“How was it that her sister had been taken to live with a monster, but somehow Izaveta had become one? A creature molded by her mother’s manipulations, by the constant betrayals of the court. Asya might have a monster beneath her skin, but Izaveta had one in her heart—in her very essence. So much a part of herself that she no longer knew how to separate one from the other.”
These Feathered Flames retells the Russian folktale of the Firebird. In the land of Tourin, the use of magic must be balanced with a price, and if it is not, the Firebird will seek the user to exact its payment. Twin sisters Izaveta and Asya are destined by fate to be the next Queen of Tourin and the next Firebird vessel, respectively. When their mother dies a mysterious and sudden death, both girls have to step into their roles prematurely, learning about trust and love along the (hard) way. Full of courtly intrigue and deathly high-stakes, These Feathered Flames is a powerful tale of sisterhood.
Honestly, my final month of college is kicking my ass and I don’t have the bandwidth to write a better review than this on top of everything else, so please accept my bullet-point reactions and know that I am sorry:
- The writing style is lush, dark, and gorgeous.
- I rarely read books without romance at its heart, so reading a story that was primarily about sisters and their relationship was SUPER refreshing!
- The romance subplots (one F/M and one F/F) weren’t overwhelming, and seemed like they were given the perfect amount of attention to satisfy the reader but not overshadow the main plot.
- The worldbuilding is super cool and I loved all of the descriptions of the castle, gowns, and especially the Firebird. (If you like the aesthetic of fire, you are going to LOVE these descriptions.)
- One thing I appreciate the most is that Overy doesn’t hold back. There’s torture and death and wildly high stakes, but just because it’s ruthless doesn’t mean it’s ever gratuitous.
- Because it is the first book of a fantasy series, it’s heavy on establishing the world and characters, as well as putting down the roots of the Russian folklore it’s inspired by, but it was so beautifully written and interesting that I barely even noticed.
- I loved these characters and I already know readers are going to swoon over Nikov and Yuliana.
- Literally can’t wait to read the sequel (this is my informal request to Inkyard Press to automatically receive an ARC of the next installment please!)
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Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for providing a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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