Crown of Feathers by Nikki Pao Preto was not what I expected, it was so much better! I expected cool phoenixes and a simple YA action based plot, instead I got treated to a wonderfully complex world, phoenixes that bond with humans, and animages who can talk to all animals. I cannot express my love for this kind of magic! Cannot. Feeeels. It is amazing, and I desperately want more.
But it also has a downside: I almost didn’t finish this book because in the beginning a death happened that devastated me. I’m a bird lady, and any bird dying in a book just opens a rift to my beloved budgies that passed away. So while I love the animal theme, it’s also very heavy for me as there are bad things happening, and they’re often happening to innocent animals. And birds. And phoenixes, which are basically big birds. With fire! I basically want to pet them and tell them they’re such pretty biiiirds. On another side note, I also saw that the author very subtly debunked the dominance theory for dogs, which I loved (people, stop needing to assert your dominance! Just ask your dog nicely!).
Ok, we’re talking about a book here, not a national geograpic broadcast. Sorry about that. I love the world Nikki created, it is very rich, and while in the beginning there was a bit much info dump (to be honest, I skipped those mostly), but after that the pace picked up. The characters were very real and I have to say, one was particularly creepy and will probably make a great villain.
I love how intricate the relationship is between the two sisters, and also the part where Veronyka dresses up as a boy trying to become a phoenix rider, and for the first time learns what it is like to have true friends. I just love that kind of plot, it never disappoints. And it didn’t! And oh Tristan who tried to do all the right things but never can gain the approval of his father… and Sev, who slowly learns that there might be more to life than survival and I just can’t… I love this book and am kinda glad it got dragged doen into my tbr pile as now I don’t have to wait long for book 2!