Book Review – House of Beating Wings by Olivia Wildenstein (Kingdom of Crows # 1)

I’ve run out of ways to start these book reviews without sounding like a broken record because this book was just… ahhhh… chef’s kiss times ten!

I read it all in one sitting, despite half-way through I tried and I mean TRIED to stop myself from reading too quickly because I genuinely wanted to savour it but I just couldn’t. I had to keep reading and good Lord, I was not disappointed.

From the plot that kept me on the edge of my seats, to the characters I kept shouting at out loud, to the romance that at times made me so sad yet so happy… how I don’t even know, but this book did that!

I can’t even begin to explain how great each and every part was, but I tried my best down below, because if you have not read this book but you LOVED the ACOTAR series, then you will DIEE for this one. And then come back to life to read the second book, like I did.

Note: this is a non-spoilery review

Brief Synopsis:

The book opens up on our MC called Fallon, who seems to have had the worst luck in her world. Starting with her being half human, half-fae and possessing no powers at all. When the Prince she had been secretly in love with for so long, Dante, comes back to her town. She finds herself reeling with hope that maybe just maybe they can be together.

This only seems to get better for her when an oracle tells her she will be Queen if she find these iron relics and release a long ago ruler who was trapped there by a war that caused so much distance and distruction.

Seems easy enough, only Fallon has no idea what lies beyond her little town and who she really is.


I am telling you, the way this plot had twists and turns almost gave me whiplash. It wasn’t completely out of the box in the way that the basis is a girl trying to find ancient special relics to get what she wanted, but even with the trope aspects, it was still an amazing story. The author had woven in conflict that ranged from characters, to the world, to even the mission itself having physical obstacles.

I don’t want to say much else as this is non-spoilery but I will say that I was flipping through the pages quickly.

The Characters:


Surprisingly but unsurprisingly, I actually enjoyed Fallon’s character. I say this because usually the MC can have aspects that make her seem too perfect or too much of the “chosen one” that it makes it harder for me to relate to her. Fallon was different. You saw her struggles throughout the book and it was so true to her and the shit that was happening to her. The mistakes she made, the urges she felt, the desire and desperation were SO TRUE to the circumstances that came with her wants. And her growth throughout the book… I LOVED IT. It’s characters like this that actually make me empathize and feel like I am in their head.


Lorcan, Lorcan, Lorcan… let’s just say I have added another book boyfriend to the list. I don’t want to spoil too much because his character throughout the book is mysterious in terms of identity but let me just say, that I love complex male characters that still champion and obsess over the stronger female characters in the book.


I liked Dante at first and while the levels of how much I liked him changes throughout, I still enjoyed the fact that he was written like a real person, specifically prince, who actually has privilege that he is not even aware of. Although his choices and his mindset is so far from being morally correct, he was a good contrast to the class system and helped our MC grow.


We all need a friend like Phoebus. I am telling you this guy is such a wonderful friend and a great comic relief for the moments when the book just gets too heavy. His kindness and compassion towards Fallon and the other characters, not to mention his “Fuck the patriarchy” attitude was just the cherry on top.


I wish she had more time on the page. I loved Sybil so much as a friend to Fallon but even her being her own person. I mean the story is Fallon’s so makes sense, but Sybil seemed like such a good-hearted person who came from a loving home and just had so much sunshine to her. I hope we see her grow into herself more in coming books.


Ok, so not gonna lie, at first I was like what is the point of Antoni. I figured, we have what could be a love triangle, we have the best friends, we have the conflict with royalty… we don’t need another guy in the mix. I was WRONG. Antoni was integral to the whole story. I feel like we will see this more in future books, but he was this handsome, humble, kind of a play boy who could probably be credited as the main reason why Fallon is able to go on the journey she goes on, but she is able to grow and learn about the different kinds of love out there. He is also added to my list of book boyfriends!

The World:

The world was written so well. I truly felt like I was on the streets, by the canal, in the tavern, and in Fallon’s home when they were all described.

The magic system, classification of the different species, and the history was so intricately placed in the conversations, plot, and actual world that it made it so easy to follow and feel a part of the action.

I hope we see more of the places that Fallon visited briefly on her journey as some were so beautifully described.

Overall Thoughts:

I cannot gush enough about this book. I really fell in love with it from the first page to the last. The diversity was barely existent but the themes of injustice and trials, and fighting for your own voice were so prevalent that it helped someone like me fall deeper into the story as the author made everything relatable despite it being high fantasy.

If you love fantasy romances, troubled characters, crazy worlds, oracles that are not what they seem, then you will love this book too and I cannot wait for you to read it and experience it.

Overall Rating:

📜 Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🧙🏼‍♂️ Characters: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

❤️ Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

⚔World: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🧕 Diversity: ⭐⭐⭐

Please let me know if you have read this book! What were your thoughts?!

*Please note that when clicking any links above, they are affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products through the links. This does not affect you as the consumer of the price of the product. More importantly it does not compel me to recommend products that I do not believe in.*

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