Steel Crow Saga(Steel Crow Saga #1)by Paul Krueger

Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.

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.

Jan’s Review

Steel Crow Saga is interesting read as i never read anything quite like it. Their are several interesting characters besides the main four that we are introuduced to. I think the biggest reason that i did not enjoy it, is it felt way to long for the amount of story that was being told. I love long books but only if the story is enjoyable enough that i don’t realize i just read a 500 page novel. I should not be flipping looking to see how much is left in the story. I should be so immersed in the tale that i don’t want it to end.

The story is set in in a complex fantasy world, built and based in post-World War II Eastern Asia. The different races are unique and based on races from our world. Tomoda is based on imperialistic Japan, but with citizens who meld their souls with metal. It called metal packing. Shang is based on china, Sanbu the Philippines, Jeognsen-Korea, and Dahali, India.

This book is definitively aimed at a much older audience then young adult. The world is very diverse. Not only are the characters entirely Asian-inspired but most of the characters are sexually ambiguous. The women are kick butt, and the cultures have one histories of powerful men and women. Theirs even a secondary trans characters.

The other unique thing i found in this story is the use of shades which are viewed differently from race to race. Some see them as slaves other as family.

Overall this is story that is unique and well though out. What did not work for me may be just what you find enjoyable in story. Maybe it wasn’t the right time in my reading life for me to throughly enjoy this story. Either way it not terrible it not fantastic it just is.

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