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Crown of Feathers
Contributor(s): Preto, Nicki Pau

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ISBN: 1534424628     ISBN-13: 9781534424623
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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Binding Type: Hardcover
Published: February 2019

Annotation: An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.

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.

Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. 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.

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Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Magic; Fiction.
Sex role; Fiction.
Secret societies; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2018013701
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Crown of Feathers
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.50" H x 6.50" W x 1.50" (1.40 lbs) 486 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Sixteen years ago, legendary Phoenix Rider Avalkyra battled her sister, Pheronia, for the empire's throne. Pheronia's forces prevailed, executing Avalkyra's army of Riders for treason and ordering the registration and taxation of animages, people who are magically able to communicate with animals. Now, impoverished animages such as 16-year-old orphan Veronyka and her sister, Val, must hide their talents or risk becoming indentured bond servants. The siblings have spent years searching for phoenix eggs so that they might become Riders and fight to restore animage rights, but after a jealous Val betrays Veronyka, they part ways. Veronyka discovers a fledgling all-male squadron of Riders in the mountains and poses as a boy in order to join them, then falls for fellow recruit Tristan and faces a difficult choice. Initially dense with worldbuilding, debut author Preto's series opener steadily gathers steam before closing with a pulse-pounding crescendo. Veronyka, Tristan, and conflicted imperial soldier Sev trade chapters, their stories interweaving to heighten tension, deepen character, and illustrate the importance of empathy, equality, community, and knowing one's own truth. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 December)

Gr 7 Up{amp}mdash;Phoenix Riders are the warriors and heroes who defend their kingdom with the help of phoenixes. When a war between two sisters rips their kingdom apart, the Riders are hunted and phoenix eggs become scarce. Veronyka dreams of being a Phoenix Rider and even begins to bond with a newly hatched phoenix until her sister, in an attempt to control Veronyka, kills the legendary bird. Disguised as a boy named Nyk, Veronyka leaves her home and joins the remaining Riders, caring for animals and helping the local commander's handsome son Tristan train with his phoenix for battle. Just as Veronyka feels like she's made a place for herself, her sister appears and things get complicated in the web of lies surrounding them. In the midst of this sticky situation, the army finds the Riders and marches to destroy their stronghold. The novel begins a little slowly as world-building develops, but it soon becomes an action-packed adventure that will leave fans of epic fantasies eager to find out more. The ending is the perfect setup for a sequel. VERDICT Recommended for fantasy shelves.{amp}mdash;Terri Lent, Patrick Henry High School, Ashland, VA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.
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