When Among Crows by Veronica Roth: Darkly Beautiful

We bear the sword, and we bear the pain of the sword.

Pain is Dymitr’s calling. His family is one in a long line of hunters who sacrifice their souls to slay monsters. Now he’s tasked with a deadly mission: find the legendary witch Baba Jaga. To reach her, Dymitr must ally with the ones he’s sworn to kill.

Pain is Ala’s inheritance. A fear-eating zmora with little left to lose, Ala awaits death from the curse she carries. When Dymitr offers her a cure in exchange for her help, she has no choice but to agree.

Together they must fight against time and the wrath of the Chicago underworld. But Dymitr’s secrets―and his true motives―may be the thing that actually destroys them.

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth is darkly beautiful and rich in Slavic mythology. As soon as I began reading, I was struck by the evocative language and the voice of the characters. I loved how Dmityr’s true purpose is obscured from the others but I also found his resolution and determination riveting. The curse that strikes Ala is heartbreaking and wrenching. How she interacts with Dmityr is intriguing especially after she discovers his true purpose. 

One of the most powerful aspects of the story is how it addresses redemption and atonement as Dmityr interacts with those who are inhuman, both Ala and Nikos, as he discovers affection for those so different from himself. I also love how the novel addresses the supernatural aspects, Ala’s powers and Dmityr’s training. The story is spectacular in worldbuilding and heartbreaking in how the curse interacts with Ala. 

If you like stories that are drenched in Slavic mythology and supernatural creatures, the exploration of redemption, and what it means to question your family, this novel is for you. It is heartbreaking and darkly beautiful, a story of hope, change and atonement. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 arrows

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