15 Feb 2019

#BlogTour: CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto

Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto!

I have a guest post from the author about some amazing feminist fantasy books! I can't wait to share it with you. Special shout out to Simon Teen Canada for connecting Nicki and I for this post! You can pick up your copy of CROWN OF FEATHERS right now so be sure to do so.


Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Series: Crown of Feathers #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 12, 2019

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

5 (Other) Books to Read if you Love Feminist Fantasy Novels

1. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns series)

Three Dark Crowns is the dark, moody, matriarchal book series of my heart. The plot is slow building and exquisitely tense, the main characters sympathetic and trapped in no-win situation after no-win situation, but what truly captivates me is the mysterious world building of Fennbirn, a matriarchal island isolated by magical mists and in thrall to the cult of the goddess and the tradition of triplet queens who murder one another for the throne. The series is chock-full of women in power—the church, the crown, and every important family and ancient bloodline—and they spend the series plotting and planning and outmaneuvering one another. Brilliant.

2. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin series)

Grave Mercy is one of my favorite books of all-time, but the entire His Fair Assassin series is truly breathtaking. It’s a historical fantasy inspired by medieval Brittany, and the mythology is rich and vibrant and everything feels entirely plausible, the line between history and fantasy deliciously blurred. Many of the women in this series were rescued from terrible fates (like abusive marriages and dangerous families) and brought to the convent of Saint Mortain—the god of death—to serve him as assassins. There they learn to fight, brew poisons, and find their own strength—whether it be in vengeance or in forgiveness. 

3. Spinning Silver

Like His Fair Assassin, the characters in Spinning Silver live in a dark, dangerous world—one in which women are often at the mercy of the men around them, be it their father, their husband, or even their community at large. But the women in this tale manage to take the power back, using whatever strength they might have—the gift of turning silver into gold (literally and figuratively), a brain for strategy and politics, or strength of heart and body. I also absolutely loved reading a fantasy inspired by Jewish culture and history.

4. An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes series)

This series is rich and complex and devastating and tense (so very tense!). The world building is epic and the writing atmospheric, but it’s the female characters that really resonated with me. They run the gamut, from cruel and maniacal mothers (the Commandant), to tough but also conflicted soldiers (Helene), and finally, the quiet bravery and determination of a slave girl (Laia).

5. And I Darken

A gender-bent historical fantasy based on the life of Vlad the Impaler, And I Darken features one of the strongest, darkest, and scariest female protagonists I’ve ever encountered. But Lada Dragwyla comes by it honestly—her life has been cruel and unforgiving, and she’s been used as a pawn by her own father and forced to live as a hostage in an unfamiliar country. Lada learns quickly the power of her own ruthlessness, and I admire the hell out of her. Contrasted with her gentle brother, Radu, Lada comes across all the more brutal—but she’s not unfeeling, and her journey is one of pain and heartbreak as well as violence. Lada is a fully fleshed out female character, determined to reclaim her place on her country’s throne—whatever the price.

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