Crown of Feathers Review


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I am the daughter of death ... from the ashes I rose, like a phoenix from the pyre.
— Nicki Pau Preto, Crown of Feathers

I cannot stop talking to people about this book! When I first saw the cover when I got to the bottom of my February OwlCrate, it was love at first sight. The front cover illustration with the purple accents immediately pulled me in. So I started reading it and I knew that this was going to be a YA book I would cherish.


Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto is the first book in the Crown of Feathers trilogy. Mulan meets a Song of Ice and Fire in this epic fantasy debut. It’s a story about belonging, friendship, and family. But most of all it’s a story about the power of love.

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire called Pyra 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. (Goodreads Description)

My Thoughts

I absolutely love this book! Nicki has a way of bringing the world and her characters to life that completely immerses you in the story. If I’m being honest, I missed my subway stops a few time while reading this one.

Crown of Feather sis filled with vivid descriptions with a rich backstory and interesting world history, which I absolutely adore! It also contains a map, Ancient Pyraean proverbs, and pages from Pyraean textbooks. I love these added details, it really brought the world to life for me in a way that a lot of books can’t.

Nicki told the story through alternating perspectives. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands. Veronyka and Tristan’s points of view are my favourite chapters. I love their bond and I’m excited to learn more about how the bond extends to their phoenxies.

Crown of Feathers also has a breathtaking audiobook which I listened to a couple of months ago. It was carefully casted with different readers for each perspective. After that “re-read” I was reminded why I love this book and fell in love with it a little more. I normally don’t buy audiobooks because I read them so fast but now I know that I’m going to want to own every single one of them!

I can’t wait for the next book in this series, Heart of Flames. I’m hoping to get either a physical ARC or an e-ARC of book #2 so I can read it in advance until the hardcover becomes available on February 11, 2020!

About Nicki Pau Preto

Nicki Pau Preto is a YA fantasy author living just outside Toronto, Canada. After getting a degree in visual arts, a masters in art history, and a diploma in graphic design, Nicki discovered two things: she loves to escape the real world, and she isn’t interested in a regular 9-5 life. Luckily, her chosen career covers both.

Her YA fantasy debut Crown of Feathers is available now, and the sequel Heart of Flames is coming February 11, 2020 from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster.