Eyes of Crow
Luna Books, 2006
I was first introduced to Jeri Smith-Ready’s Wicked Game, one of the most original vampire novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Unbeknownst to me at the time, her earlier publications included a series of novels based around a fantasy world where people bond with their totems in very dramatic and magical ways. Eyes of Crow is the first in the trilogy.
A community of people live by the abilities bestowed upon them by their totem creatures. Some are common, others less so. Rhia, our main character, fears that she may be the first Crow woman in a generation, Crow being the harbringer of death. Amid this set of growing pains, she must also navigate love, a potential war, and the loss of those around her.
While I was a little worried that this would end up being a long, dragging novel that I couldn’t wait to have over with, it was actually quite a fast and enjoyable read for its size. Smith-Ready is a talented writer who has a firm grasp of both worldbuilding and character development. Both the descriptive parts and the dialogue flow smoothly, and they’re well balanced.
I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a new fantasy series to read. I would also highly suggest that anyone interested in animal totems pick it up, since she does a good job of creating a fictional totemic system.
Five pawprints out of five.