Info dump, lengthy, plot holes only meant to cause to create tension and leaves more questions than answers as the most common critiques of Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. This is curious to me because that is exactly what the first novel of a trilogy is supposed to accomplish. Don’t get me wrong. Some will do it better than others and I’m surely not going to start comparing them. Art in any form is way too subjective to create a continuum of comparison. However, I will list what I believe a successful first novel of any series must accomplish.
- Introduction and development of main characters (while leaving intrigue/agendas and questions around supporting roles)
- World building and like above, major places developed with vivid lush details and others hinted at just enough to leave readers wondering and wanting to know more
- Main purpose and goals for the main characters. Dynamics between main characters must be built and depending on the plot shattered or strengthened around a shared or divergent path.
- A cliffhanger that ultimately makes you throw the book across the room and leaves more questions
- When speaking of #4 these questions could include a sudden twist in the agenda of anyone, the severe damage to a character, to their world and purpose/goal. Honestly, it could include anything and/or everything, everyone we were led to believe was truly happening.
If you accomplish these goals while setting up all the back stories and foreshadowing/clue dropping throughout the book than you have created a kick-off to a great series.
To this end, Preto has accomplished these goals. Spoiling as little as possible, Preto has vividly brought a new world, characters and dynamics that will tear your heart apart to life. Ultimately, Crown of Feathers is about relationships that bind us together and what happens when they snap.
While it centers around Val and Veronyka. Early on there are clues that Val is domineering from the start but their grandmother was the clue that held them together and when she died that thread, already frayed, started a long burning fuse that would bring a twist not to believe by the end that this series is only going to escalate throughout the series.
It also deals with finding your purpose a chosen family that holds your value system, your beliefs and what you prioritize in the world. There are many characters that long to change their circumstance and find those that have their back for many reasons. To find those that have their backs and not just due to family. It is a courageous thing to step out of what many would call a “safe” environment because they don’t know your heart, the criticism endured or the pain of hiding your truth. Without the backstories of these characters and the worlds they live in, we would have no connection to them or a reason for them to succeed.
For all these reasons and more that I won’t get into because it would give away too many spoilers, I have to say that I can’t agree with the naysayers. This is a book well worth the time to read and a series to watch flourish.