Just a very quick review - this is book 3 in the series. I've had trouble getting past this book because it follows a different main character, and that has always put me off.
I ended up liking it, although I prefer Maerad's (the other MC) narrative. It is frustrating, though, because Hem does some pretty dumb stuff in this book that made me want to grab him and shake some sense into him. I love Irc, though, the white crow of the title - a brave and noble bird.
There are very Tolkienesque aspects to this series, and this one is strongly reminiscent of Frodo & Sam's path into Mordor. It is a dark, sad story, but one that ultimately moves the narrative forward and shows a way to victory for the Light. Now that I've made it through this one, I'm ready to finish the series with The Singing.