Literature / King Crow

King Crow, a 1995 illustrated book by Jennifer Armstrong and Eric Rohmann, tells the story of a king and a corvid. Having been captured in battle, a good king called Cormac receives aid from a crow, which brings him news and makes it appear that he has unusual abilities. Can Cormac use this trick to regain his throne and his freedom?

This book includes the following tropes:

  • Androcles' Lion: the crow helps Cormac because he pulled an arrow out of its wing.
  • Blind Seer: the crow's intervention makes the soldiers and the enemy king think that Cormac can tell what's going on in some mystical way.
  • Clever Crows: The crow that helps Cormac. It's clever, but not ominous (despite making its first appearance on a battlefield).
  • Dirty Coward: Bregant's soldiers run away as Cormac's army arrives.
  • Disney Villain Death: Bregant, Cormac's enemy, slips and falls from the tower.
  • Evil Will Fail: this is Cormac's "prophecy" in a nutshell.
    My visions have told me the fate of all tyrants such as you. Beware the knife at your back, the mole at your feet, and the weapon that breaks in your hands. You will never be safe.
  • The Fettered: Cormac. Discussed by Bregant: "You won't murder me. You can't! That's not the way King Cormac rules."
  • The Good King: Cormac.
    Once upon a time, there was a good and wise king named Cormac, and his people loved him.
  • Rule of Three: the crow visits Cormac three times.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Cormac's "prophecy" of Bregant's fate seems to be this. Bregant is so scared by the "prophecy" and Cormac's words after that he tries to run, causing him to slip and fall to his death.