Publisher: Random House Children’s
Release Date: April 28 2015
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 5 stars
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Warning: This review contains some spoilers!
Two different worlds are layered on the mortal world and they coexist because of the magic that hides the truth from mortals. But Echo, an honorable pickpocket, know of the Avicen’s and the Drakharin’s existence. The Avicen have feathers instead of hair and the ability to use/command magic. The Drakharin are kind-of a cross between human and dragons. Their fierce and brutal and at war with the Avicen. When the Ala, Echo’s Avicen guardian, discovers proof of the existence of a mythical creature named the Firebird – Echo is thrust deeper into the world of the Avicen and Drakharin. With so many lives at stake, Echo agrees to find the Firebird which will end the war between the Drakharin and Avicen. But soon Echo is forced to confront the all-to-real possibility that the only way to survive is to make allies with people she doesn’t even know if she can trust.
Echo is officially one of my favorite main characters. She is playful, laidback, and a honorable thief but her unwavering loyalty and bravery in the face of danger are some of her most commendable qualities. She is everything that I didn’t expect and I was so impressed by her ability to adapt to any circumstance she’s placed in.
Rowan, Echo’s original love interest proved to be disappointing. I felt like he was a very two-dimensional character in that there didn’t seem to be a lot to him. His only purpose for existing seemed to be to incite some angst. I also didn’t really understand why he helped Echo but then decided to come after. In the end, he was never really that loyal to her.
Ivy, Echo’s friend isn’t that interesting either. She seemed to be more of a plot device than anything else. She didn’t really have much of a role and I didn’t understand why it was truly necessary for her to be there. I suppose like Rowan, she was part of the cast of friends.
Caius is another of my favorite characters. Although he initially seems like an unfeeling brute, other sides of him are revealed as the story progresses. The romance between him and Echo unfurled painfully slowly and at times it was driving me crazy because I just wanted them to get together already! However, the love triangle between him, Rowan and Echo is never the main focus which is great considering how everyone is at war.
The romance between Dorian and Jasper is truly beautiful too so kudos to the author for pulling it off so well. For one thing, it initially seems like the most unlikely thing that could happen but through the course of the book they end up falling for each other. The author doesn’t just force an insta-love between them and it takes them time to overcome the prejudices surrounding their races (Dorian is Drakharin but Jasper is Avicen). Jasper is also one of those cocky, funny characters that I love seeing in books so the dialogue exchanged between him and Dorian is hilarious and flirtatious.
Overall I loved this book so much and I’m so glad it’s part of a series!