Review! Crown of Feathers – Nicki Pau Preto

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

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’ll start off by saying this book took me through a rigmarole of emotions, so prepare yourself before reading it!

Crown of Feathers follows Val and Veronyka, sisters who were orphaned after the infamous war. Veronyka is the younger sister, and slightly more naive. She is filled to the brim with passion, love and understanding for others. As an animage, someone who can talk to and somewhat control animals, she airs on the side of gentleness, asking the animals to do her bidding rather than forcing them. On the flip side is her sister Val, these two couldn’t be more unalike. Val is harsh and brash, and will use her talents as a shadow mage, someone who can read other peoples thoughts and at certain levels control them, to get what she thinks she deserves out of life. She is a controlling older sister to Veronyka, whose only dream in life is to become a phoenix rider.

There were so many twists and turns in this book I couldn’t keep up. The writing was sublime and I was thoroughly hooked from the beginning. Though it took a bit of time to get to the main story-line, it doesn’t take anything away from the overall plot, if anything it makes you able to understand the shocking ending so much better.

One thing I really enjoyed was how this book flitted between past and present tense. The present we see mainly through Veronyka’s eyes, though we do get some different perspectives throughout the book. The past, however, we see through letters sent between ruling sisters Avalkyra Ashfire and Pheronia, both trying to save their world the only way they know how, and chapters of text from history books. This really helps you build up a picture of the world Veronyka and Val live in, and why it is the way it is.

This is an easy 5/5 for me. I thoroughly enjoyed following Veronyka’s story, and meeting new people along the way, Sparrow! And the ending threw me for a loop, I did not expect that! If you’re looking for a rich fantasy world, with love-able, and hate-able characters then this is the book for you. I will be eagerly anticipating the next instalment.

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