Thursday, July 8, 2021

These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1) by Alexandra Overy
๐ŸŽง Narrated by Fiona Hardingham

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I really, really wanted to like These Feathered Flames. There's a lot to love, right? A Slavic-inspired fantasy! Russian folklore and culture! Twin sisters! Unfortunately, the story was slow, somewhat repetitive, and the characters were uninteresting (and also somewhat repetitive). Asya and Izaveta were incredibly frustrating, and I hated how they kept making the same mistakes over and over again. Asya gets attacked in the middle of the night? Okay, so obviously she should take a stroll through the woods where no one will hear her if she screams. Izaveta tries to use her sister as a pawn and it backfires? Yes, she should totally do it again and again hoping for a different outcome. Learn from your mistakes and BE BETTER.

I really wanted them to work together and be smarter than their enemies, but they kept choosing to do things on their own without consulting the other or asking for help. Additionally, Asya's aunt is still around (she's the previous Firebird), so it didn't make sense for Asya to try and do everything solo. She had someone she could ask for help. She could have gone to her aunt and they could have sorted through her newly emerging powers and discussed what certain things meant. However, Asya thinks she can handle it - or she doesn't want to feel like a burden - which is ridiculous. She's supposed to be training and learning how to be the Firebird. It was dumb of her to think she could do it all on her own. Izaveta has a similar story, because she thinks she can't trust anyone - not even her sister - because her mother was a manipulative bitch that didn't deserve either of her children. 

Izaveta was so caught up in playing mind games with everyone around her, that she doubted everyone's sincerity. She has MAJOR trust issues, and I wish she'd at least had one friend or confidant that she wasn't constantly analyzing or trying to control. I hated that she didn't even trust her sister (someone who kept reaching out despite receiving no response from Izaveta), and felt like Asya was just another piece in her games. Where's the sisterly love I was hoping for? It wasn't present in the first 60% of this book (which was roughly 8 hours of the audio). That's A LONG TIME for nothing to really happen. 

The world-building was interesting, and I liked the history we get to see in glimpses, but it wasn't enough to hold my attention. In addition to feeling like the characters kept making the same choices and mistakes, I was bored. I started dreading pressing the play button on my phone, and that's never a good sign. (★★☆☆☆)

Technically, this book should be included in my next DNF&Y post, but I needed an active link for NetGalley and the publisher. 


  1. It seems like a lot of stories hinge on refusing to ask for help. Which I can kind of understand at first but then, if the help is right there, then it gets annoying when the don't.

    Cool premise though!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Yes! Like you said, I can understand them being reluctant at the start, but they likely would've saved themselves SO MUCH TROUBLE if they'd just asked for help. She was RIGHT THERE! A fountain of information. ๐Ÿ™„

  2. First though, I want to slap them! They sound so frustrating!

  3. Aaah I'm so sorry it didn't work for you! I agree, it should have worked if you look at the whole package. Loved your honest review though.

    Did you have a blog revamp? Looking good!

    Elza Reads

  4. Sorry this wasn't for you! It's frustrating when a book has so many elements you usually enjoy but just doesn't come together for you.
    PS Love the new blog design - or maybe it's not that new but I love it!!

  5. Frustrating characters are the worst! Especially when the story already feels slow. Sorry this one wasn't better.

  6. Well at least the cover is gorgeous, right? This one had so much potential it sounds like, sorry it did not work for you.

    I love the new layout, it looks fantastic!

  7. Oh, that's a bummer! And the story sounded promising. Hope you love your next read, Lindsi! :)

  8. So first of all, I LOVE the new look. I went to Kat's website because I liked it so much I wanted one for myself but she is closed to commissions so now I sob.

    I wholly agree that dreading starting it up again is a sure sign it is not for you! Sorry that it didn't work out, but I can certainly see why. The characters and their decisions sound quite frustrating, ugh. Hopefully your next book works out better!

  9. Oh man. This sounds like it would be a sure winner. Sucks that the characters had to be written in such a way that makes you really irritated. I can't stand when characters make life so much more difficult than it needs to be. I'm all for flawed heros, but sometimes it can become a bit too much and take away from the story.

  10. Oh yes, those are characteristics that would frustrate me, as well. Sorry this one wasn't what you hoped it would be. I appreciated your honest review, though.

    -Megan @ Bookstacks & Golden Moms

  11. Oh no, I am sorry that this one didn't work out for you even though you hoped it would. I would struggle with the characters not being too wise about anything and not trusting a single soul either. I have read many books where the plot gets repetitive and it can be exhausting. I hope your next read is better!

  12. The problems you mention are the kinds of things that drive me nuts in a book, so yeah. I wouldn't be a fan either probably! I like the idea of the Slavic inspiration though. Bummer this didn't work out.

  13. Yeah if you find yourself not wanting to push play that speaks volumes about how much you're enjoying the book.

  14. Sorry to hear this one didn't work for you. I think those characters would have frustrated the heck out of me too.

  15. Ooof I've heard mixed things about this book and I'm scared to read my copy lol.

  16. This book has such an intriguing concept! I think that I would probably finding myself not enjoying the character and the pace as well. I hope that you love your next read a bit more. :)

  17. I had plans to read this one, but now I am not so sure.


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless