These Feathered Flames

Inkyard. Apr. 2021. 448p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335147967.
Gr 9 Up–Identical white twins Asya and Izaveta were separated at 10 after a ceremony determined Izaveta would be the next queen of Tourin, while Asya would be the next Firebird, a creature who demands a price in exchange for magic. Six years later, after the sudden death of their mother, they are reunited as the time has come to fulfill their predestined roles. Each maintains secrets as they struggle to get to know one another again. Izaveta has been taught everything is a game to be won, while Asya has been isolated with her strict aunt teaching her how to be the feared Firebird. Based on the Russian folktale “The Firebird,” this debut fantasy novel, first in a series, slowly unfurls its world-building, creating a detailed setting where people are worried about “the fade,” magic leaving the land. Told from both sisters’ points of view, this is a story of court intrigue, loneliness, and two young women struggling to do the right thing in a world where they have no choices in their future.
VERDICT An engrossing fantasy tale about sisterhood and what it means to be able to fully trust another person. A first purchase for libraries where fantasies are popular.

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