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Crown of Feathers    by Nicki Pau Preto order for
Crown of Feathers
by Nicki Pau Preto
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Nicki Pau Preto's Crown of Feathers is set in a realm once ruled by warrior queens and their legendary Phoenix Riders. After a dynastic struggle between twins Avalkyra and Pheronia, that fell apart. As the story opens, Phoenix Riders and animages are hunted down.

Readers are introduced to two young fugitives, twin sisters Veronyka and Val, constantly struggling for survival. Val very much rules the roost though, and tries to control her sister's every action - and even thought. They both share the same dream, to become Phoenix Riders.

Val finds eggs and Veronyka, who has a magical affinity with animals, manages to bond with a small phoenix once it hatches. Then Val acts in a way that makes her sister leave her and seek her own destiny. She manages to find a secret enclave of Phoenix Riders, but must disguise herself as a boy, since they don't accept women.

The story develops in both expected - and quite surprising ways. Veronyka grows in her abilities, falls for Tristan, a fellow Rider, and saves the day when the enclave is attacked. But there's more to the back story of these twin sisters than one of them understands. Readers will be left anxious for the next in the series.

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