Title: The Crow Palace
Author: Priya Sharma
In: Black Feathers (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Family, Horror
Dates read: 27th April 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pegasus Books Ltd.
5th sentence, 74th page: It was when she realised that she didn’t sound like other children.
Julie has returned home to the Crow Palace after years away. Her father’s loss begins to uncover secrets and horrors from the past, making her question everything she is and knows.
This final story in the Black Feathers collection gave me a very uncomfortable feeling. It was a good story to end on, but it was definitely one that made me seriously uncomfortable. It had that open-ended finale that makes you think that the spawn of crows will continue off into the sunset without anyone to stop them.
One of the creepiest things about birds is their tendency to kill their siblings. The oldest and strongest often kills the smaller, younger sibling. And quickly. It seems so normal in the avian world, but when you graft that onto humanity, it’s just a little too spine tinglingly horrifying. Especially when you create a young, innocent and soulfully beautiful younger sibling to match the older, more detached one.
Family is difficult. Even when you are born into a good family, it’s difficult. But when you have one with some incredibly scary secrets and a haunted history… cue the goose bumps people!
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