There is little love lost between the countries of Sium and Mer. The last war was 17 years ago, but there is little doubt in Sium that Mer will one day continue its drive of conquest. The proof lies in none other than Josiah, whose dark skin betrays the truth of his Mer parentage. There is also upheaval in Sium itself as the Archivists, living recorders of history, come under attack from the ruling classes. When the Archivists seek sanctuary in Mer, Josiah jumps at the change to learn of his heritage. Meeting his family finally brings Josiah some measure of happiness, however, he soon realizes that he must come to grips with the flaws in both societies.
According to Crow is Ekaterina Sedia’s first novel and has the early ear-markings of her style, a condensed but well written story. The characters and plot take center-stage and are wholly fleshed out. Josiah tries to come to terms with the differences in two societies while trying to find his own path. The world building takes second place to the story and though I wish she fleshed it out a little more, it suffices for its purpose. Sedia also tends to use modern phrases and slang that are a little out of place in a fantasy novel.
According to Crow is the first fantasy book of a promising writer and it reads as such, yet it will appeal to Sedia and fantasy fans alike. Recommended.