Series: Crown of Feathers #1
Published by Simon Pulse (2.12.2019)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 496 pages
Source: From Publisher
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.
I loved the concept of Phoenix Riders!! The world was truly phenomenal – well thought out and painstakingly built. It felt real! I could tell Nicki put a lot of thought into it. It was excruciatingly detailed without annoying info dumps. The info was well placed and spread throughout the whole book, giving you an in depth understanding of the world without being overwhelming. Also, I LOVE stories where a girl dresses as a boy!
Sadly, that was where most of my enjoyment ended. I expected much more phoenix action, for this book being about Phoenix Riders. After the beginning View Spoiler »and the “death” of Xephyra (which I did not believe for a single minute) – I wish she had been more prominent instead of missing for a full 300 pages, it was boring without her – « Hide Spoiler my interest waned a bit. It was pretty boring in the middle, and I struggled. A lot.
Things finally picked up at the end, thankfully. I got the phoenix action I so desperately longed for! If the whole book had been like that, I would have loved it.
I also would have liked to feel a bit more connected to the characters. I didn’t really like Sev at all and hated reading his chapters. They were SO BORING. I do like how it all tied in, though, that made his chapters marginally more bearable.
I probably should have felt a bit more at the end, but despite the lack of emotion on my part, I did like that we had some crazy bombs dropped. View Spoiler »I started to suspect the sisters were reincarnated Ashfire sisters, but I didn’t suspect that Veronyka was actually Pheronia’s daughter and Avalkyra’s niece! Also Ilithya Shadowheart and her role, sucks so bad that she was so close and Veronyka didn’t even know. « Hide Spoiler I am definitely interested to see where this story goes!
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5
I’m interested in this one but always a bit dubious with fantasy these days lmao. It just seems to have better premise than execution?! (Or I’m getting fussy oops.) But phoenixes aren’t something I’ve seen done a lot, so for that I’m really excited!!