This is a spoiler-free review.
These Feathered Flamed by Alexandra Overy
Expected publication April 20th, 2021 by Inkyard Press.
Three Dark Crowns meets Wicked Saints in this queer #ownvoices retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale, by debut author Alexandra Overy.
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press/Harlequin and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.
If I had to review These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy in one sentence, it would be simple: I LOVED IT. ❤️
This novel was probably one of my all-time favorite YA fantasy books! I actually read it almost an entire year ago, and I can still remember it with such clarity because it was just so good. I simply cannot wait to read its sequel, This Cursed Crown. And with This Cursed Crown having been just published, I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit my thoughts about this fantastical novel!
In These Feathered Flames, the Russian folktale The Firebird is reimagined for a modern YA audience. In the world of Tourin, there are twin heirs. One, Izaveta, was designed to rule as the future queen, and her sister, Asya, was fated to become the next Firebird, a magical being who ensures that magical costs are always repaid. When their mother, the reigning queen, dies unexpectedly, both sisters are thrust into their new positions much sooner than anticipated and have to deal with the consequences these responsibilities entail.
The worldbuilding showcased in These Feathered Flames is so immersive and creative. The magical system in particular was so well designed. Every aspect of this novel was perfectly constructed from the plot to the character development. I felt like the narration revealed just the right amount to keep your interest hooked but also left you guessing until just the right moment. Between the political intrigue, relational dynamics, building tension, the unexpected plot reveals, (and that cliffhanger ending!) this novel truly has it all.
Asya and Izaveta were both fantastic leads. They had very different personalities and challenges to overcome. And I loved seeing them and their complicated relationship develop as the story progressed. Watching Izaveta learn to manage the complicated political conflicts she’s been abruptly thrown into after only ever watching from the sidelines. Following Asya as she comes to terms with the power raging inside of her that she has always only ever feared.
And I haven’t even brought up their budding relationships with others yet! 😉 All I’ll say is Overy definitely knows how to do enemies-to-lovers.
I actually loved both sisters’ romantic developments. I find in books where there are multiple leads, I often enjoy one’s storyline more than the other. But that never happened here! I really enjoyed seeing both of them navigate their own storylines and build their romances. Not only did I love both main characters, but I also enjoyed both of their love interests! They were both so fantastic in their own right.
If you’re a fan of YA fantasy, These Feathered Flames is an absolute must-read. Fingers crossed the follow-up is just as fantastic! 🤞
Have you read These Feathered Flames?
What did you think of it?
Let me know!
One thought on “These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy: ARC Book Review”
HJGHJFGHJHF i’ve never heard of the firebird folktale before?? (apart from the version of it that the shadow and bone trilogy tells AND IT ISNT REALLY VERY MUCH SO) but then your post made me check it out online and IT NEVER FAILS TO AMUSE ME HOW UNAPOLOGETICALLY MORBID FOLKTALES ALWAYS ARE?? but also it was interesting in ways, i guess.
ALSO WAS FASCINATING ENOUGH TO MAKE ME WANT THIS BOOK ASAP, COMBINED WITH YOUR FABULOUS REVIEW I LOVE IT SO MUCH!! sibling dynamics are always SO MUCH fun to read, I NEED THIS?? thank you so much for the review, I’M OBSESSED WITH YOUR POSTS OK