Title : Crown of Feathers
Author : Nicki Pau Preto
Publisher : Simon Pulse
Rating : ****.5/5
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
“But that was the nature of life and loss: There was never enough time.”-Nicki pau preto, Crown of Feathers
This story grabs you fast and holds on tightly, and earned 4.5 stars from me. This book features a long, storied history of Phoenix Riders and warrior Queens who created this grand empire. Animages are men and women who have the ability to communicate and bond with animals. Only animages are able to bond with Phoenixes. After a terrible war, animages were persecuted for their abilities. But, animages are looking resurrecting the Phoenix Riders, to the dismay of the empire…
Veronyka is our main character, and she is being raised by her demanding and sometimes cruel older sister. After a devastating tragedy, of her sister’s design, Veronyka sets off to find a phoenix egg and become a Phoenix rider. As her quest is completed, she discovers the only way to reach her goal, is to pretend she is a boy. She even manages to find a love interest when she is disguised as a boy so, you go girl!
The story also includes the point of view of an Empire soldier named Sev. He is an animage in hiding, and if the Empire discovers his magic he would be stripped of his life and forced into the equivalent of slavery.
Crown of Feathers had all the characteristics I look for in a story. Likable characters, plot twists, and wonderfully written world building. Veronyka is immediately likable and you can’t help but feel for Sev as his backstory is revealed. Even the background characters pop out of the story and make you want to cheer them on.
Fans of Tamora Pierce will feel all the Alanna the Lioness vibes and this book is definitely for you. Game of Thrones fans will rejoice as there is a long history of this Empire filled with wars, magic, and deceit. Three Dark Crowns fans will eat up the sisterly rivalry that comes to a head in the thrilling ending. Harry Potter fans will be excited as there is finally another major book that utilizes the majestic Phoenix! Go grab yourselves a copy, and lose yourselves in it. I suggest during a long bubble bath with a glass of wine, but that’s just me!
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