Crown of Feathers – Book Review #Gifted
Crown of Feathers has been on my radar for a long time! I was thrilled when I was gifted an E-ARC through Netgalley. I love mythical creatures but phoenixes are my favourite. My patronus is 100% a phoenix.
Title: Crown of Feathers
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Publisher: Ink Road
Published: 25th April 2019
Genres: YA Fantasy
Goodreads: Link here
Crown of Feathers is a wonderful YA Fantasy and a very compelling read. As soon as I started to read this book I really struggled to put it down. The book opens with teenage sisters Veronyka and Val who have a difficult relationship but share the dream of becoming phoenix riders. The story is full of unexpected plot twists, an interesting weaving of timelines and well developed characters.
Characters & Relationships
Veronyka is a dreamer but with a lot of inner strength, which pushes her onwards when others may give up. I thoroughly enjoyed the complex relationship between Nyk and her older sister Val. There is definitely a love-hate element to it! I love the dynamic between them as it has an unpredictability that I can rarely find in YA fantasy.
Val reminds me a lot of Queen Katharine if you have read Kendare Blake’s fantastic Three Dark Crowns series. There is so much more going on in her head than she lets on. I love that I constantly had to question her motivations. She is the sort of character who is always treading the morality line and you don’t know which way she will turn. Val is such a great mix of things showing both strength and weakness, independence but also loneliness and isolation. It is really hard to tell when she is play acting, showing you the facade that she wants you to see or whether she is showing her true feelings. I can’t wait to see how her relationship with her sister develops in the next book!
Sev is an animage who has to hide his magic. He serves in an army that enslaves animages and is forced to watch the brutality of his potential life on a daily basis. Watching Sev’s character and relationships develop was a real joy. The inner battles he has between who he is, who he pretends to be and who he wants to be are very interesting to read.
Tristan is the son of the Phoenix Riders leader. He feels a lot of pressure, although arguably he puts more on himself than his father does. Like Veronyka, he has to fight for what he wants and what he believes in.
Crown of Feathers does have slow burn romance, including a m+m relationship. I don’t want to say between who but everything develops very naturally and I did really enjoy the romance elements in the book as they don’t dominate the narrative.
Crown of Feathers is written from multiple points of view. We start with Veronyka, then Sev and Tristan are woven in. Each character has their own story to tell and I enjoyed their points of view equally. Their stories weave together beautifully to build a wider picture of the world that they live in.
There is another thread that runs through the book, which is based on the legendary Phoenix rider Avalkyra Ashfire. It adds an additional timeline and historical context to the book but it doesn’t complicate the main narrative. If you have read The Last Namsara, it gave me a very similar vibe. I found Crown of Feathers to be an easier to read and it has a better pace in comparison.
Themes & World Building
I really appreciated how the world has been built meticulously with a lot of history and culture. The theme of magic is at the heart of the novel and it is woven throughout the world. I love how the novel explores magical bonds between animals and humans. Bonds are certainly a theme of their own. We explore relationships between sisters and wider family, be it by blood or otherwise.
Crown of Feathers is a well paced novel full of interesting, well developed main characters and side characters who are written with loving detail. I love the complex relationships and how they develop. The author cleverly uses multiple points of view to narrate character’s individual stories with pace and detail but also weaves them into the wider world so the reader can see a bigger picture emerge. The novel is full of magic, action and enough twists and turns to keep you wanting to read more. I thoroughly enjoyed Crown of Feathers and would highly recommend it to fans of YA fantasy and magical creatures. Specifically, if you enjoyed Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns or Kristen Ciccarelli’s The Last Namsara, you should definitely read Crown of Feathers.