These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
Reviewed by GGGinny
**We received an early copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Alexandra and Inkyard Press for the opportunity. This book comes out on April 20th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
What I drank: wine. A little pink. A little white.
Three Dark Crowns meetsWicked 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.
Drunk Overview: the twins are expected the be queen and the firebird. Fyo the firebird makes sure that people who use magic pay the proper price so things dont get imbalanced. Izaveta is the new queen after her mother dies and is constantly weighing the options (but isnt very good at it) while Asya became the new Firebird. They both work to solve mysteries: Izaveta tries to inspire loyalty while Asya has to find a magic user that is well hidden while there’s a plot to use the Firebird to strengthen the weakening magic.
Drunk Thoughts: I really enjoyed half of this book. I talk a lot about not enjoying political machinations in my books and it turns out I enjoy it even less when someone is bad at it. I really liked Asya’s perspective, she’s spent years in the woods and is trying to figure out the new powers while also learning how to live in a more caustic world. I would have loved this books if it was only her perspective.
- I have zero fondness for Izaveta. I know a lot of people will probably disagree. But ugh.
- I thought the aunt was conveniently out of the way a little too often.
- The world was pretty cool
- If its not clear, I really enjoyed the magic aspect of the world. I thought the firebird was a cool concept and the history with ghe Saints was super cool. This book did a lot of things that were intriguing.
- Its just unfortunate that all the cool things came in one half of the book.
- I liked the background characters too. Without getting too in the weeds, the characters had some really interesting twists that also felt 100% in character.
- Seriously, the writing was great in the when the twists happened, I felt a little dumb for not catching them earlier. Which is better than getting frustrated at a complete lack of foreshadowing (not gonna name names but this drives me crazy!)
Again, I think I would have loved this book if it focused more on what felt unique. Izaveta trying to find all the options and figuring out the best wat of manipulating people is the kind of thing that shows up everywhere. I much prefer Asya’s perspective. Basically, I dont mind pessimism but for fucks sake, get over yourself. Theres only so much self importance I can take.
What I’d Pair it With: mulled wine. Something warm (for the firebird) and spiced (I don’t have a reason for this part)
Rating: 3/5. It was really well written and clearly I loved parts. I just found myself not wanting to read every other chapter.
ALEXANDRA OVERY was born in London, England. Ever since she was little she has loved being able to escape into another world through books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, and is completing her MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA. When she’s not working on a new manuscript or procrastinating on doing homework, she can be found obsessing over Netflix shows, or eating all the ice cream she can.
Author website: https://www.alexandraovery.com/