Title: Crown of Feathers
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Crown of Feathers book 1
Date of Publication: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Veronyka is a war orphan who was raised by her deceased grandmother and her older sister, Val. Veronyka and her sister are “animages”, and have the ability to communicate with animals. This is not uncommon in the world they live in, but ever since the war their kind have been persecuted. Val and Veronyka want nothing more than to become Phoenix Riders, like the heroes who fought during the war.
After a terrible betrayal, Veronyka flees from her sister and finds a sanctuary for her kind, a place where apprentices are being trained as Phoenix Riders. The only catch? If she wants to become a Phoenix Rider–to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become the hero she’s always dreamt of being—she’s going to have to pretend to be a boy.
Characters and Plot
It’s difficult to separate out characters and plot for this book, since there are several point of view characters, and each of their plotlines are heavily influenced by who they are.
We primarily follow three characters in this book. All three of them have fascinating story arcs. All three of them overcome their fears over the span of the first novel in this trilogy and begin the journey of accepting who they truly are.
First off, there’s Veronyka, the protagonist, who escapes from her (let’s face it—abusive) sister to join the Phoenix Riders while masquerading as a boy. Her storyline is perhaps the most engaging, as it is the main focus of the story. I absolutely love her unadulterated adulation of phoenixes and her sheer will to do whatever it takes to become a Phoenix Rider.