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.
- Death of a parent
- On page emotional abuse
- References to physical abuse
- On page death
- Fantasy violence
- ISBN10 1335147969
- ISBN13 9781335147967
- Publish Date 20 April 2021
- Publish Status Active
- Publish Country GB
- Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
- Imprint Mills & Boon
- Edition Original ed.
- Format Hardcover
- Pages 496
- Language English
These Feathered Flames is the first novel in a series of the same name, written by Alexandra Overy. If you love it when fantasy meets folklore, then this is the series for you. These Feathered Flames is an LGBT+ retelling of 'The Firebird,' a classic Russian tale.
There is a tradition in Tourin – when the royal line has twins, they must be split up at a certain age. One will become the heir to the throne, will the other the Firebird. In this way, Tourin maintains a balance.
Too bad tradition doesn't much care what Izaveta and Asya want. Izaveta is destined to be the new queen, but she struggles under the shadow her mother leaves behind. All while Asya doesn't want the power – or responsibility - that comes with being the Firebird.
“This is our duty. Not a question of right or wrong, but balance.”
These Feathered Flames was a fast-paced and thrilling read. Honestly, looking back on it, it's difficult to believe that it's almost 500 pages long. It seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Then again, this book really did have the perfect balance for me.
It has a little bit of everything I love, fantasy, politics, ethics, duty, strong relationships, mystery, and of course, romance. Every theme played an important role in These Feathered Flames. Better yet, it all seemed to weave together to create a complex and richly detailed story.
“To them, you will never be more than a monster that lurks in the night.”
These Feathered Flames is split into two perspectives; Asya's and Izaveta's. As with many a tale, I'm certain that fans will pick different favorites to follow. Personally, I loved the intrigue that came from Izaveta's story, and the passion (and conflict) that originated in Asya's. Two halves of the same whole.
I'll admit that I have not read or heard the Firebird, so I can't comment on how similar or different it is from the original material. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it regardless. Everything about this story and world felt so much larger than life.
Thanks to These Feathered Flames and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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