The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson – Actually Good Mental Health Representation in Fantasy?! (ARC Review)

Caitsbooks Review The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson 4 stars

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.*

Overall: 4/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Storm Crow is a great start to what will definitely be a magical and amazing fantasy series. 

“It’s difficult to walk against the wind. It takes strength.”

[Related: Interview with Kalyn Josephson, Author of The Storm Crow]


// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Depression, Self Harm, Animal Death, War Themes, Mental Illness, PTSD //

“Gone was the world I knew, and I’d let it be taken.”

Release Date: 7/9/2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 352

The Storm Crow follows Princess Anthia, whose kingdom was attacked by the Illucian empire. The attack was brutal, killing her mother, the queen of Rhodaire, and killing all of the magical Crows her kingdom relies on. With her sister, Caliza, now on the throne, focusing on Rhodaire’s future, Thia can only think of the past and what was lost. When the threat of war becomes too much, Caliza has no choice but to marry Thia off to the Illucian prince, Ericen. But before Thia can be whisked away, she finds the one thing that can offer hope to her kingdom. A Crow egg.

Read more for all of my thoughts!!!

Writing & Setting

I really love the world this book built. Kalyn Josephson clearly spent a lot of time developing each kingdom mentioned in The Storm CrowThey all have such unique cultures and politics, some of which is only ever hinted at. I really hope the sequel continues to shine a lot on each fascinating kingdom. I also am really excited to learn more about the magic in this world (and, of course, the Crows)(I really want my own Crow now). The writing itself is also really good. It’s easy to jump in to, and accessible for anyone new to fantasy.


I have to admit,the beginning of this book is a little slow. It took me a good hundred pages to really be immersed in the story, but once I got to that point, I just wanted to keep reading. There’s a lot of world-building and character set up in the first few chapters, but it’s so worth pushing past that!

“I knew what I needed to do, but working up the will to do it felt like trying to fight my way above water in a depthless ocean. It was so hard not to drown.”


The characters are really where this book shines. First off- Thia. I really loved her. The one thing about her (and this book as a whole) that stood out was her depression. Kalyn Josephson does not shy away from depicting the reality of living with depression. She wrote it so well that I had to step away from it a few times. Thia’s depression is very accurate, and definitely hit home for me. It made me so happy to see a YA protagonist with a very real mental illness, and still be the awesome heroine we’re so used to seeing. The other stand out character was Ericen. I’m definitely a sucker for the bad-boy-with-backstory type, so I should have predicted that I would love him. I really enjoyed how complex of a character he was, and I’m so excited to see more of him.Also, a little side note that I wanted to mention- there are so many LGBTQ+ side characters!!!

As for relationships– I really adored the friendships in this book. It’s rare to see such a strong female friendship in YA, but this book definitely had that going for it. However, the romance plot line seemed weak. I felt like Thia had way more chemistry with some of the other characters than she did with her love interest. But maybe I’m biased. 

“The lion fears only the fox.”


Pros- Very well written mental health representation, the Crows, great characters & setting
Cons- The romance felt forced
Overall- 4/5 stars. 
The Storm Crow is a great debut that will have you dreaming of having your own Crow. I know I will be.

*All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change*

Are you guys excited to read The Storm Crow? Also, if you could have a Crow, which type would you want? (Fire, Storm, Sun, Water, Shadow, Battle, Wind or Earth)

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5 responses to “The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson – Actually Good Mental Health Representation in Fantasy?! (ARC Review)”

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