Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

Steel Crow Saga

by Paul Krueger

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.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Steel Crow Saga through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Steel Crow Saga is the first novel in a series of the same name by Paul Krueger, and it’s as intense as it is brilliant. If you’re looking for a new fantasy series to get into, consider giving this one a try. It’s full of character driven plots, a magical world, and so much more.
In a world torn apart by battle, four characters must come together to find a way to forge a new path. By doing so, they hope to prevent the circle of pain and bloodshed from continuing. But the journey will be anything but easy.
Steel Crow Saga takes four characters, all of whom a very different from one another, and by rights all should hate the others, and forces them to do the unbelievable. This novel is an amazing fantasy novel, but it’s the characters who make this tale sing.

Tala is a soldier through and through. She lives for the battles, and will do whatever it takes to take vengeance for her lost family. She and her animal companion Beaky have a dark secret, one that colors every aspect of her life. And her life is forever changed when she is forced to guard a prince that is not her own.
Jimuro is the prince of Steel – and he’s bound to step up and lead his people. Unfortunately, he’s currently a prisoner in another nation. In other to bring the peace though, he’s allowed free and sent off with a military escort. Only, the whole trip doesn’t go as planned. On the bright side, the change in course has given him plenty of time to learn the truth about the world around him.
Lee is a thief, plain and simple. She’s smart as a whip, and even more determined to survive. She’s one of the last of her kind – a people constantly stepped on by those who consider themselves better. But she won’t let their outlook on her life change her plans for the future.
Xiulan is a woman with many identities. Her preferred one is a detective, which is how she ends up with a master class thief. She hopes that Lee will help her find the person she is looking for, and start a change for the better.

I’ve been hearing nothing but positive things about Steel Crow Saga, and now, having read it, I completely understand why. It was emotional and dramatic, and had such a brilliant display of worldbuilding within.
There was a lot to love about this book, simply put. The characters, the world, the magical systems, the politics. It was all well thought out and brilliant in its intensity. I did my best to stretch out reading this book as much as possible. But I’m still left anxious to get my hands on the next novel in the series.
I think what I loved the most about Steel Crow Saga was the variety of characters. Tala, Jimuro, Lee, and Xiulan were all so different from one another. And yet, they all had a stake in this tale. It was fascinating to see them all work together, and better yet; the variety will allow for most readers to pick a favorite character or two to really look forward to reading about.
I’m fascinated by the magical system within this world. We got a good look at shades (the animal companions), and a bit of a look at the steel magic. But I still have so many questions – and I’m sure that the future novels will answer them. I just have to be patient.
I was surprised by how much emotion Steel Crow Saga was able to force out of me. It was excellently done. The characters were compelling, the plot was thrilling, and the world filled with lush details. And each character’s backstory was refined and honed to force readers to sympathize with their perspectives.
I’m actually quite sad to be finished with Steel Crow Saga. I might have to reread it again, while I wait for news about the sequels. I tried starting another book, but the book hangover from this one is too strong for that just yet.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 20 September, 2019: Finished reading
  • 20 September, 2019: Reviewed