Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto

Today’s book review is a guest post from Brie of Grown Up Fan Girl, and @chapter_break on Instagram.

If you have ever found yourself picking up the next book of a beloved series, you definitely know that feeling of worry that the sequel won’t be as amazing as the first book and can’t possibly live up to your expectations. You think there’s just no way the author can match or top how you felt about that first experience with their characters. Worry not! I’m here to say this is not the case with Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto. Nicki dives deeper into the world of The Golden Empire. We get to explore histories, characters and the world itself in a way that we didn’t during Crown of Feathers.

We get to see Pyra through a couple new POV’s, and one in particular had me especially giddy. The different points of view really help with tracking several subplots within the story. The love interests that were established in Crow of Feathers start to heat up in Heart of Flames (see what I did there?). There was a lot of foreshadowing romantic feelings in Crown of Feathers, but they never really came to fruition. It was exciting to watch those relationships begin to unfold and I would still say that it’s appropriate for a younger audience, think PG-13.

This book is a beast at over 600 pages. It took me quite a while to get through but I never really felt like it was dragging on, if that makes sense? I felt like all of the pages and points of view had a significant purpose. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of reading Heart of Flames. The end made me gasp out loud then immediately flip back through some of the epigraphs and history snippets (aka interstitials… but who even knows that word anyways?) to see if I had missed something. NOPE, Nicki got me and in the best way possible. The wait for Crown of Feathers book 3 is going to be long, but oh so worth it. This was the perfect follow-up to one of my favorite reads in 2019. Heart of Flames was everything I hoped for and more!

Heart of Flames is in stores now. Here is the official synopsis:

Veronyka, Tristan, and Sev must stop the advancing empire from destroying the Phoenix Riders in this fiery sequel to Crown of Feathers, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable!”

You are a daughter of queens.

The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.

Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire.

Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.

Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin.

As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.

I pray you are able to pass through the flames.


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