Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1)
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.

Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) Details

TitleCrown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 12th, 2019
PublisherSimon Pulse
ISBN-139781534424623
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    The February Owlcrate book! Click on the link below to see the goods. I have two favorites in the bunch! =)THE GOODIES
  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    Can't wait for this!
  • Connor
    January 1, 1970
    My Video Review:https://youtu.be/jHpJd5Op9oMAt first, I wasn’t going to do a review, but I think I might film one now. This is interesting because I had some big problems with pacing, but I ended up having a fun time and enjoying the drama despite the first 50-ish pages being a huge info dump. Like, a dump so bad that you turn the AC off in the car when you’re near it. I’ll leave a link to the review and leave a rating when the review goes up!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    girls dressing as boys and riding phoenixes. that's what i do all the time?
  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Two sisters rip apart an empire through war and to find peace the Phoenix Riders must be buried. 16 years later, Veronyka dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider with her controlling sister. After a shocking betrayal she sets out alone to follow rumors of the riders and to join them even if it means dressing as a boy. Veronyka is not the only one pursuing rumors, so is the new empire and they mean to wipe out the riders once and for all. The short re Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Two sisters rip apart an empire through war and to find peace the Phoenix Riders must be buried. 16 years later, Veronyka dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider with her controlling sister. After a shocking betrayal she sets out alone to follow rumors of the riders and to join them even if it means dressing as a boy. Veronyka is not the only one pursuing rumors, so is the new empire and they mean to wipe out the riders once and for all. The short review...I took out some of the spoilers in the premise... I hadn't read it again after the first time I read it way back so when I went to read Crown of Feathers I really didn't have a clue about it except PHOENIX RIDERS!! I am a total fangirl of paranormal creatures and phoenix are right up there with dragons and griffin... the best thing about Crown of Feathers is I wasn't disappointed in the phoenix! They about rip your heart out and makes for a powerful part of Veronyka's story. I love getting to explore creature world building... how are they born, what do they eat, how are they taken care of... all of this and more is explored and we get a really good sense of phoenix as creatures that bond with a rider.And I was totally invested from that beginning betrayal. Veronyka is a bit of a dreamy character who isn't allowed to grow up due to her controlling sister. And because she doesn't have to take care of much of anything she isn't as observant as she should be. She's a kind soul though and has developed skills that will serve her well despite all of her sister's domination. At first I wondered if I would come to dislike Veronyka since I found her sister quite intriguing with her morally gray personality. Once I accepted the kind of girl Veronyka is I was able to bond with her and root for her dream to come true. Cover & Title grade -> A-The art is not the absolute best... I wish I could see the girl on the back of the phoenix better, but the phoenix itself was stellar! You know what Crown of Feathers is going to be about and there is no need to dress it up beyond that. As a graphic designer I just don't love the typography of the title... but its serviceable and doesn't detract from the phoenix, which is most important.Why is Crown of Feathers a GREAT start to a new epic YA fantasy?-The multiple POVs!Many don't enjoy more than 2 points of view and in Crown of Feathers we get 3! I actually found the story a lot more well rounded getting all three. Tristan gives us a really great view of the Phoenix Riders and their situation. Of all the POVs we could have easily done without his. I'm glad his was included though... learning the little details about the riders through him felt more organic to the story. I also loved seeing his relationship with Veronyka grow from friendship to perhaps more.Sev is the third POV and there were pages that were NOT as exciting as the other two characters... but the more I read the more essential his part of the story felt as a whole. This has a political aspect that is shown through Sev and the characters he meets and it adds a lot of tension to the story. I also found the way his character grows quite compelling compared to Tristan.There is also this other quasi-POV we are seeing of the war that lead up to the current events. It's quite reflective of what has happened between Veronyka and her sister and the entire time you are wondering what this has to do with the story. It all comes together in the end and it blows you away!-The world building!Phoenix!! Riders! Bonds!! There are also wild phoenix... an unethical situation involving them and a magnificent battle too. We get to see a baby hatch too! There are actually more than just phoenix to this world... there is also the magic! Animages are people who can connect to animals and control them. Phoenix are a subset of this idea but sense they are sentient it is a little different. I really loved how animages worked and how it connected to the phoenix as well. There is also shadow magic. At this point its quite simple and I hope it becomes more complex in the later books but its used to great effect in Veronyka and her sister's lives.There are also a slew of characters I haven't mentioned that I quite came to admire... Trix, Kade, Cassian, Sparrow! They all add so much through there roles and parts in Crown of Feathers.-The sisters!Veronyka's sister is quite an important character as we come to see through the story... And I loved that! I became worried that the sister relationship wasn't going to be the focus of Crown of Feathers and for a while I was really disappointed in that. I love relationships that are more than just lovers and that was why I read this book... so I am pleased to say that Val will blow your mind... you sense it in the beginning and she comes through by the end.As a Writer...Many who read Crown of Feathers may wonder why we don't follow Veronyka's sister's POV. She's morally gray, badass in every form of the word and totally independent. Too independent. There is no way Val would have worked with any of the people Veronyka did. It's okay that Veronyka is a little more clueless than her sister because then she wants to belong, she willingly relies on others and she thinks about others besides herself. Actually I quite like the differences between Veronyka and Val and applaud the author's choice to go with such different sisters.Crown of Feathers is a fascinating start to a new epic fantasy in a world of phoenix riders, animages and an empire who won't leave either alone! Two sisters find their lives interwoven in this battle for survival and their relationship struggles under the burden. With the help of new friends one sisters finds a place to belong while to other takes the battle on alone.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingThanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
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  • Fafa's Book Corner
    January 1, 1970
    Mini review:Trigger warning: Mention of death and war. Up till the point I read. DNFI received this E-ARC via Simon and Schuster Canada and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Crown of Feathers has been getting a lot of buzz and excitement. When I saw it on Netgalley I requested an arc to see what the buzz was about. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. The first few chapters were fairly interesting. There was quite a bit off info dumping but I found it to be useful to understand the world. Mini review:Trigger warning: Mention of death and war. Up till the point I read. DNFI received this E-ARC via Simon and Schuster Canada and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Crown of Feathers has been getting a lot of buzz and excitement. When I saw it on Netgalley I requested an arc to see what the buzz was about. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. The first few chapters were fairly interesting. There was quite a bit off info dumping but I found it to be useful to understand the world. However it came to a point where I started to get annoyed. There was so much info dumping that it stunted the plot. And it started to get annoying. I also wasn't attached to any of the characters. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it. It really depends on you're tolerance with info dumping.
