Reviews

These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

hollowhallow13's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

bluuestrawberry's review

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slow-paced

4.75

crs1130's review

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Tedious. 

saintburns's review

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5.0

This rich tale brings new fire to the firebird mythos. This Slavic inspired story has so many glittering touches that will leave the reader at the edge of their seat. The beginning is a slow burn of twists and turns as we journey with the firebird to complete her calling. The end of the book is action packed as all of the threads come together. Readers will definitely ask for more as they burn to find out what happens next.

musingswithmiranda's review

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4.0

I had vaguely seen this book around before its release, so I had it on my radar to eventually check for it at my local library. The more I saw people excited for it the more I thought about preordering it. I finally picked up a copy because I could not resist the wonderful preorder campaign and goodies. This was another book I buddy read with my friend Brie, and we both really enjoyed it!

Alexandra Overy’s These Feathered Flames is a queer retelling of a Russian folktale called “The Firebird.” The story itself follows the perspective of two twins sisters, Asya and Izaveta, who are heirs and have their lives decided for them. Asya is chosen to leave the palace to train with her aunt who is the current Firebird that must ensure that magic is balanced. Izaveta, on the other hand, stays at the court to learn to become the future queen. Sooner than expected, Asya receives her powers, which can only mean that the queen is dead. Izaveta and Asya are then reunited at court and must work to fulfill their new roles among people they cannot trust while trying to figure out their mother’s murder.

I absolutely loved the dual perspective. I really enjoy stories that have more than one perspective because it adds a new layer to a complex narrative. In this case, the dual narration allows readers to understand what both Izaveta and Asya are going through and how they feel in their different roles. I genuinely hoped that they could come together and form a bond. This also opens up conversations about family and duty as well. The author said they kind of give off Sansa and Arya vibes from Game of Thrones, and I can totally see that. Asya as the Firebird is feared by many people whereas Izaveta takes on the role of a proper queen. I really loved how the author flipped this to show that Asya was not a monster and Izaveta could be cunning and devious. Ultimately, they were both forced into these roles and had no choice but to make do with them.

I enjoyed seeing how the different circumstances for each sister lets readers learn more about magic from Asya and politics from Izaveta. Learning more about the Firebird’s magic as well as how other people used their own magic was really interesting. I did not know much about the Firebird folktale beforehand, but this story is definitely rich and unique. The writing was very captivating and made the story feel so much more atmospheric. I give a lot of props to the author as well because of how she handled foreshadowing and plot twists. I really thought I had figured things out, but the twists were definitely not what I was expecting. This made it impossible to put down the book because I could not wait to see what would happen. There were also bears and a f/f enemies to lovers relationship, so really what’s not to like?

These Feathered Flames was such a great read! Alexandra Overy’s debut is not something you want to miss. I seriously cannot wait for the sequel!

*Content warning: emotional and physical abuse, violence, death, death of a parent, animal death, confinement, kidnapping, torture, murder*

chiparoo's review

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dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

5.0

shhhleebag's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

ancsanna's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

xosirenox's review against another edition

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I feel like I should have loved this book - female led fantasy with a big focus on world building! But I DNF'd at 30% because I was just so bored. Nothing is happening and I feel nothing for the characters - not even dislike. Normally I DNF because of bad writing - not the case here. The writing is fine, there is just no compelling plot or characters.