Saturday, March 23, 2019

DNF Review: A Crown of Feathers

Title: Crown of Feathers
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Series: Crown of Feathers
Volume: 1
Genre: fantasy
Release Date: February 12, 2019

Veronyka, orphaned animage, has been traveling with her controlling sister, searching for phoenix eggs and chasing the dream of becoming a Phoenix Rider. When her sister turns on her, she finds herself adrift, and resolves to search out what remains of the Riders and join them- even if it means disguising herself as a boy.
Review at a Glance: This one just wasn't for me! The characters and the world just didn't feel cohesive and it fell back on tropes that I didn't love, without breathing new life into them.

I really, really wanted to love this one. Like, seriously, so much. It has a gorgeous cover! It's a fantasy debut!

All of which magnified the disappointment I felt when it just... wasn't what I wanted it to be.  I've had it on my currently reading shelf for literal months because I didn't want to accept that this one really, really didn't work for me. I started it months before the release and now it is over a month after and I feel super guilty about not reviewing it earlier but I really, really wanted to like it and couldn't accept that I didn't.

The name "Veronyka" kind of put me off a bit because the spelling bothered me... I did try to get past my weird name thing, and I really think that I wouldn't have had a hard time getting past it, had I enjoyed the rest of the story but I just... didn't. I think this was a combination of the writing style, which was heavy on the telling rather than showing and lacking in cohesive worldbuilding.

The characters feel like sketches, especially when I got to the point of introducing more characters. They felt like they were there in order to be features of a plot, in order to move it along in a direction that... really didn't feel intuitive for the plot to go. It kind of took me out o the moment as a reader.

The other thing that didn't work for me was that it fell back on a couple of tropes that I personally just don't care for, and didn't apply them in a way that refreshed the ideas. Mainly, I'm super tired of sisters being constantly at odds... I've seen it so many times in fantasy that I've just gotten a bit bored of it. Also, I think I've very picky about crossdressing as a trope as well, and the introduction of it in this book just didn't feel like it... contributed much of anything. It was just... there? The worldbuilding just wasn't there enough to make a lot of the elements of the plot feel like a logical progression of the world it's taking place in.

In the end, this wasn't for me. I think there's potential there, and imagination but the ideas didn't wind up being carried by the writing for me.       


  1. How often do you DNF books? Do you think you'll read anything else from this author in the future?

    1. I actually have a post coming out regarding my DNF-ing... praxis, I guess? But overall I really don't DNF very often. For me to even feel comfortable writing a DNF review is I need to get AT LEAST 20% of the way into the book. I don't know if I'll be picking anything else up by the author... this is her debut though, I might be interested in seeing how where her writing goes.

  2. Ooof, yes, I agree with the writing style! While I enjoyed this one a lot (mainly because I'm a sucker for crossdressing and sisters but also PHOENIXES), I had a hard time getting through the beginning because it was SOOOOOOOOO much descriptions and telling and I am all about NOT have a load of descriptions. Sorry this one wasn't for you, Kelly! I hope your next read is better.

    1. I feel like I have grown old and crotchety about certain tropes and now I'm super picky about the execution of them? Crossdressing is definitely one of those sorts of tropes, I've realised... as is the pitting of sisters against each other? It's good to hear that it picks up, because it is definitely on my list of books I might be persuaded to give a re-try. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. That's too bad. I wasn't completely sure whether I wanted to read this one or not, and with so many other books out there, it doesn't look like this will be moving to the top of my list.

    Writers do often get better, so I hope her next book is!

    1. I mean it's very possible that certain tropes pushed this into "can't finish" territory for me, and that you might not find that to be true in your case. Maybe this is a library-borrowing situation?