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  • Mila
    January 1, 1970
    The digital arc of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ website in exchange for an honest review.What I liked:- The diversity in this book was great and it felt natural;- The initial ideas and worldbuilding were fascinating; I'd really like to see more books featuring phoenixes.What I didn't like:- The info-dumping was very frequent and interrupted the flow of the story; sometimes pretty much the same things were repeated from different POVs and it got annoying very quic The digital arc of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ website in exchange for an honest review.What I liked:- The diversity in this book was great and it felt natural;- The initial ideas and worldbuilding were fascinating; I'd really like to see more books featuring phoenixes.What I didn't like:- The info-dumping was very frequent and interrupted the flow of the story; sometimes pretty much the same things were repeated from different POVs and it got annoying very quickly;- The characters were flat and almost interchangeable; the romance, by extent, I also couldn't care about.- The book was way too long in general and the plot lost any momentum it could've gained by dragging every plot line for way too long.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    The sort of epic high fantasy that fills up your imagination and heart. Veronyka is a tender soul - I felt for her in her loneliness and betrayal then joy and friendship. So many elements of this story are done beautifully- Veronyka and Val’s complicated relationship and definitely the magic and mystery behind animage and phoenix. A must-read!
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  • raquel baggins
    January 1, 1970
    Uncorrected eARC copy received from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review1.5 ★ : good premise, diversity and disability — predictable and just a bunch of info-dumping «What did the great heroes do when the sun fell from the sky? They leapt onto those wild flames and learned how to fly» Review in English | Reseña en español (abajo)Crown of Feathers is the first instalment of a new epic high fantasy se Uncorrected eARC copy received from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review1.5 ★ : good premise, diversity and disability — predictable and just a bunch of info-dumping «What did the great heroes do when the sun fell from the sky? They leapt onto those wild flames and learned how to fly» Review in English | Reseña en español (abajo)Crown of Feathers is the first instalment of a new epic high fantasy series about phoenixes, warriors and a falling Empire through a narration with different third-person past POVs. To be honest, I was bored to tears reading this novel and I thought about dnf-ing several times, but I’d read a lot of good reviews and I wanted to know what was going to happen in case it blew my mind –spoiler alert: it didn’t–. Nevertheless, there were a few good things I want to point out:1) The premise and world-building: I really liked this fantasy world where, instead of dragons, the magical creatures were phoenixes. I’ve always been fascinated by these creatures –blaming Dumbledore and Fawkes here– and it fell really original reading about magic bonds between animages and those fantastic beasts (and other animals as well). The setting was okay and although we’ve read a lot about falling kingdoms and Empires, in this case, the past history of two sisters fighting for power was somewhat interesting. 2) Diversity, disability, non-heterosexual relationship(s), feminism – at least this book is different about portraying racial and sexual diversity: from two gay romantic subplots that kept me interested into the story to POC, disabilities (a blind girl), and a female MC disguising as a boy (Veronyka / Nyk) for more than half of the book. Women are the leading characters of the story and although their actions and arcs were rather flat, it fell original and innovative some way.However, the pacing, writing style, plot development and info-dumping ruined entirely this book for me. There was so much info dumping that it stunted the plot –this, instead of moving forward, the info and temporary jumps caused the action to decay and we found ourselves with just little bits of dialogues and zero plot development–. I also wasn't attached to any of the characters, the plot twists were predictable and utterly convenient, and it has a lack of tension and mystery.All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you’re okay with info-dump and major explanations of world-building and/or you like phoenixes, family intrigues in fantasy and slow plot development.P. S. I'm not English, so if you see any mistakes let me know so I can correct them, please——Crown of Feathers es el primer libro de una nueva serie de fantasía épica sobre fénix, guerreros y un Imperio en decadencia a través de una narración con diferentes POV en tercera persona pasada. Siendo sincera, he perdido años de vida leyendo este libro y pensé en abandonar la lectura varias veces, pero había leído muchas buenas críticas y quería saber qué iba a suceder en caso de que alucinase –spoiler alert: no aluciné con nada–. Con todo, siempre hay algunas cosas buenas a destacar:1) La premisa y la construcción del mundo: Sinceramente me gustó bastante este mundo de fantasía donde, en lugar de dragones, las criaturas mágicas eran fénix. Siempre me han fascinado estas criaturas –aquí la culpa la tienen Dumbledore y Fawkes–, y me pareció bastante interesante la creación de esos 'lazos mágicos’ entre animagos y fénix (y con otros animales). Los diferentes escenarios estaban bien construidos y, aunque se ha escrito mucho de fantasía sobre caída de reinos e imperios, en este caso la historia pasada de dos hermanas luchando por el poder fue algo interesante.2) Diversidad y discapacidades, relaciones no heterosexuales, feminismo: al menos este libro es diferente en la representación de personajes (diversidad racial y sexual) y relaciones homosexuales –dos subargumentos románticos fueron los que me mantuvieron enganchada a la historia–, personajes de color y discapacitados físicos, y una protagonista femenina que se hace pasar por hombre (Veronyka / Nyk) durante más de la mitad del libro. Los personajes principales son mujeres y, a pesar de que sus acciones y arcos argumentales eran bastante planos, de alguna manera se notaban originales e innovadores.Sin embargo, el ritmo, el estilo, el desarrollo de la trama y el volcado de información arruinaron por completo este libro para mí. Había tanta información sobre la construcción de este mundo que atrofió la trama –esta, en lugar de avanzar, la información y los saltos temporales hicieron que la acción se descompusiera y nos encontramos con solo pequeños fragmentos de diálogos y cero desarrollo de la trama–. Tampoco estaba interesada ni llegué a empatizar con ninguno de los personajes; los giros argumentales eran predecibles y absolutamente convenientes, y en general el libro carece de tensión y misterio.En resumidas cuentas, no recomendaría este libro a menos que no tengas problemas con el info-dumping y las explicaciones infinitas sobre la construcción del mundo y/o te encante la fantasía con fénix, las intrigas familiares y el desarrollo lento de la trama.
