Title: These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames #1)
Author: Alexandra Overy
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: April 20th, 2021
A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
These Feathered Flames is the beginning of a new fantasy, retelling of The Firebird fairy tale. I found this book to be extremely enjoyable, while also being very hard to get into. Personally, I have a harder time reading Russian inspired books due to the names and lore – so this is likely a me thing, not necessarily a fault of the book. The Russian influence is heavy within the plot, names, and backgrounds of the characters so it has a large presence in the story.
I LOVED the concept of the two twin sisters being born, one to be queen and one to become the mythical Firebird. It reminded me a lot of the Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake in terms of the sisters. When their mother, the Queen, dies the Firebird is called back to the palace after many years to begin the Mourning period. But politics and maneuvering take over, with many attempting to depose the sister meant to be the next Queen.
The writing in this book is beautiful, and whereas it took me some time to become invested in the story, the ending 10% had me on the absolute edge of my seat and taking me on a shocking journey to set up the next book. The sister’s dynamic was engaging and interesting, as they both came into their own powers and became what was expected of them at court.
Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!