Crown of Feathers – Nicki Pau Preto
Publisher: Ink Road (Black & White Publishing)
Publication date: 25th April 2019
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.
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.
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.
Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save – or to destroy. Throughout is interspersed the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider Queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.Taken from the Ink Roads website
I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Crown of Feathers. Many thanks to Alastair at Black & White Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a book that you will wish you could erase from your memory. Forget it all. Just so you can read it and be stunned by its magnificence all over again. Pau Preto has truly blown me away.
Crown of Feathers is not just a book or a story. It’s a world. A world with a history, languages, culture, creatures, and war. We see this world from the perspective of the protagonist, Veronyka, as well as Sev and Tristan, two people whom Veronyka meets along the way.
And then there are the phoenixes. Magical, glistening birds with the power to be reborn, and form everlasting bonds with their riders.
The opening of this book was utterly hypnotising. There are no gentle introductions here. Val’s betrayal of Veronyka literally took my breath away. Call me naïve but I absolutely did not see it coming, and from that point, there was no going back. I needed to finish that book – I can sleep another time!
Pau Preto cleverly weaves in a second story, which is the recorded history of the time before the Empire in which the book is set. There are excerpts and proverbs at the start and end of the chapters which gently build up our knowledge of the Empire and the old wars, without invading the flow of the main narrative.
I have to confess I was a little nervous of this book, to begin with, I’m not the best at following particularly complex narratives, but Pau Preto has perfected the balance between giving enough information for the world-building whilst also keeping the momentum up.
The character development is exceptional; your emotions towards them ebb and flow. You feel their pain, rejoice in their successes, and feel the world beneath you fall away as you take to the skies on the back of a blazing phoenix.
Spellbinding, enthralling, mesmerising, captivating – I’ll let you choose your favourite adjective once you’ve read this wonderful book. I absolutely cannot wait for the next instalment – I’m ready for more.
About the author
Nicki Pau Preto is a young adult fantasy author living just outside Toronto, Canada. After getting a degree in visual arts, a master’s in art history, and a diploma in graphic design, Nicki discovered two things: she loved to escape the real world, and she wasn’t interested in a regular nine-to-five life. Luckily, her chosen career covers both.
Image and text from Black and White Publishing
You can pre-order this wonderful book from your local indie bookshop or by purchasing directly through Black and White Publishing.
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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!
Have you read Crown of Feathers? Planning on reading it? Let me know in the comments below!