This took me a minute to get into but once I was situated in the story I couldn’t stop reading!
Veronyka and her sister Val are two animages that have been on the run every since their grandmother was taken and killed by an angry mob six years ago. She used to be a renowned phoenix rider but after they fell 16 years ago they have been living in hiding in the land of Pyra away from the wrath of the new anti-animage Empire.
This book was very informative and meticulously planned! There is a whole lot of information thrown at you and I lot of different POV’s to get your head around but I was thriving while reading this book! It really has everything I love about fantasy, a magic system with clear rules and restrictions, a world that is rich in culture and lore and a highly engaging series of plots and schemes that ultimately come together to form an intriguing, highly engaging read!
I love the dynamic between Veronyka and Val. They are not your typical YA sisterly relationship which I loved! You can see the love between them but there is an undercurrent of vastly different emotions that drive these sisters to make the decisions that they do. I loved how calculating and indifferent Val is to Veronyka’s feelings and at the same time she has only ever done what she has done for her sister’s best interests. I love that even though Veronyka loves her sister dearly and appreciates everything she has ever done she will not back down to her and fights for what she believes in.
I thought the other perspectives in the book was highly necessary and played a key role in bringing in so much context and diversity to the book. It definitely would of been too one sided in my opinion without the additions of Sev and even Tristan. I absolutely loved how Sev evolved over the course of the book and we really see how Trix and Kade have swayed his opinions and thoughts. The blossoming romance was something that I also didn’t anticipate and boy did I love it! I really think there is so much more to be discovered in that plot line and I cannot wait to see what will become of it!
I thought Tristan was the perfect contrast to Nyk. You know the hate to love trope is one of my favourites but them going from enemies to reluctant partners to friends to the possibility of something more was so much more satisfying to me! I loved how honest he is and after discovering Nyk’s secret he is open to discussing why other than just cutting her off altogether.
This was a wonderfully fantastical read; my only qualm was the pacing was a little off. The start and the middle was a little on the slower side and then the ending was a tad rushed in my opinion. The twists and turns kept my attention throughout though and I am highly invested in this series now!
⭐️4/5 stars A slow burner!