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate enough to meet Nicki Pau Preto at the Cassandra Clare signing last weekend in Vancouver (read kind of accidentally ambushed her on the way out of the bathroom). At the time I was halfway through Crown of Feathers and loving it, and I had to tell her that. She was very kind and gracious, so I'm going to say it was a good thing I was only halfway through the book then. Because I'm pretty sure my reaction when I finished this would have scared the crap out of her. THIS WAS AMAZING!! I was fortunate enough to meet Nicki Pau Preto at the Cassandra Clare signing last weekend in Vancouver (read kind of accidentally ambushed her on the way out of the bathroom). At the time I was halfway through Crown of Feathers and loving it, and I had to tell her that. She was very kind and gracious, so I'm going to say it was a good thing I was only halfway through the book then. Because I'm pretty sure my reaction when I finished this would have scared the crap out of her. THIS WAS AMAZING!!Overall this was a solid debut and a fantastic fantasy to sink your teeth into. The story is divided into three points of view. Veronyka—an animage slash shadowmage who wants nothing more than to be a phoenix rider but struggles after being under her sister's thumb for so long. Tristan—a phoenix rider who is trying to be worthy of his position and prove to his father that he can be a good leader. And Sev—an animage in hiding as an empire soldier who battles with figuring out who he is and where he fits in. Primarily the story is told through Veronyka's eyes, with Tristan building upon it and Sev bringing up the rear with his own plot line. This novel is heavy with themes of community and having a place to belong that build and spur this story on. The world built by Pau Preto is lush and big. A small warning to you that the beginning of this book is quite a bit of info-dumping that could be toned down. One line of dialogue followed by a page of background information was a bit much at times. Looking back though, it proves how expansive this fantasy is. The history, the queens of old, and phoenix riders of lore, the women who carried it all on their shoulders; all of it is absolutely fascinating. There is a thick vein of feminism and sisterhood throughout it all that makes it even more entrancing. I love the concept of phoenix riders in this story and how it was executed. Phoenixes aren't used much, in my opinion, and they were utilized to perfection in this. The magic system seems to be well-thought out and has a lot more to explore in the next book. I thought this was incredible story-telling. Yes, as I said, it was a wee bit info-dumpy in the beginning, but it balanced itself out and I found myself glad for the information given. However, it is clear that this is a well-thought out tale with a hell of a lot of room to grow. The synopsis mentions a betrayal that splits the sisters apart, and good grief was it crushing. I made the mistake of reading that particular chapter before bed and was left rather distraught on behalf of Veronyka. It had to happen, but wow. You gotta read it to know. This story blew me away in the last half. Plot twists came fast and furious that left me reeling and looking at the certain characters, past actions—the story as a whole, damn it—completely different. A large chunk of the end of the book is devoted to a battle scene, and considering how long it was you'd think it'd be dragged out and boring. WRONG! Everything that happened served a purpose, either for the plot, character development or future twists. It was easy to follow and well written, which deserves a star all on its own. The "girl pretending to be a boy" trope is one of my absolute favourites, and in looking at my shelf I am shocked to find I don't actively seek out more of these stories. In asking myself why I enjoy it so much, perhaps it's because it makes me feel so proudly feminist to see a girl playing alongside the boys who said she couldn't do it, right under their noses. And more often than not she does it better than the boys, and it makes my heart sing. Or maybe I love it so much because I get to laugh each and every time at how stupid boys are sometimes. Apparently all it takes for someone to pass as a boy for them is a shaved head and no boobs. No one questions the lack of a deep or cracking voice, the no need to shave, etc. Cracks me up every time.
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  • Ails
    January 1, 1970
    5 FIERY STARS ”From the ashes I rose, like a phoenix from the pyre.” Praises from NYT bestselling authors: "A fierce and incendiary tale of warrior women, sisterhood, and the choices that define us, all set in a soaring new world that readers will fall in love with. I couldn’t put it down."— Lisa Maxwell, author of the Last Magician series"The unique and imaginative world of the Phoenix Riders had my rapt attention from the first sentence. Nicki Pau Preto is a bright new talent, and I can't wa 5 FIERY STARS ”From the ashes I rose, like a phoenix from the pyre.” Praises from NYT bestselling authors: "A fierce and incendiary tale of warrior women, sisterhood, and the choices that define us, all set in a soaring new world that readers will fall in love with. I couldn’t put it down."— Lisa Maxwell, author of the Last Magician series"The unique and imaginative world of the Phoenix Riders had my rapt attention from the first sentence. Nicki Pau Preto is a bright new talent, and I can't wait to read more!"— Morgan Rhodes, author of the Falling Kingdoms seriesCrown of Feathers is a feast of magic, action, and romance. An immersive, deeply satisfying fantasy that will stay with you long after the story is finished. Nicki Pau Preto is an author to watch!— From Elly Blake, author of FROSTBLOOD WHY DID I READ THIS EARLY, NOW I HAVE TO WAIT LONGER FOR BOOK 2 DAMN IT!!PLOT - 4.5WRITING STYLE - 5CHARACTERS - 5ROMANCE - 5UNPUTDOWNABLE LEVEL - 5EPIC. GORGEOUS. RIVETING. There are so many things I love about this book; the rich and vibrant world-building, the vivid descriptions especially of the phoenixes, the compelling and complex characters, the bond between the phoenixes and their riders, the almost lowkey romance (has potential to be more swoonworthy in book two) I can go on and on but I don’t want to spoil! You guys have to experience this book. It’s one of those books that leaves-awesomeness-behind! A little warning, there's information overload. Bits and pieces of the past were inserted in the beginning of every chapter. It's a struggle at first, but I didn't really mind because the writing style and the story itself were interesting. P.S. My copy is an uncorrected/ARC version and the paragraphs are not properly indented (making it a bit hard to read) BUT. I. STILL. READ. IT. AND. LOVED. IT. Can’t wait to read the well-formatted version on its release date!So far, this is officially my top favorite debut this 2018. I NEED THE SEQUEL SO BAD I WANNA CRY :((((
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  • Lilly (Lair Of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Ok the cover stopped me dead in my tracks cause there's only one thing I love more than owls & that's a Pheonix! *MAJOR HEART EYES* a world ruled by warrior queens?!?! a story about sisters at odds?!?! JEEEEEEZ! 2019 can't come fast enough!
  • Helen Power
    January 1, 1970
    SynopsisVeronyka is a war orphan who was raised by her deceased grandmother and her older sister, Val. Veronyka and her sister are "animages", and have the ability to communicate with animals.  This is not uncommon in the world they live in, but ever since the war their kind have been persecuted.  Val and Veronyka want nothing more than to become Phoenix Riders, like the heroes who fought during the war.After a terrible betrayal, Veronyka flees from her sister and finds a sanctuary for her kind, SynopsisVeronyka is a war orphan who was raised by her deceased grandmother and her older sister, Val. Veronyka and her sister are "animages", and have the ability to communicate with animals.  This is not uncommon in the world they live in, but ever since the war their kind have been persecuted.  Val and Veronyka want nothing more than to become Phoenix Riders, like the heroes who fought during the war.After a terrible betrayal, Veronyka flees from her sister and finds a sanctuary for her kind, a place where apprentices are being trained as Phoenix Riders. The only catch? If she wants to become a Phoenix Rider--to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become the hero she’s always dreamt of being—she’s going to have to pretend to be a boy. Characters and Plot It’s difficult to separate out characters and plot for this book, since there are several point of view characters, and each of their plotlines are heavily influenced by who they are.We primarily follow three characters in this book. All three of them have fascinating story arcs.  All three of them overcome their fears over the span of the first novel in this trilogy and begin the journey of accepting who they truly are.First off, there’s Veronyka, the protagonist, who escapes from her (let’s face it—abusive) sister to join the Phoenix Riders while masquerading as a boy.  Her storyline is perhaps the most engaging, as it is the main focus of the story.  I absolutely love her unadulterated adulation of phoenixes and her sheer will to do whatever it takes to become a Phoenix Rider.Tristan is the son of Commander Cassian, who is the leader of the Phoenix Riders and runs the place where the apprentices are being trained.  Tristan has the most compelling secret. He’s deathly afraid of fire.  It becomes apparent right away that he's Veronyka's love interest.  Their scenes are cute and refreshing, and if you’re expecting some awkwardness a la “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare (he does think she’s a boy after all), then you’re in for a treat!Sev, the third POV of the story, is an Empire soldier who’s secretly an animage, but he cannot let anyone know or he will be treated as less than everyone else.  His chapters start off slower than the other two POVs, but they get extremely thrilling towards the end of this book, as his plotline ties into the others.All three main characters have interesting story arcs over the course of this novel.  I’m very eager to see how they further develop in the follow-up instalments in this trilogy!WorldbuildingPau Preto has packed a lot of world-building into a 477-page book. But it never lags down the plot. Every little thing she mentions--sometimes offhand comments, sometimes more detailed descriptions-- all contributes to creating a dynamic and three-dimensional fantasy world that I would kill to live in.Between many chapters the author employs an epistolary-style of writing to provide background into the history and legends surrounding the Phoenix Riders.  Not only do these inserts contribute to our understanding of why the world is the way it is and provide interesting little snippets for us history lovers out there, but it actually provides clues as to what’s really going on, making the twists later in the book even more satisfying. While this book does deal with a few tropes--(the girl who must pretend to be a boy, the girl who has special “powers” unlike anyone else, to name a few), Crown of Feathers provides a unique and fresh take on these stereotypes.  I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light YA fantasy (that isn’t without its dark moments), that is chock full of  adventure, intrigue, and, of course, majestic, magnificent, and magical phoenixes. *Thank you to Simon Pulse and the author for the book for review!* This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Instagram | Blog | Website | Twitter My 2019 Reading Challenge
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    6/28/18Seeing the cover now, my original GIF isn't too far off lol ---...who ride into battle on the backs of phoenixes... OMFG yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto is a frolicking adventure about a girl who wants nothing more than to become a phoenix rider. I really enjoyed reading Crown of Feathers! I loved the story, the fierce female lead, and the inclusion of phoenixes. While the pacing was on the slower side, I appreciated the depth this book offered.Veronyka and her sister Val don't have much in life--they have a roof over their heads, a small amount of food, and a mutual desire to bond with a phoenix. Veronyka ha Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto is a frolicking adventure about a girl who wants nothing more than to become a phoenix rider. I really enjoyed reading Crown of Feathers! I loved the story, the fierce female lead, and the inclusion of phoenixes. While the pacing was on the slower side, I appreciated the depth this book offered.Veronyka and her sister Val don't have much in life--they have a roof over their heads, a small amount of food, and a mutual desire to bond with a phoenix. Veronyka has always known that she wanted to be a phoenix rider. This is her dream, her goal, and what she feels is her life path. She will do anything to become a phoenix rider, even if it means she has to impersonate a boy to increase her chances of achieving her dreams. Leaving her older sister behind, Veronyka sets out on her own and joins up with a group of phoenix riders. She serves as their stable boy, mucking stalls and feeding the animals. I loved reading about Veronyka's adventures impersonating a boy! I grew up loving Disney's Mulan, so this is a concept I really dig. Veronyka has to go through extra steps to ensure no one knows that she's actually a female. During this time, she grows closer and closer to the leader's son, Tristan, which presents all sorts of unique challenges.The book jumps back and forth between Veronyka's perspective and Sev's perspective. While Veronyka is aligned with the phoenix riders, Sev is an animage in hiding, serving as a solider in an army that hates animages and phoenixes. Sev and Veronyka's stories intersect on more than one occasion. I'm looking forward to seeing where their stories go the next book. The phoenixes were so neat in Crown of Feathers! Known for being intelligent animals, each phoenix is unique and wickedly smart. I loved the bonds that the phoenixes are able to form with humans. Being able to understand an animal, especially one of such intelligence, would be really cool!The ending had a lot of excitement and one heck of a plot twist! I was surprised by the ending, and I'm intrigued wondering where the next book is going to take this interesting development. So should you read this book? I would highly recommend Crown of Feathers to fellow fantasy fans. If you love phoenixes, that's an added bonus!Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Denia Books & Baubles
