“Like a phoenix from the pyre” – Amanda Wilcox’s review of Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Amanda Wilcox’s book review of:

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Pub: 2/12/19 by Simon Teen

496 pages

Crown of Feathers is the ideal fantasy novel that I’ve been searching for. An absolute roller coaster ride of a book with such intricate world building, this book completely enthralled me. Veronyka is a character that I can see myself following where ever she may go, but it is the inclusion of phoenixes in this fantasy epic that really grabbed my attention. Phoenixes are a mystical creature rarity in the world of fantasy novels and in Crown of Feathers they were described so vividly that I will always picture them the way that they were depicted in this book.

“From the ashes I rose, like a phoenix from the pyre.”

Crown of Feathers is a slow moving, character driven, intricate fantasy epic. Told in third person, the story mainly focuses on Veronyka who is a kind-hearted animage, a person who can communicate with animals. There is a bit of sibling rivalry with Val, who is a sharp contrast from her sister as she is brutal and selfish and shows love in harsh strange ways. Tristan is the love interest in the story and there are some chapters that focus on him. While I didn’t like him at first, he grew on me as the story went on. Interspersed throughout the story is the history of two sisters who had rivaled for the throne years prior. Veronyka and Val’s relationship seemed to mirror the princesses.  The lives of those two princesses also brought the whole fantasy world and its lengthy history to life.

“That was the day her loss became my victory, and everything changed between us.”

The world building is some of the most intricate that I have seen, except of course, the intricate world of Game of Thrones. There is so much history, religion and culture to this story. The world came to life in this story and it did so vividly filling my mind with blood, betrayal and glory. The beginning was a little confusing at times with all of the history, but the glossary in the back helped me understand things when I got a bit confused. I loved how detailed the world building was and how large of a role phoenixes had played in its history. This is one of those books that you might want to read a second time just because there is so much to it.

“It is a fact of life that one must kill of be killed. Rule of be ruled. Win or lose.”

The plot was an emotional roller coaster. I found myself deeply invested in this novel and all of the people in it. I wanted to yell at the characters at times, while other times I was hooting with excitement. While it was slow paced, I found that I loved it every step of the way. I think a large part of the reason I connected with this story so much is because Veronyka had bonds with animals and I am such an animal lover. But I also found myself so invested in the characters that I was rooting for them the whole way through.

“you have to choose your side, make the right choice.”

From the moment I saw the gorgeous cover of Crown of Feathers I wanted a copy and it was better than I anticipated, if that is even possible. The fantasy world is so intricate and the characters feel so real to me. I absolutely loved this book and can not wait for the next installment. I was shocked to find that this is Nicki Pau Preto’s debut novel and I can’t wait to follow her writing career after reading her first book.


Published by

Coffin Bell

Quarterly online journal for dark literature.

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