Skip to main content

“All Ren wants to do is stop a serial killer, clear his name, find his mentor, and protect the people he cares about.”

The Blood of CrowsHeist fantasy meets murder mystery in The Blood of Crows, a suspenseful and fast-paced romp perfect for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora, Mistborn, and A Darker Shade of Magic!

The Blood of Crows kicks off with a pulse-pounding heist scene that immediately had me glued to the page, and somehow things only got more intense from there. Through the eyes of the plucky and snarky street-thief Ren, who is the only person in this walled-in realm who doesn’t have a magical knack, we are thrown into a crazy adventure full of mysterious murders, creepy magic-eating inquisitors, risky roof-top escapes, unlikely alliances, and dangerously riveting heists that will have you crowing with excitement. 

Now, normally I prefer the more slow-burn stories that really take their time with the set-up, but the action-packed nature of The Blood of Crows didn’t bother me at all. From the very first page, I was just captivated by Ren’s intriguing backstory and strong inner voice. With his sharp wit and effortless charm, he smoothly navigates his way through this dangerous city, and I loved every single second of figuring out this confounding murder mystery with him; a murder mystery in which he is the prime suspect.

At times he did read a bit young for his supposed 21 years, but at the same time I found the silly moments of youthful naivety to be incredibly endearing. He is definitely not an innocent soul, having grown up in the shady unit of brutal soldiers called the Thirty-Ninth, but there’s somehow still a softness and innocence to him that made him such a delightfully lovable character. 

Through his actions, his genuine love and care for the people he holds dear shows true, be that his concern for his missing mentor, his protectiveness over his little ‘adopted sister’, or the innocent budding romantic feelings for his accomplice Haim (THIS is how you do a sweet slow-burn romance subplot!!). Yes, The Blood of Crows is a fast-paced and action-packed narrative, but these beautifully developed and powerful interpersonal relationships are exactly what give the story so much heart and emotional resonance.

Don’t let all this talk of love and sweetness fool you into thinking that this is a light-hearted story though. This world is unforgivingly harsh, and there is no shortage of death, deceit, and brutal back stabbings and betrayals. I especially loved how Pierce broke away from Ren’s single POV narration a few times to include a couple of darkly disturbing and suspenseful interludes into the story, showing the victims of the serial killer in their last moments.

And for a story with such a contained setting, fast pacing, and intimate storytelling, I was honestly deeply impressed with how much world building Pierce was able to pack into these pages. Even though Ren himself doesn’t have any magic, we organically get to learn all the ins and outs about this unique elemental magic system, which sparked both wonder and fear in me. Moreover, the magic system is intricately interwoven with the cutthroat politics, and I loved how this tense political landscape unfolded in the most thrilling way.

This story is just brimming with suspense and intrigue from start to finish, be that from the riveting murder mystery clues, mystifying personal backstories, or little tantalising hints of the wider world and its secret looming threats. Sometimes I did wish for a little bit more time to catch my breath and process all the shocking revelations and implications, but at the same time I also loved the exciting ‘just one more chapter’ quality that makes The Blood of Crows such a dangerously addictive romp.

And after that deliciously satisfying shocker of an ending, I am extremely intrigued to see what crazily exciting twists and turns Pierce has up his sleeve in the next instalment of the Crow’s Gambit series. If you are looking for a fast-paced yet character-driven heist fantasy with a magical murder mystery, endearing morally gray characters, riveting suspense, and lots of witty dialogue and entertaining snark and banter, then I can’t recommend The Blood of Crows highly enough!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

The Blood of Crows

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

Leave a Reply