    January 1, 1970
    Hold on and buckle up guys, this is going to be a long one. First off, it took me 4 days to read this book. FOUR DAYS. Now you may say, "okay, Denia, what's the big deal with that?" Well, I could've read another two books in the time it took me to read that book. It's not so much its length, it was more its content and I'll talk more about that later, but first let me give you a basic rundown of the book. So, apparently, the premise of the book doesn't explain the story, according to my boyfrien Hold on and buckle up guys, this is going to be a long one. First off, it took me 4 days to read this book. FOUR DAYS. Now you may say, "okay, Denia, what's the big deal with that?" Well, I could've read another two books in the time it took me to read that book. It's not so much its length, it was more its content and I'll talk more about that later, but first let me give you a basic rundown of the book. So, apparently, the premise of the book doesn't explain the story, according to my boyfriend, who had a bunch of questions about the story's development because the blurb was bad at explaining what this story was about. I'm going to try and explain this story in similar words that I used to explain to him without spoiling.Basically, a long time ago there were two sisters that were to rule their kingdom together. One sister possessed the magic to control and talk to animals--Animage, the people with that ability were called. Each animage had the potential of becoming a phoenix rider, which in this world is a great privilege. The sister with the power had become a fearless rider and one of the best. A disagreement happened between the sister causing the kingdom to split in half and both sisters to fight against each other, animage against human. The animage sister was defeated and forced to flee her kingdom, making every animage in the kingdom illegal, so they were either executed along with their phoenixes or forced into slavery. Those animages that still lived, now live in hiding in fear of being captured and killed. Phoenix birds were chased into extinction making the finding of eggs and breeding of them even more illegal but more wanted at the same time. Enter Veronyka and Val, a bunch of years later. Both of them are sisters, animages in hiding in fear of getting caught, always moving around and never settling anywhere. Val is the older sister and she's mean like b-word mean. Veronyka, 16, has dreamt all of her life of being a phoenix rider just like the old tales talked about the First Riders. She longed to find a phoenix egg of her own, to hatch it and to form a special bond with the animal just so that she can soar the sky and find her true purpose in life. Val was very controlling and manipulative of Veronyka and one day Val betrays her causing Veronyka to run away from her sister.Veronyka chooses to follow her dreams of becoming a rider without the help of her sister and that's when she encounters a camp full of riders in hiding. Only to realize that men are the only ones allowed to ride. Knowing this, she disguises herself as a boy just so that she can make her dreams come true, no matter the cost. Now, the story itself was great! I loved the whole thing. But it was sooooooo long! Oh my God, I thought I was going to die. By the time I finished reading the book, I had a headache. Now, there are only about 500 pages on this book, but the lining and spacing between the characters were shorter than your normal YA book and the font was smaller too (LOL at least it felt like it). But not only did it felt long because of that but also because of how much information was on that book. It was like a reading a story but reading a history book at the same time. My mind was tired.This book alternates between the POVs of different characters and in between those POVs there are history lessons of who they are, who they were, etc, as if the author was trying to teach us the world as we go along. That being said, the world-building was great. Those phoenixes descriptions could put your mind to wonder. And with all that description she did of the before and now and explaining to us how things were done then and why this and why that, you get a pretty good grip of it. But, that can also backfire, because not only once but multiple times did I find myself getting lost in this book. There was just so much to take in, at times it felt too overwhelming. Back to POVs though. This story is written in the third-person narrative, we follow the voices of Veronyka, Sev, and Tristan. There are other characters that have a POV but that's only like one chapter and they are not that relevant.Veronyka is our heroine, she's been slowly suffering taking the emotional abuse that her sister treated her with, that she's a broken shell of a person when she leaves her side. However, despite her being hurt by the sister she loves, she still finds her voice and fights for what she truly believes in. Even if that means changing who she is (physically). I do like how even in her boy state, she fought for women's right in their hideout when she was with the hidden riders. She was always questioning why couldn't girls do this or why couldn't girls do that. Nyk, her name after, was also strong at the moment that mattered the most and I love seeing that on her. Despite the fact that she was a kid, she showed strength like no other and I loved that side of her.Sev is a hidden animage soldier that works for the kingdom that hates animages, hence why he hides it. He is telling another side of the story that's happening with the kingdom itself. You'll have to read it to see what I mean, but his character is flawed. He's scared that he's going to be busted, he doesn't care about anyone but himself and he's trying to escape from the holds of the kingdom. But later, due to circumstances coming between his escape, he is forced to choose a side, either choose to be the animage that he is and rebel against the kingdom or die as a lying soldier. He, later on, finds his voice and he makes a decision that changes his life forever. I do admire the strength and courage of him.And there's Tristan, son of the Commandant of the riders in hiding. He's trying to prove to his father that he can be a very strong general just like him, but nothing he does gets his father's approval. He's very stubborn, hardheaded and volatile, but there's something about him that makes him falter, and is the fact that he's afraid of something that impedes him from being the best rider he can be. I believe this fear is what drew me to him. Tristan can be dark and brooding but deep inside he's just like the rest of us, fighting our own demons. There are other secondary characters like, Kade who's an a-hole but I ended up liking him in the end, although I wish I could've had more of HIS end. And then there was my favorite character in the whole book, Sparrow. I was really disappointed that she gave me so little of her. From the little of her that was in the book, I found strength, courage, this great sense of being, she was great. She really is one of the