These Feathered Flames By: Alexandra Overy

These Feathered Flames is a captivating young adult fantasy novel written by Alexandra Overy. The story revolves around the world of Aloris, where the power of fire and ice is harnessed by two distinct groups: the firebirds and the ice witches. The book follows the journey of two main characters, Zara, a firebird, and Rielle, an ice witch, as they navigate their respective worlds and forge an unlikely friendship amidst a brewing conflict between their peoples.

The plot is intricately woven with themes of love, loyalty, and self-discovery, as the characters face numerous challenges and adversities that test their beliefs and the strength of their newfound bond. As the story progresses, they must come to terms with their own identities and the expectations placed upon them by their families and societies.

Throughout the novel, Overy masterfully creates a rich, immersive world filled with magic, mystery, and breathtaking landscapes. The vivid descriptions of the setting and the characters’ emotional struggles make the story all the more compelling and relatable.

The Three Dark Crowns meet cruel saints in this eerie #ownvoices retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folk tale, by debut author Alexandra Overy.

When twin heirs were born in Tourin, their fate was decided at an early age. While Izaveta stays at court to learn the skills she needs as the future queen, Asya is taken to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensures magic remains balanced in the kingdom. .

But before Asya’s training is complete, ancient powers bloom within her, which can only mean one thing: the queen is dead and a new ruler must ascend the throne.

As the princesses understand everything their role entails, they will discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

For twin sisters Izaveta and Asya, their lives were already planned out. Separated at an early age, Asya left the palace to live and train with her aunt, the current Firebird, while Izaveta stayed behind to be trained by her mother to become queen. The training they are both doing is going well. For Asya, her training includes learning how to ensure that magic remains balanced in the kingdom and requiring payment to those who threaten that balance.

While Asya’s training is going well, she is still several years away from being ready to take on the role of Firebird. Unfortunately, Asya ran out of time. Before she can complete her training, the Firebird’s power will be unlocked within her. And that can only mean one thing: The Queen is dead.

So Asya and her aunt returned to the palace to witness Izaveta’s coronation as the new queen. But everything is not as simple as it seems, and Asya, who has not been educated in the ways of court politics, must learn quickly or she may trust the wrong people, because there are political games being played go out. Someone has murdered her mother, and for the twins, the price of one wrong move could be too high a price for them to pay.

This story is a retelling of a Russian fairy tale, although I’m not familiar with the source story. However, one does not need that knowledge to enjoy this story. I loved the character development in this story for both Asya and Izaveta. Seeing both girls truly be a product of their upbringings and how much that influenced their interactions made this a great story for me. While I didn’t like all the scheming and manipulation Izaveta was involved in, I couldn’t help but sympathize with her and the hardships she faced, trying to ensure that she didn’t lose everything to church.

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