Rhia is bound to the Spirit of Crow. It is her destiny to guide the dead through to the 'Otherworld', and peace. She comes from the village Asermos, but to learn about her Spirit and the rare power within her, she must travel to the village of Kalindon and become apprentice to an older, wiser Crow woman.
The series is hard to describe in a few sentences - especially since each book spans decades. In 'Eyes of the Crow' we meet Rhia when she is 11, 16, then 18. By the third book, 'The Reawakened', 18 years have passed since the events of the second book 'Voice of Crow'.
What I can say about Jeri Smith-Ready's 'Aspects of Crow' is that it's one of the best fantasy series I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
I don't normally read fantasy unless it has the word 'Urban' in front of it - but Smith-Ready has written a series that seamlessly incorporates vivid characters, metaphors, morals and sensuality into an unforgettable tale. The books are all about the unknown and accepting difference. In the first book Rhia must leave her village for Kalindon, where rumors abound about the 'termite' villagers who live in trees and sport seven-inch fingernails. The villains of the series are 'the Descendents' - another race who wish to conquer the barbaric villages who worship Spirit guides instead of Gods. The theme of difference and xenophobia is heightened in 'Voice of Crow' when the narration alters - originally only Rhia narrated, but in the second book a captured Descendent soldier, Filip, lends a new moral voice.
There is a beautiful love story in the series, between Rhia and her mate, Marek, who is guided by Wolf spirit. Their love is instantaneous and powerful - and put to the test on numerous occasions. While the plot thickens regarding the village's safety from outside invaders, it is the love between Rhia and Marek that draws the reader in and propels the story forward.
I cannot express how much I loved this series. At times if reminded me of Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' with a hint of Tamora Pierce.
The series is a tribute to author Jeri Smith-Ready who has created a fantastically real worl with beautiful and memorable characters who have a moralistic tale worth telling.