this book managed to be FUN its characters are very charismatic even when awkward and dialogue had a lot of chuckle moments for me personallykrueger has cited anime series as a big inspiration and i see a lot of people compare this #Book To Avatar The # to avatar the airbender and fullmetal alchemist both of which do heavy themes with comedic moments really well without inviting tone inconsistency to the party this book definitely has that same strength while firmly rooted in asian mythology and culturesif i had to criticize something it would be the magic system it s flashy and awesome but it s not explained as deeply as i would ve liked people s in world perceptions of it were well don EDIT 6202020 Hi all The Greek Tycoons Mistress unfortunately I have to retract my support of this book because several women have come forward on Twitter stating that he is a serial harasser I believe these women I don t have much to say so for a elouent and thorough statement please see Sahlea s statementOriginal Review Okay I m surprised tha. As 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 downfallA detective with a grudgeXiulan 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 theltimate prize the world’s most wanted princeA thief with a broken heartLee is a small time criminal who live. .