OWN VOICES: Krueger is a Filipino-American writer, and this book is a spectacular reimagining of various Asian cultures (the Philippines, China, Korea, and Japan) that celebrates Asian culture and also thoughtfully comments on post-colonial themes.
YA CROSSOVER FANTASY: The fast-paced storytelling and character-driven drama of this book recalls popular YA crossover epic fantasies like S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass and R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War.
FRESH POP CULTURE AESTHETIC: The world of this book also recalls beloved Asian pop culture artifacts that are totems for a new generation of readers, like Fullmetal Alchemist and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Paul writes for a younger generation of readers who discovered fantasy through video games and anime rather than Tolkien.
NEW PERSPECTIVE ON FANTASY: Paul was inspired to write this book both by his family’s cultural history (as Filipinos living in a post-colonial culture), his experience as an Asian-American with living between two cultures, and his love of Asian pop culture and anime.
“It’s only Paul Krueger’s second book and already he’s writing fantasy like a master. Steel Crow Saga is fun, funny, thrilling, heartbreaking, and, above all else, something only Krueger could’ve written.” —Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers
“Inventive, action-packed, and set in an Asian-inspired world that feels both fresh and familiar: This is a book I’ve always wanted but never had until now.” —S. Jae-Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong and Shadowsong
“You’re going to love cheering for these characters as they fight for honor, love, family, and country. This world of steel and souls completely transported me. It’s a hexbolt to the heart.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of A Plague of Giants and The Iron Druid Chronicles
“A rollicking adventure that wears its heart on its sleeve, and a joyful ode to its anime influences.”—Emily Skrutskie, author of Hullmetal Girls
“An incredible voice, an amazing conflict, and a hot mess of emotions…Krueger has taken one earth-shattering step and a thousand stories will grow in his footprint.”—Sam Sykes, author of Seven Blades in Black
“With a well-realized world and strong characters, many of whom are queer, Krueger’s novel will feel as fast-paced and exciting as its animated influences and leave the reader longing for more. Highly recommended for any fantasy fan.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“A post-colonial fantasy draws on Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Filipino cultures for a multinational tale of political intrigue…. This Asian-influenced sociopolitical drama explores the complications that ensue after the war, when no one’s hands are clean. Characters face the consequences of the choices they made during the conflict and consider whether it’s possible to rise above deeply ingrained prejudices and forge alliances with former enemies. Such grave matters are leavened by amusing banter, solid action, and two charming nascent romances of opposites. As tasty as the mushroom adobo that appears in the book both as food and metaphor.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Starts with a bang and never slows down…Think Pokémon meets The Golden Compass, with plenty of original and frightening twists along the way…. Krueger deftly gives each character their own point of view without losing sight of the novel’s central theme: We’re stronger together than we are alone.”
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