best characters in this book and I sure hope we get to see more of her in the next one. Also, she made me cry like a baby because her scenes were so good. Overall, I did feel like this book was too long but I also understand why she needed to make it as long as she did. I personally didn't care for the history lessons but they were there to help me understand the reasoning behind its people and the reason they were doing what they were doing. She provides a glossary and a timeline at the end that I found extremely helpful so I would recommend looking at that before reading the book, just so that you can get an idea of what you are getting yourself into. Besides the fact that this felt like a mix of a history book mixed with fantasy, I did enjoy the story regardless of how hard the journey was. If you are a reader that liked And I Darken, The Grishaverse, Truthwitch, Three Dark Crowns, Circle of Shadows, etc., I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this book. For readers 10-years old and older. (Moms don't worry, there's not even a freaking kiss in this book) (yes, I'm very disappointed). And, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to read my review, I truly appreciated.Also, here's a link for my blog where I post more than just book reviews :) Denia Books and BaublesMy Instgram for any updates on my readings, (mainly me crying over books):Instagram
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  • Elly
    January 1, 1970
    I had the good fortune to get my hands on an early version of Crown of Feathers, and I immediately fell in love with Pau Preto's beautiful writing. I loved the characters, especially Veronyka and her complex relationship with her sister Val. Fans of action, romance, magical characters, and deep world building will adore sinking their teeth into this richly imagined world!
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    Won an arc as a giveaway on Goodreads and couldn’t be more ecstatic!
  • Eden
    January 1, 1970
    This series has the potential to break into my favorite fantasy series of all time. There were twists I didn’t expect, characters I instantly loved, a wildly entertaining plot, and fantastic world building. It was a bit of a slow start, but that also may have been because I was reading it on my phone and wasn’t feeling motivated in the beginning. As the world unfolded, I just became more and more sucked in.Another thing that got the story going was the multiple perspectives. At first, I thought This series has the potential to break into my favorite fantasy series of all time. There were twists I didn’t expect, characters I instantly loved, a wildly entertaining plot, and fantastic world building. It was a bit of a slow start, but that also may have been because I was reading it on my phone and wasn’t feeling motivated in the beginning. As the world unfolded, I just became more and more sucked in.Another thing that got the story going was the multiple perspectives. At first, I thought we would only have two but then a third one was introduced. Pretty late in the game, but I was alright with it. It wasn’t introduced before it was needed which I appreciated. As soon as this book is released, I’m going to be buying a physical copy so then I can stare at it on my shelf until the next one is released. IN A YEAR. Not sure I’m going to be able to handle that one, but I’ll have to.
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  • Brittany Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    ALL THE FIERY STARS 🔥🌟🔥🌟🔥🌟🔥🌟🔥I had the pleasure of receiving the ARC of Crown of Feathers, all opinions are my own and are not influenced by being given this opportunity!How am I supposed to write a review for this magnificent book when I can’t even form proper words right now! Guys, Guys, Guys, buy this book. Request it at your library. Do whatever you have to, but support Nicki however you can! Crown of Feathers is beyond superb and I will fight to my death shouting about how incredible this s ALL THE FIERY STARS 🔥🌟🔥🌟🔥🌟🔥🌟🔥I had the pleasure of receiving the ARC of Crown of Feathers, all opinions are my own and are not influenced by being given this opportunity!How am I supposed to write a review for this magnificent book when I can’t even form proper words right now! Guys, Guys, Guys, buy this book. Request it at your library. Do whatever you have to, but support Nicki however you can! Crown of Feathers is beyond superb and I will fight to my death shouting about how incredible this story was and how many emotions it brought out in me (I cried 3 times okay?? Only a few books have the honor of having made me cry)!I think one of the reasons this book really tugged on my heartstrings is that much like the animages (those that have animal magic and can communicate with animals), I am very much an animal person. I empathize maybe a little too much with them, but I can’t really control that. So *certain* parts of this book pulled on those empathetic strings of mine and brought out a reaction I honestly wasn’t expecting. And let’s be real, *that* scene (that I am not going to ruin for all of you) made me ball my eyes out so hard I had to put the book down and walk away. If you want to know what scene I am talking about I suggest you read this book, when you get to that scene you’ll know, you will definitely know.The representation in this book was beyond amazing, and honestly it felt so natural?? Why can’t all books feel and read this way? Nicki did such a wonderful job including rep for the disabled – like Sparrow! Who is a loveable little girl that happens to be blind but in no way lets that slow her fiery spirit down, she is one of my favorite characters! There was also rep for mental illnesses such as phobias!?? Like, how amazing is this book already? Tristan has an incredible and intense fear of fire, which is even more difficult for him because he has to face his fear E V E R Y day since he is a Phoenix Rider. And if you didn’t know, Phoenix’s are… literally made of fire. There was also rep for non-heterosexual romance and I am here for it. I don’t want to ruin who it was between but let’s just say it’s my F A V O R I T E trope in the world, enemies to lovers! I lived for those scenes and saw it coming from the very beginning with those subtle shifts in their interactions and it made my heart stop once or twice at the thought of this romance blossoming into something bigger!I’ve read other early reviews and some people are saying there was a lot of info dumping and it ruined the story for them and I’m like…??? I NEED MORE info on this incredibly detailed world! How could I ever complain about a story that comes with a TIMELINE of past events and a glossary of terms!? Nicki literally built her own world that is entirely unique, and I honestly devoured every page of it. I hope we delve even DEEPER into this rich world in book two! Nicki’s writing style allowed me to perfectly visualize the landscape and the surrounding areas, so much so that I felt as if I was a part of this story. I wish I could be, because who wouldn’t want to be a warrior Phoenix rider?The storyline in Crown of Feathers was also indescribable! I won’t even try to put the synopsis into words, which is why I left the official Goodreads synopsis above! There was so much depth to the characters that I truly cared about the decisions they made, and I loved seeing how the story progressed. Every page was a new adventure and I loved being a part of it. Like when Veronyka decided not to let overbearing males get in the way of her being a Phoenix rider so she disguised herself as a boy just so she could join their team when they didn’t allow female riders? 