Hello, Gentle Readers!
As the Crow Flies is, at the heart of it, an adventure tale centered around the scrappy and self-sufficient Crow, a renowned thief. His enemies (to wit, a law-keeper named Tanris), his major weakness (his love for a dancer named Tarsha), and one fairly psychotic wizard (a noble named Duzayan), have all collided, sending Crow traipsing off into the middle of nowhere after a magical artifact, with a poison-ensured deadline on his activities, and his least favorite person (Tanris again) as an unwilling participant. In a nutshell, all the two have to do is get to the middle of nowhere without getting killed by bandits, find the artifact, defeat the incredibly powerful guardians of the artifact, bring it back to Duzayan, and hope that he decides not to just kill both of them and their loved ones.
Unless, as the synopsis points out, they come up with a better plan…
What I enjoyed: As the Crow Flies has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. There were several events I did not see coming at all, which helped keep the story interesting and fresh. The dialogue was snappy (if occasionally veering a bit modern) and our protagonists well-rounded characters. Duzayan, if he did not possess unexpected depths and backstory, was a very good power-crazed, diabolical maniac. The story wrapped up on a satisfying note, with plenty of room for more adventures, but no cliff-hangers!
What I enjoyed a little less: I got a little muddled with how much time was passing at any given point in the book, and there was a definite cluster of events at the very end while everything tied together, which oddly caused a bit of a slog, meaning that the ending was not as snappy as the rest of the book. In addition, I felt like one or two characters had disappointing endings; I had high hopes for one of them in particular, who disappeared about halfway through and returned as a minor antagonist. Oops.
Overall: I heartily recommend this book. I had a great time reading it, the issues were very minor, and there were were some touching moments. Also, there’s a lot of potential for sequels. Lythgoe is a talented author, and I am looking forward to her new releases! (She participated in NaNoWriMo, so we can hold out hope that sequels will be on their way shortly!) While it’s a holiday and you’re incredibly stressed and just trying to get to New Years…why not do so with a book you can read?