#BlogTour These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy #bookreview #YA #fantasy

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.

I’m not familiar with the Russian folktale The Firebird, but I’ve read a couple other books based on Russian retellings that were incredible.

In this world magic comes with a price. Once a spell is cast, the Firebird collects payment from the caster to maintain balance in the realm. Payment can range from a small amount of blood to loss of life depending on the complexity of the spell. Because of this the Firebird isn’t looked upon kindly.

At a young age it’s determined that Izaveta will be the future queen, while Asya trains to be the next Firebird. Their mother, the queen, teaches Izaveta that most interactions with people at court are usually power plays in disguise. She must constantly strategize and look for hidden meanings. As a result, she trusts no one. Asya’s training requires her to ignore emotion while exacting payment no matter how she feels. Balance must be maintained. It’s a constant struggle and she doubts she has what it takes to do the job. I found it interesting that each sister is envious of the other’s life and quite possibly better suited for it. Izaveta is a tough one to like initially, and she can’t even let her guard down for her twin. Asya is kind-hearted, but feared by most people and considered a monster.

There are a ton of minor characters which means lots of suspects in the death of the twins’ mother. That being said, they felt flat and difficult to distinguish from each other. Pacing is a bit slow out of the gate, but the twists and surprises come soon, and the last thirty percent moves at breakneck speed. I appreciated the pronunciation guide at the end and was surprised I actually said some of the names correctly.

With complex political schemes and maneuvering, this novel will keep you guessing, and the relationship between the sisters is a strong point. I’ll be interested to see where the author takes this story in the next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


By Alexandra Overy

On Sale: April 20, 2021


YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Fantasy/ Epic/Fairy Tales & Folklore/ Adaptations/Family/Siblings/Romance/LGBTQ+

9781335147967; 1335147969

$19.99 USD

496 pages

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/These-Feathered-Flames/dp/1335147969/ 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/these-feathered-flames-alexandra-overy/1137165080 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335147967 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/These-Feathered-Flames/Alexandra-Overy/9781335147967 

AppleBooks:    https://books.apple.com/lv/book/these-feathered-flames/id1518023051 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Alexandra_Overy_These_Feathered_Flames?id=AQAAAEBcPkN-DM 

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.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.alexandraovery.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandraovery 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AllyWritesAndStuff/ 

Facebook: N/A

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19571930.Alexandra_Overy 

18 thoughts on “#BlogTour These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy #bookreview #YA #fantasy

  1. Many old folktales and fairy tales are getting book treatments today, which is cool. The Firebird was a favorite of mine from childhood. The tale I remember was of Russian origin, but involved a princess, prince and an evil king, so I think it was probably a different version.

    It does sound like a very complex relationship between the sisters. And I love books with political subplots and maneuvering when kingdoms are involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All kinds of political subplots and maneuvering in this one, Mae. Sounds like it’s one you’d dive into. And you’re right about the retellings – there are plenty on the market to choose from, and I’ve read several enjoyable ones.


  2. I agree about the sisters – it seemed like they should have gone the opposite of what was chosen for them. I wonder if that will come into play in the next book because I’m sure it had to be intentional. The last 30% definitely made for a much quicker read!

    Liked by 1 person

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