100% ballsy. There were also quite a few surprises along the way that I wasn’t expecting! I truly enjoyed seeing the story unfold and by the end when we learn more secrets of the past, I think my jaw actually dropped. It was like watching a puzzle be put together, suddenly all the pieces fit together and everything made sense. I am beyond excited for book 2 to come out (honestly Nicki when can I get my hands on it!!) so I can hopefully get some answers to my many burning questions!Another reason I loved this book so much is the characters! They all felt so relatable and portrayed in such a way that I felt like I could be friends with them. There is nothing more important to me in a book than being able to relate and empathize with the characters. If I don’t feel anything towards them or care about their well-being how could I ever care about anything else that happens in the book? Like my sweet SWEET cinnamon roll Tristan. I knew from his first word that I would end up loving his character and him being friends with Veronyka was a match I could have only dreamed of. They are so in sync with each other and I love that they honestly brought out the best in each other. There is no better character development than the kind that changes them for the better. And these two are better together! There are tons of other characters I could talk about for days but honestly, you’d be better off experiencing it for yourself by reading this masterpiece!So, if you haven’t gathered by now this book is one of my favorites and might *actually* be my favorite read of the year so far. It was so well put together and if I had the time and adulting didn’t get in the way I would have finished this in one sitting because it 100% grasped my full attention and I didn’t want to ever put it down. Nicki, thank you. Thank you for writing such a beautiful story and I am so so so excited to see your career take off and watch you grow as an author! 5 glorious burning fiery stars for this book!
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  • Fiona Tolley
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me a long time to get through because it was really detailed but I ended up loving it so it was worth it. Perfect for fans of Furyborn by Claire Legrand and the Age of Legends series by Kelly Armstrong.
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of a slog. The lore was interesting, but it really was "Info Dump: The Book". It could have been great with some editing.
  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was received as an ARC from Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.This book from beginning to end just got better and better. Everything from the characters, to the plot, to the climax, and to the theme was brilliantly constructed. This book had some Mulan elements to it (girl disguising herself as a boy to fight in the war), some Red Queen elements, and some three crown elements all relating for the battle of This book was received as an ARC from Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.This book from beginning to end just got better and better. Everything from the characters, to the plot, to the climax, and to the theme was brilliantly constructed. This book had some Mulan elements to it (girl disguising herself as a boy to fight in the war), some Red Queen elements, and some three crown elements all relating for the battle of the throne. The conflict between Veronyka and her sister leading to a battle of justice was such an unexpected turn you would get from a YFantasy novel. That is why our young adult readers will love it and why I loved it.This will definitely have a home in our YFantasy collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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  • Anastasia シ
    January 1, 1970
    This was everything I could have asked for in a book. This is the best debut book I’ve read ever. I can't even right now. Full Review on my blog! - Full review contains spoilers~Omg. I LOVE this book. The world building, vivid descriptions, the compelling and complex characters, the bond between the phoenixes and their riders, romance and  history of the Phoenix Riders, and backstory, was on point. There are a few different POV's but they're easy to follow, also, at the end of each chapter we ge This was everything I could have asked for in a book. This is the best debut book I’ve read ever. I can't even right now. Full Review on my blog! - Full review contains spoilers~Omg. I LOVE this book. The world building, vivid descriptions, the compelling and complex characters, the bond between the phoenixes and their riders, romance and  history of the Phoenix Riders, and backstory, was on point. There are a few different POV's but they're easy to follow, also, at the end of each chapter we get an insight to what Avalkyra Ashfire is thinking, which I'm just realizing now after re-reading the ones I highlighted. It was just perfect, it was everything.  It's going to take me a while to get over this one. This is easily the best debut book I’ve read this year. I cant wait to read more from this author!I'll be honest, some parts were a little confusing, but you HAVE to read til the end, everything will make sense, because the freaking EPILOGUE literally ties the book together, it's so cleaver and perfect.... did I mention PERFECT? It's going to really hard for me not to spoil anything... argghhhWhen Veronyka's 'sister' Val comes home with two phoenovo (Phoenix eggs) only one makes it, and it bonds with Veronyka instead, and not Val, who was the one raising it during incubation. Val isn't happy when that happens, she completely changes, she feels angry and cheated, because she wanted the phoenix to be hers... and we get to see why, later in the book.But, certain events occur, that make Veronyka not want to be around Val, so she leaves her sister in search of more eggs, and other animages (animal magic; people who can control animals with magic), but she isn’t allowed to join them to train to be a rider.Why?Because she’s a girl, and at the time there were hardly any eggs left so they only let the boys train, so Veronyka disguises herself as a boy, and calls herself Nyk.Mhmm that's all I'm going to say... and judging from the epilogue, there's going to be a book two, and it's going to be epic. YOU NEED TO GET THIS. I highly recommend it!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come
  • Crazy4Books
    January 1, 1970
