Title: Heart of Flames
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Page Count: 640
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
Veronyka, Tristan, and Sev must stop the advancing empire from destroying the Phoenix Riders in this fiery sequel to Crown of Feathers, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable!”
You are a daughter of queens.
The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.
Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire.
Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.
Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin.
As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.
I pray you are able to pass through the flames.
Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto is the second book of the young adult fantasy Crown of Feathers series. As with most fantasy series this second book picks up after the first and continues the characters stories so they are best read in order to be understood. This particular series is one that changes the point of view between several characters and follows along their different story lines.
Crown of Feathers began the story and introduced the characters to us with Veronyka who is what is known as an animage who has the ability to communicate with animals. Since the end of the blood war animages have been in hiding and with a lack of Phoenix eggs the once mighty Phoenix warriors are no more but during her years of hiding with her sister, Val, Veronyka wants nothing more than to become a Phoenix rider.
While Sev is also an animage he has hidden his abilities right in front empire by becoming one of their soldiers. The empire has ruled since the blood war and would stop at nothing to wipe out the animage and riders. Meanwhile, Tristan is part of the small rebellion of Phoenix riders left in the world and along with Veronyka and Sev all three are on a path to bring them together.
When I first picked up this series I had my doubts seeing that the books were so long and normally with fantasy I end up finding the lengthy ones very slow paced but this series went at a nice steady rate that I didn’t find myself fighting boredom. The characters and plot kept enough going that I found myself entertained and pulled into the world of the Phoenix riders and wondering just what would come next and book two kept that up nicely as well. Definitely a solid series I find myself enjoying returning to.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Nicki Pau Preto is a YA fantasy author living just outside Toronto, Canada. After getting a degree in visual arts, a masters in art history, and a diploma in graphic design, Nicki discovered two things: she loves to escape the real world, and she isn’t interested in a regular 9-5 life. Luckily, her chosen career covers both.