“Call of Crows” Beckons You

Photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net

Photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net

By Madge Slack

Vikings, rockin’ women and a little mythology. Sounds like a fun night, right? It is. The “Call of Crows” series by Shelly Laurenston wouldn’t be described as enchanting, but it’s certainly an exciting read. Laurenston has taken Norse mythology and created a modern world of epic female warriors who battle jerks and Hell’s carrion alike. The crows are one of nine clans with bases across the globe, but their story centers in modern-day L.A. These women are not just beautiful birds — they have all suffered violent murders and been given a new life by the goddess Skuld.

In traditional mythology, Skuld is one of the three Norn (who are similar to the Greek Fates). Skuld is the last of the Norns, sometimes translated as “what shall become” according to norse-mythology.org. She is the Norn of the future — or the necessary events which will create it — and often tweaks events in a negative way to preserve the future. 

In the book, Skuld is the goddess of slave women and gives her crows a second life to fight for her as enhanced human warriors. Yes, they get awesome wings, and their power comes with a side of homicidal rage.  

Despite the wings and sudden rage, these are not heavy books. The girls keep it very real — almost to the point of rudeness — and don’t take crap from anyone. They are a band of sisters who take care of odd jobs for the gods. It turns out, the Norse gods are always losing their stuff and when it’s a magical god’s necklace, it can cause quite a bit of bloody damage.

“The Unyielding” is book three of the series, released last year. It revolves around Erin Amsel, an opinionated tattoo artist who isn’t afraid to offend. She and a raven, Steig Engstrom, go on an epic quest together worthy of a true Norse tale. If the Norse mythology doesn’t snag your interest, they meet up with figures from multiple pantheons, including the four horsemen and a few archangels. If that’s still not enough, never fear — there is a terrifying, all-powerful, old Albanian woman who might give you nightmares. 

But these books aren’t meant to scare you. They are a great portrayal of awesome women with sexy male characters. I highly recommend the series. If you like this series, Shelly Laurenston is a prolific author with many other series.

Trigger warning: For an adult reader, “Call of Crows” contains steamy sex scenes and some violence which can be pretty. They are a great read on a summer night.

Rating: 4 stars

The first two books are can be a challenge to get into as they move at a slow pace, and Erin can be a difficult character to relate to in the third book. However, once enticed, you won’t want to put these down. Plus, props to the author for imagination and adding a touch of an ancient culture you might not be knowledgeable about. They are certainly unique and way better than “Twilight.”

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