River of Crows

The Arcanium Book 1

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
332 Pages
Reviewed on 04/24/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

River of Crows by N.P. Thompson is the first book in the Arcanium series. Ty Baxter tends to get into fights. But they’re not his fault. It’s the bullies that have it in for him. His only friend is a crow he calls Streak and when Streak is threatened by the same bullies, he joins forces with the odd new girl. Suddenly his mundane life becomes a magical adventure and he uncovers a prophecy with him in the middle and a dangerous ruler with a dark plan. As Ty discovers that his new friend isn’t as weird as he thought, he learns that she has a missing brother that she’s determined to save. This will lead him to uncover shocking secrets about himself as his magical abilities emerge.

The story begins with Ty struggling in school with bullies and boredom in classes which paints him firmly as an outcast. His father is raising him alone and he never had a chance to know his mother. He is open to embarking on an adventure as he has a void in his life. His journey is one of self-discovery as he learns more about the mother he never knew and discovers he has magical abilities. He goes from being a normal child to one with a magical destiny that pits him against a deadly emperor. Streak is an important character in the story as he’s Ty’s only friend and draws Ty to Ayslenne (the new girl). Their dynamic is important for Ty as she shows him what he’s missing in his life such as friendship and family. She’s desperate to rescue her brother, which hits home with Ty who doesn’t have this type of family connection. She’s also the one that transports Ty into a magical world that answers questions he didn’t even know he had.

The magical theme is cleverly developed by N.P. Thompson and will take children on an incredible adventure. Vivid details help to establish the world with different types of people (such as pixies) that are rooted in a magic system. Thompson captures the innocence of these two children who are searching for something more in their lives and end up finding it by relying on each other. River of Crows is full of surprises with themes of friendship, family, self-discovery, and magic.