Eyes of Crow is book one of the Aspect of Crow Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready. The book blends Native American animal spirituality with an agrarian world. Rhia's guiding spirit is Crow. She is the one who can see death coming. She can also ease the passage between the worlds. Her people depend on her to sing the songs that send them on to the next realm. This makes her very valuable to her people.
At first Rhia denies that she hears the flapping of Crow's wings. Her mother, an Otter woman, keeps her at home long past the time when she should have started training. This is fine with Rhia until her mother is dying and she has no ability to ease the death. She misreads the signs and her mother is left to face death all alone.
On the day Rhia leaves for training she sees an image of a terrible death. Some of the village elders believe that war is coming and the vision seems to agree. Her first year of training is interrupted when she overhears that The Descendants are going to invade her village. She must help them fight a war that they must win if their way of life is to continue.
This book is well written. It moves at a good pace and has characters I can care about. The weaving of animal spirituality through the story is well done. Rhia moves from being a scared child into womanhood. She does not always like what she is but she knows that she cannot ignore Crow. The book does a good job of presenting the idea the we are connected to the earth and we lose much of what we are (our magic) if we forget to honor our animal spirits.
I cannot wait to read the other two books. Eyes of Crow left me wanting more.
Buy Eyes Of Crow (Aspect of Crow Trilogy)