These feathered flames

Alexandra Overy

Book - 2021

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 pow...er 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.

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Published
Inkyard Press 2021.
Edition
Expected release: 4/2021
Language
English
ISBN
1335147969
9781335147967
Main Author
Alexandra Overy (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Debut author Overy draws from the Russian fairy tale The Firebird in her dark fantasy about twin princesses, one destined to be Queen of Tóurin, the other to be the Firebird, a magical debt collector compelled to enforce the blood cost of doing magic. Asya and Izaveta were separated at age 10 to train for their future positions: Asya with their grim Firebird aunt; Izaveta with their cold, calculating mother, the queen. Now 17, the sisters inherit their duties early when the queen is murdered by magic. Asya must find the culprit before the magical imbalance threatens Tóurin, while Izaveta must secure alliances in a slippery political landscape if she hopes to remain queen. This compelling series opener is narrated by both sisters as they struggle to overcome fear and distrust to be true allies. Though the sisters' relationship is paramount, their relationships with others, including Asya's burgeoning romance with a female guard, prove crucial. This will appeal to those who enjoy character-driven stories of magic and courtly intrigue. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Debut author Overy draws from the Russian fairy tale The Firebird in her dark fantasy about twin princesses, one destined to be Queen of Tóurin, the other to be the Firebird, a magical debt collector compelled to enforce the blood cost of doing magic. Asya and Izaveta were separated at age 10 to train for their future positions: Asya with their grim Firebird aunt; Izaveta with their cold, calculating mother, the queen. Now 17, the sisters inherit their duties early when the queen is murdered by magic. Asya must find the culprit before the magical imbalance threatens Tóurin, while Izaveta must secure alliances in a slippery political landscape if she hopes to remain queen. This compelling series opener is narrated by both sisters as they struggle to overcome fear and distrust to be true allies. Though the sisters' relationship is paramount, their relationships with others, including Asya's burgeoning romance with a female guard, prove crucial. This will appeal to those who enjoy character-driven stories of magic and courtly intrigue. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Based on the Russian folktale "The Firebird," Overy's debut traces the intertwined paths of 17-year-old twins Asya and Izaveta, princesses of the realm of Tóurin. Chosen as heir by the gods, pale-haired Izaveta has learned queenly duties at court for the past seven years, becoming versed in statecraft under their remote mother. Meanwhile, crimson-haired Asya was taken at age 10 to train with their great-aunt Tarya, the queendom's Firebird. Able to transform into a monstrous, flaming bird, Tarya's duty—and Asya's future role—is to exact the terrible price of performing magic from its practitioners. But when burning pain strikes one night, Asya learns there can only be one reason: the queen is dead, and a new Firebird has risen. Now, Asya needs to return to the palace to reunite with her estranged sister. Together, the twins must uncover the palace's secrets—including who killed their mother. Though the prose feels slightly stilted at times, this lavish fantasy world is complemented by intricately plotted court intrigues and a range of well-drawn relationships, including a powerful sisterly bond between the morally complex heroines and a delicate queer romance. Ages 13–up. (Apr.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Based on the Russian folktale "The Firebird," Overy's debut traces the intertwined paths of 17-year-old twins Asya and Izaveta, princesses of the realm of Tóurin. Chosen as heir by the gods, pale-haired Izaveta has learned queenly duties at court for the past seven years, becoming versed in statecraft under their remote mother. Meanwhile, crimson-haired Asya was taken at age 10 to train with their great-aunt Tarya, the queendom's Firebird. Able to transform into a monstrous, flaming bird, Tarya's duty—and Asya's future role—is to exact the terrible price of performing magic from its practitioners. But when burning pain strikes one night, Asya learns there can only be one reason: the queen is dead, and a new Firebird has risen. Now, Asya needs to return to the palace to reunite with her estranged sister. Together, the twins must uncover the palace's secrets—including who killed their mother. Though the prose feels slightly stilted at times, this lavish fantasy world is complemented by intricately plotted court intrigues and a range of well-drawn relationships, including a powerful sisterly bond between the morally complex heroines and a delicate queer romance. Ages 13–up. (Apr.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Identical white twins Asya and Izaveta were separated at 10 after a ceremony determined Izaveta would be the next queen of Tourin, while Asya would be the next Firebird, a creature who demands a price in exchange for magic. Six years later, after the sudden death of their mother, they are reunited as the time has come to fulfill their predestined roles. Each maintains secrets as they struggle to get to know one another again. Izaveta has been taught everything is a game to be won, while Asya has been isolated with her strict aunt teaching her how to be the feared Firebird. Based on the Russian folktale "The Firebird," this debut fantasy novel, first in a series, slowly unfurls its world-building, creating a detailed setting where people are worried about "the fade," magic leaving the land. Told from both sisters' points of view, this is a story of court intrigue, loneliness, and two young women struggling to do the right thing in a world where they have no choices in their future. VERDICT An engrossing fantasy tale about sisterhood and what it means to be able to fully trust another person. A first purchase for libraries where fantasies are popular.—Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County P.L. Coop., FL Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

These Feathered Flames is a stunning debut as dark, lush, and captivating as the best fairy tales.”—Nina Varela, author of the Crier's War duology

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.

Books in the These Feathered Flames duology:
These Feathered Flames
This Cursed Crown

Review by Publisher Summary 3

'These Feathered Flames is a stunning debut as dark, lush, and captivating as the best fairy tales.''Nina Varela, author of the Crier's War duologyWhen 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.Books in the These Feathered Flames duology: These Feathered FlamesThis Cursed Crown