Book Review

Heart of Flames : Book Review


Heart of Flames

Author: Nicki Pau Preto

Publication Date: Expected February 11, 2020

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 620

Publisher: Simon Pulse


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.


If you know me at all then you know how much I absolutely loved Crown of Feathers earlier this year and how much I adore Nicki Pau Preto. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Heart of Flames and I will forever be grateful to Nicki because of it. Crown of Feathers was so good I didn’t know how Nicki could possibly top it but she managed it, 100%. Heart of Flames is SO good.

I’ve seen some reviews of Crown of Feathers that claim they didn’t like Veronyka because she was too “naïve” but like, isn’t that the point of the story? How else will she grow and develop as a character? In the beginning of Crown of Feathers Veronyka is a CHILD, she is literally only 16 and has not yet experienced the tragedies of life. Throughout the story she experiences loss, betrayal, love, war, and so much more that some people will never even experience in their lives. In my eyes I see her story as one of growth, not of being naïve. Fast forward to Heart of Flames and Veronyka’s growth has exponentially increased. I see her as so much more than a 17 year old. She has become a leader, she is strong and confident, and while she still has some things to learn (don’t we all though?), I think she is an admirable character and I have nothing but love for how her story and character development has progressed.

In fact, all of the characters had incredible growth and change throughout Heart of Flames. This was a book of strength, and it was very character driven. We were able to learn so much more about our favorite characters and even our least favorite characters. A lot of books suffer the dreaded “second book syndrome” but I didn’t see that at all with this one. If anything I liked this one even more than the first because of what it represents. That life goes on. All we can do is try and make the best decisions we can, and that no matter what, we have to face what comes from those choices.

In addition to an incredible development on all of the characters we got see so much more of this magnificent world which everyone should know is one of my favorite things! If I can’t imagine the world the story is in, count me out. The fact that we got to see high and low and every nook and cranny of Pyra made my heart absolutely swell. This book is 600+ pages and I honestly wish it was longer. I want more detail, I want more descriptions. Some books have an issue with details like this because they go over board and bog you down with pages and pages and pages of describing the same scene or scenery. Heart of Flames isn’t like that though, yes this book is big but you don’t need to be intimidated by it. There is a lot of detail but it’s necessary to drive the plot forward.

I am trying to be vague in my review because I know this book doesn’t come out for 3 more months and the last thing I want to do is spoil it for you. If you take away anything from this I hope it is that this book is worth it. The beginning, middle, and end are all so beautifully well written it’s hard not to fall in love with these characters and this story.

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Heart of Flames. All I can hope is that I have inspired you to give this book a chance, to support Nicki, read Crown of Feathers or if you already have then read Heart of Flames when it’s published!

BB Star rating (1)BB Star rating (1)BB Star rating (1)BB Star rating (1)BB Star rating (1)Bookishly Brittknee

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