Today I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for The Storm Crow, along with Beth @IAmBookMad.
The Storm Crow is an immersive new fantasy from Kalyn Josephson, and I’m really excited to be able to share an exclusive extract from the book with you guys.
So read on for royals, politics, and family tensions.
The Storm Crow extract
Rhodaire was dying.
I looked away, blinking slowly. Without storm crows to manipulate it, the hot, humid summer weather persisted unrelentingly. The sweet scent of fruit trees hung heavy in the air, pressing in on me from all directions. Only the messenger kept me alert. What did he want?
Voices filtered out through the open door. I straightened as my sister stepped onto the patio, a striking figure with her immaculate posture and dark hair loose to her waist. Kiva followed, the sun reflecting off the metal buckles of her silver-and-green guard’s uni- form. The tension in my shoulders eased as she slipped to my side.
“Your Majesty.” The messenger barely inclined his head.
Caliza’s steel-colored eyes evaluated him quickly, her face an impassive mask. “We can speak inside.”
I frowned as the messenger followed her into the sunroom at the back of the patio. What didn’t Caliza want me to hear?
Kiva dropped into the seat beside me, her hand falling to its natural position on the crow-shaped pommel of her sword. “Sorry it took me so long. She was in a meeting.”
“Not your fault. Besides, we were having such a wonderful time.” I slumped in my chair, leaning my head back.
Not a day passed where I didn’t think about the crows. I couldn’t shut out the memories. Scenes of visiting the royal rookery to tickle storm crow chicks until they buzzed with lightning or walking under the glow of a sun crow in the dusky moonlight played over and over in my mind. Seeing the messenger just made it all worse.
A flash of red made me flinch, but it was only a pair of summer tanagers flying by, their feathers the rich ruby of a ripe pomegranate. You’re fine. Don’t think about it. I rubbed my scarred arm in an absent motion.
Kiva eyed me intently. I sighed, straightening and readjusting the silver bracelet on my right wrist. “I’m not going to climb back into bed, all right?”
“Good. I don’t have time to fetch a bucket of water to dump on you.” She smirked, and I glared flatly back. She was joking—mostly.
“You would enjoy that entirely too much,” I said.
Kiva’s smile faltered. “I don’t enjoy any part of seeing you like this.”
I clenched my jaw but didn’t respond. I’m just sad. I’ll get over it soon. I repeated the mantra in my head, ignoring the quiet voice that whispered it had been nearly six months. While I hid, the world went on without me.
Guilt prickled low and hot in my stomach. I hated knowing Kiva worried about me. Hated knowing I was the cause of her pain. It’d taken me months to confide in her, convinced the moment I told someone how I felt, as if the world had split apart and swallowed me whole, they’d call me ridiculous. Dramatic. Weak. Instead, she’d listened, and then she’d held me while I cried until my throat turned raw.
Kiva leaned back, flipping her braid of white-gold hair over her shoulder and lifting a hand to shield her face from the sun. She’d been born in Rhodaire, but her pale Korovi skin burned easily. “What do you think he wants?” She nodded in the direction the messenger and Caliza had gone.
I hadn’t seen an Illucian since Negnoch. Since Rhodairen traitors helped Illucian soldiers set fire to the rookeries, their elite archers shooting any crows that escaped the flames.
Ronoch, people called it now. Red Night.
If the Illucian army hadn’t been spread so thin the night they attacked, they might have conquered Rhodaire then and there.
At first, I’d wanted revenge. Deep inside, the part of me that hated the defeated person I’d become still did. Now, I recognized we didn’t stand a chance. Illucia had conquered nearly half the continent for a reason—their army was unstoppable. Soon, they would have Rhodaire too.
The messenger’s voice suddenly rose from the sunroom. Kiva and I fell silent, leaning closer to listen.
“My queen has given her answer, Your Majesty,” he practically purred.
My head snapped up at the mention of the Illucian queen, and I locked eyes with Kiva. Something flickered in my chest, a spark of anger springing to life. Then Caliza stepped onto the patio. The messenger loomed behind her with a smug look of satisfaction that made my stomach turn.
“We need to talk,” Caliza said to me, then looked at Kiva. “Privately.”
If you enjoyed the extract then you’re in luck! I’ve partnered with Sourcebooks to host a giveaway for TWO COPIES of The Storm Crow. And it’s international!
The giveaway closes on 10th July and two winners will be drawn on 11th.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Storm Crow blog tour!
About the author
Kalyn Josephson currently works as a Technical Writer in the tech industry, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer.
Though she grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, she graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Biology and a degree in English (Creative Writing).
Currently, she lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay Area and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an ever tinier owl). THE STORM CROW is her debut novel.