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Murder of Crows by Annie Bellet

Murder of Crows (2014)

by Annie Bellet

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Finally reread Justice Calling and went on to the next in the series. Nice! We get to meet Jade's original family - the ones who were never mentioned in Justice Calling, before she was on the streets. And it's a nasty situation on several levels. She was raised in a shifter cult (not a normal shifter life, but something weirder); she finds out that things were even worse than she thought when she goes back, with Alek, to help them deal with some very odd killings. She makes some choices, and finds out about consequences; she also finds out a lot of stuff about herself and her past that she had never known. Good story in itself, and it advances the arc - Samir is meddling in this mess. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Nov 13, 2017 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

This is the second book in The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series, and it was as fun as the first one. These are short, quick reads, but each seems to provide a complete, episodic, story that also advances us closer to the moment Jade must confront her enemy, the sorcerer who once tried to kill her.

As long as you are not tied to reading things in order, because each is a complete story on its own, I think these can be enjoyed in isolation. However, I also think once you’ve met the characters and have spent some time with them, you’ll be happy to seek out other stories in which they exist. I suspect the ability to be read as a standalone will reduce the closer we get to the resolution of the underlying crisis.

In Murder of Crows, though we’ve been given not so pleasant hints at Jade’s background in the first book, her birth family returns in the most awkward way possible. The very people who have rejected her come begging for help, and despite every bit of her being demanding she turn her back and leave them to suffer, Jade does the right, if very difficult, thing.

Her return to the cult where she’d been born is neither comfortable nor restorative. She learns some harsh truths that shake her to her very roots while at the same time solving a serial murder. There is no safety zone here around her family either as choices they’ve made implicate them in the cult’s business as much as any other.

I had my suspicions about the who and even the reason why behind the mystery, but the specifics of how it all came together held many surprises while the push and pull between her history and the person Jade wants to be is lovely.

She’s still not the perfect hero. She makes mistakes and suffers the consequences. She acts without thinking, and all the while, she’s still trying to master her sorcery well enough to survive and even win an encounter with her enemy, and former lover, the sorcerer Samir. I also like the explanation for why he hasn’t come all forces blazing to kill her already before she has time to prepare as it makes perfect sense and doesn’t undermine the individual story at all.

Oh, and the beginning was wonderful, both in what was going on and the way it misleads the reader at first.

I’m happily on my way to the next installment. ( )
  MarFisk | Jul 26, 2016 |
I purchased this after reading the first. It was good. Bellet creates characters with depth and flaws, even the secondary characters. With fine pacing and plot, it was worth the $3 for the digital version, even though it's not very long.
Jade returns to her home and family at the request of her father - the same man who tossed her out at 14. I don't want to spoil it, but we learn the answers to questions about Jade's past, but those questions are replaced by others - and we still don't know much about her ex-boyfriend, the evil sorcerer. I enjoyed the twist on the Native American folklore and the further exploration of Jade's magic. Her interactions with Alek felt plausible, and I'm interested to see where they go and where Jade's story goes. ( )
  empress8411 | Jul 16, 2015 |
I really liked the plot of the story - Jade returns to the reservation where she spent the first fourteen years of her life to investigate who or what is brutally killing members of her former tribe.

However, between reading the first book months ago and this one, I'd forgotten how much I dislike Jade. I get that she's an immortal sorceress who ages slower than a human, but life experience should still result in some maturity. Chronologically she's in her 40s, but she acts like a whiny, stubborn 16-year-old. Additionally, the book has a LOT of profanity in it. I can overlook it a couple times, but it really is not necessary to drop as many f-bombs (especially in this short of a book) as the author did. For those reasons, I won't be reading any more of this series.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  girlwonder87 | Feb 22, 2015 |
I was selected to receive a review copy. Never received book from author/publisher, posting this so I do not lose credit for not reviewing the book.
  Ramplo | Dec 24, 2014 |
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"They say you can never go home again. If only that were true..." Game store owner and nerd sorceress extraordinaire Jade Crow knows death stalks her in the form of her murderous ex-lover, Samir, a sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her power. With the help of her friends, and sexy tiger-shifter Alek, Jade trains for the inevitable confrontation. Until her estranged father shows up begging for help. Someone or something is murdering the crow shifters of Three Feathers ranch and her father believes sorcery is the only way to stop the killings. Faced with an unknown foe, a family that exiled her decades before, a deepening relationship with Alek, and Samir's ever-present threat, Jade will need all the power she's gained and then some to stop the "Murder of Crows." "Murder of Crows" is the second book in "The Twenty-Sided Sorceress" urban fantasy series.… (more)

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