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: Cormac's helper. It's the one that actually comes up with the idea to restore Cormac to his throne.
  • 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 final "prophecy" in a nutshell — Bregant's position is not secure (something Bregant himself seems to have doubts over) and he will be defeated.
    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, being a good king, is bound by some rules. Discussed by Bregant:
    "You won't murder me. You can't! That's not the way King Cormac rules."
  • The Good King: Cormac is a good person and a good king — wise, compassionate, and peaceful.
    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-Disposing Villain: As Cormac himself seems to acknowledge that he would not kill his adversary even when Bregant's soldiers have fled and they are one-on-one, Bregant has to perish in some other way, so he panics, slips from the tower, and plummets to the ground below.
  • 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.