    I didnt realize this had mutiple perspectives from the summary, but along with Veronika we also follow Sevro, an animage hiding within the ranks of the new empires soldiers, and Trystan, a Phoenix Rider apprentice hiding high up in the mountains with the rest of the surviving Riders. I found Veronikas chapters the most compelling. The way she developped into a more self assured and self reliant character was wonderful to read about. I was super invested in her quest to bond with a Phoenix and hi I didnt realize this had mutiple perspectives from the summary, but along with Veronika we also follow Sevro, an animage hiding within the ranks of the new empires soldiers, and Trystan, a Phoenix Rider apprentice hiding high up in the mountains with the rest of the surviving Riders. I found Veronikas chapters the most compelling. The way she developped into a more self assured and self reliant character was wonderful to read about. I was super invested in her quest to bond with a Phoenix and hide her gender for fear of not being accepted into the Riders ranks. Seeing Veronika deal with her sisters intensity and unpredictability made her chapters hard to put down, but for someone so cold and calculated it didnt make sense to me that she would sabotage something so important.Trystan is struggling to overcome his anxiety and the fear of fire, but mostly his fear of failing his demanding father who also happens to be the commander of the Phoenix Riders. Trystan clashes with his fathers rules about not letting any woman join them. Which is pretty hypocritical of his father considering the first Riders where women and if he had let them join they probably wouldn't be struggling to acquire more eggs. We also follow Sevro, who is being blackmailed by an cunning old woman named Trix into helping the animage resistance. He goes from being a coward only interested in his own survival to risking his life for something greater then himself. I thought the hate to love tension between him and the animage Kade was fantastic. The chemistry was amazing in both romantic pairing.I enjoy the types of plots that fight against oppression. Add to that a world with riders and people whose magic is to communicate with animals and I have a recipe for a great book. My love for rider books began with dragons, but a phoenix is just as awesome. Not to mention theres a bunch of diverse representation. This book made me feel an intense whirlwind of emotions. I read some parts faster than Ive ever read anything in my life all the while gripping my heart for fear of it breaking out of my chest. Id definitely put a warning for animal death. Theres lots of extremely emotional scenes that had my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces, but I know a books amazing if it manages to make me feel so many strong emotions when Im usually indifferent or midly alert when big events happen. I had a feeling some of the twists were coming, but I still got super excited at their reveal.The writing was pretty straight forward and easy to get into. I found the pace of the plot moved a little slower in some places, but there was enough conflict and tension to keep me engaged. I didnt need to be told three times in the span of a page or two that Phoenix Riders are immune to fire. I like the sentences at the end of each chapter that told the story of the two sister you started the war. I found the similarities between the waring queens and Veronikas relationship with her sister was interesting. There was also some world building details thrown in at the end of each chapter that could have been incorporated better. The rest of the world building was on point. Everything made sense and I didn't feel like I was missing any crucial information. Despite my few minor issues, I absolutely loved this book and cant wait to get my hands on the sequel.*This book was received for an honest review
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.There was once a grand empire built by the Phoenix Riders - people who soared the skies on phoenixes - until a war ripped everything apart. Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of being a Phoenix Rider. She eventually decides to run away and try joining their ranks, even if it means dressing as a boy.Honestly, I don't really know where to start with this book. I thought it was a An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.There was once a grand empire built by the Phoenix Riders - people who soared the skies on phoenixes - until a war ripped everything apart. Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of being a Phoenix Rider. She eventually decides to run away and try joining their ranks, even if it means dressing as a boy.Honestly, I don't really know where to start with this book. I thought it was a really interesting idea - phoenixes are such a unique concept that I barely see represented elsewhere. So that idea itself was a major draw, and I do like reading about sibling dynamics.We're not brought into the story at the height of action or in the middle of a dilemma; it's more slow going, revealing the relationship between Veronyka and her sister, Val, and how they live in the fallout of the war. And that's fine - some stories need a slow build. The problem was that 90% of what I was reading was background knowledge and history that was just thrown at me - just a lot of info-dumping. After a few paragraphs, my eyes just started glazing over at all the proper nouns. After a few chapters of mostly info-dumping, I was skimming a lot. I can definitely understand the comparison to An Ember in the Ashes in the respect that there was a war that changed people's lives, and certain groups of people are being persecuted. But even though there was a war that changed the characters' lives, there was no sense of urgency in how it was conveyed. I didn't fear for the characters, that they might be captured or killed. There was no reason given for me to care. When the book also started switching POV, I definitely didn't care. None of them were dynamic or interesting enough to convince me to keep reading. (Also there's a character called Sevro and I couldn't help but think of the little shit from Red Rising).Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Jennifer MacMullin
    January 1, 1970
    •Thank you to Simon & Schuester for the ARC•Guys...oh my God. This is easily the best debut book I’ve read in the longest time. The writing is beautiful and I loved the characters, they’re so well written! I love phoenixes so I was excited for this and it definitely didn’t disappoint. If you like the fantasy genre, please put this on your TBR list!!! I don’t want to give too much away because the book doesn’t release until February, but I was so impressed by this book and I’m going to die wa •Thank you to Simon & Schuester for the ARC•Guys...oh my God. This is easily the best debut book I’ve read in the longest time. The writing is beautiful and I loved the characters, they’re so well written! I love phoenixes so I was excited for this and it definitely didn’t disappoint. If you like the fantasy genre, please put this on your TBR list!!! I don’t want to give too much away because the book doesn’t release until February, but I was so impressed by this book and I’m going to die waiting for the sequel
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  • Liz H {Redd's Reads}
    January 1, 1970
    It's wonderful! And magnificent! Glorious! I won't post a full review until closer to the release date, but you HAVE to read this one!
  • Teigan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm such a sucker for stories where the girl disguises herself as a boy. Mulan vibes. :')
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