Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
The war may be over, but the victors will reap the spoils…if they can get them.
Tala may hate the Iron Prince, but she’s bound by duty to bring him to his homeland and put him on the throne. Except there is a splintersoul on their trail, intent on murdering her, Jimuro and everyone else in his path. And following behind them all are detective Xiulan and her new partner, the small-time criminal Lee.
The four are bound to meet—but can they keep it together long enough to defeat the new evil that wants them all dead?
June 20, 2020 Edit: I believe the victims and stand by their side. I am leaving this post up for posterity without editing because I loved the book, however, I am removing all other mentions of it from my site.
This book is my everything.
I loved it. The world-building is *chef’s kiss*, the characters are amazing, and the plot was a nonstop action ride. And the humor.
All of the reviews I’ve read raved about how amazing it was, but they never mentioned how motherfucking funny it is. Dark humor, just the way I like it.
Lee trying to bond with the first animal she finds, a fighting rooster:
The rooster took her encouragement well, because Lee felt the connection between them open wider. I want to bathe in the blood of my enemies beneath the cold and unfeeling moon Lee stopped dead. Uh, what?
Then the rooster is like, yeah I can see that we are on different levels here and jumps out a window. It. Is. Hilarious.
And it drops some serious truth bombs that are oddly never mentioned when you have all of these long-distance group journeys.
Shades take her. She was staring down a three-day drive with the Iron Prince of Tomoda and no coffee.
But after two (non-consecutive) days on foot, Jimuro could admit: Walking sucked.
Walking is horrible and coffee is life. Krueger has spoken!
And also just plain #facts:
“My mother once told me that people who don’t use their turn signals are people who spit on the spirits and deserve to be shunned by their ancestors after death.”
However, in addition to the humor there is a lot of just plain amazingness, and I fell in love with each of the main characters (and a certain special fifth character), and I probably cried at the end because I was so filled with happiness and sorrow for them. They go through so much, and each of their voices and character arcs and motivations were so unique and different, but all rooted in similar feelings of abandonment (yes, found family is strong! Despite their initial dislike for each other and unified hatred of Jimuro).
The world reminded me a little bit of Jade City, in that there were groups of people who drew power from stonish objects in an urban fantasy Asian-inspired world with lots of post-colonialism, but unlike Jade City, there were no white people. Everyone was a person of color, and there was a shit ton of queer rep (actually, I think just about everyone was queer).
It was a sheer delight to read, and Krueger is definitely an author I’m going to watch—and I hope that there’s going to be a sequel and that that sequel gets announced soon!
This is absolutely incredible and everyone must read it now.