by Nicki Pau Preto
Narrator: Samantha Desz, Jacques Roy, Joy Osmanski, Gibson Frazier, Cassandra Campbell
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on February 12, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 17 hours and 20 minutes
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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.
4 Stars for Crown of Feathers
Crown of Feathers is the stunning debut from author Nicki Pau Preto. Get ready for an exciting adventure with action, friendship, family drama and magical phoenixes!
What did I like?
- I was drawn into the story from the first chapter. Veronyka and her sister Val are war orphans and have been surviving by hiding their true identities. The sisters are animages, people with the power to control and communicate with animals. Veronyka has idolized the legendary heroes, the Phoenix Riders, and dreams of becoming a rider. But Val doesn’t agree with Veronyka’s hero worshipping. Right away you sense the tension between the sisters and this drama is what kept me engaged. When Veronyka is betrayed by her sister she begins a journey to find the Phoenix Riders. But joining the heroes comes with a price. Girls are not accepted as Phoenix Riders and Veronyka disguises as a boy to follow her dream. As Veronyka tries to deceive others I couldn’t help but anticipate trouble and the author fulfills it with interesting twists. Even though it became predictable I still enjoyed the suspense of her secret being revealed.
- The story is told in alternating POV’s and I enjoyed viewing the subplots come together. Besides Veronyka’s POV, readers meet Tristan, the son of the leader of the Phoenix Riders, and Sev, an Empire soldier hiding his animage abilities.
- The world building is exciting and imaginative. I’ve always loved phoenixes and I enjoyed how the author depicted them as intelligent, loyal and affectionate.
- The diversity in characters is always great to see.
- I received an ARC from Netgalley but switched to an audiobook because I was having technical problems with my ereader. This was an impressive cast of narrators – Samantha Desz, Jacques Roy, Joy Osmanski, Gibson Frazier and Cassandra Campbell. The youth and naivety of Veronyka was portrayed perfectly. The other characters were brought to life with emotional narrations. I will definitely look for more audiobooks with these narrators.
What didn’t I like?
- The pace of the story is slow due to a lot of information and the alternating POV’s. But the final chapters are filled with action and everything comes together. I am still surprised with the ending.
Overall the Crown of Feathers is an impressive debut and beginning of a new series. I can’t wait for the next book!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Audiobook Challenge
- 2019 New Release Challenge
- 2019 New To Me Authors