Book Talk 3/22/19 Nicki Pau Preto’s Crown of Feathers
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto Simon Pulse, Feb. 12, 2019. Netgalley.
blurb: An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in
this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to
join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.
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 is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.
My review: Veronyka and her sister have found a couple of phoenix eggs and are awaiting their hatching. The first one hatches and out pops Veronyka’s phoenix. The second egg doesn’t hatch. While her sister continues to search for more eggs, Veronkya bonds with her phoenix. They are living in a cottage in the countryside and one day soldiers discover it while they are away. Veronkya returns and finds two soldiers who are hidden animages and keep her secret. Her sister almost kills one of them. When they leave, Veronkya’s sister tells her she is too soft on her phoenix and that she is supposed to control the animal not be it’s friend. When Veronkya doesn’t listen, her sister poisons her phoenix.
Veronkya is tired of covering for her sister, tired of the lies, and the death of her phoenix breaks her. She runs away after trying to resurrect the phoenix and it fails. She joins the phoenix riders hiding in the mountains as a stable boy as they don’t accept girls into their ranks even though females were the original phoenix riders. There she means Tristan and they form a friendship that hints at something more if only there wasn’t so many lies between them. As Veronkya helps Tristan with his fear of fire, he in turn, trains her to be a rider. If only there were eggs.
Spoiler Alert: When Veronkya’s sister shows up, bringing Veronkya’s resurrected phoenix, and the empire attacks the phoenix riders, all bets are off.