Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto reviewed

Crown of Feathers Book Cover Crown of Feathers
Crown of Feathers
Nicki Pau Preto
Black & White Publishing
April 25, 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.

I do like a good fantasy read and although it is a while since I was a YA I’ve often enjoyed this sort of book. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto initially introduces us to two sisters, Veronyka and Val, who are animages. Animages are capable of communicating with animals magically. A major war some 16 years earlier has left them orphaned. The war was also responsible for wiping out the Phoenix Riders. These legendary heroes, animages all, rode phoenixes in battle. They were defeated by the Council. The sisters wish to become phoenix riders. All they need to do is hatch two phoenix eggs.

This is a fantasy read so obviously there are journeys to be made, people to meet and challenges to overcome. Val is a controlling person which causes rather more than tension. The Council are still at war with Phoenix Riders and seek to destroy any their troops find. Animages are at best second class citizens and usually enslaved. Family histories are gradually revealed as are more general myths and legends. There is plenty in Crown of Feathers to keep the reader entertained.

The writing is fairly straightforward and should be easily understood by the YA target audience. I guess I found some aspects of Crown of Feathers fairly obvious however some things did take me by surprise. Veronyka is a well worked character and there are others too than played a very good part for me. While I guess I, as an adult, would rate this as 4 star I imagine that the target audience might rate this more highly. This is the first book in a two part series and I enjoyed reading it. Whatever else I would certainly read book two very happily.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review