Hype is already building for Nicki Pau Preto’s debut Young Adult novel, Crown of Feathers, and it’s easy to understand why. Set in a fantasy realm where warriors ride phoenixes, it’s anticipated to be one of the most imaginative reads of 2019.
Here’s the description from the publisher, Simon Pulse:
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
The book also features shifting points-of-view, revealing the story of the last queen to ride a phoenix. An epic fantasy in which people ride BIRDS MADE OF FIRE? Sign. Us. Up.
You have to wait until spring of next year to read the novel, but we’re excited to reveal the cover today. Designer Sarah Creech came up with the cover concept, and artist Kekai Kotaki illustrated it.
“When my agent texted me to check my email for the book cover artwork,” Pau Preto tells Paste, “I thought I was going to be sick. I was excited, of course, but there’s so much riding on your cover. It’s a powerful marketing tool, but it’s so much more than that. A proper cover starts telling the story even before the reader has opened the book or glimpsed its inner pages. It gives them a feeling, it asks a question, it depicts a place or a character and that image will stay in the reader’s mind.
“A cover is part of the story…and the author has virtually no say in it.
“That is a terrifying prospect. So, I put down my phone lurched to my computer in a daze. I opened the file and this glorious, fiery image exploded across my screen. I gasped. The cover literally took my breath away. Truly, whenever I try to describe it, I use the word breathtaking—check my acknowledgements! I had zero involvement in the process, and the team at Simon Pulse delivered me the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen.
“This artwork is nothing less than stunning. It is bright and bold and powerful and dangerous. It demands to be seen. It’s everything I could have asked for, and it begins telling the story of Crown of Feathers, blazing a trail for my words to follow in its wake.”
And check out the gorgeous full wrap of the cover:
You can click on the image to enlarge it.
Simon Pulse will release Crown of Feathers in 2019 and the untitled sequel in 2020.