Books

The CROWN OF FEATHERS Trilogy
The BONESMITH Series

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Simon & Schuster / Simon Pulse

• An Indigo Best Book of 2019

• A Forbes Best Young Adult Fantasy Novel of 2019

• One of Goodreads Most Popular YA Debuts of 2019

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES meets THREE DARK CROWNS in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.


I am a daughter of death
From the ashes I rose
Like a phoenix from the pyre

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 warriors 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 like the heroes 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.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.


Praise for CROWN OF FEATHERS

“Debut author Pau Preto’s series opener steadily gathers steam before closing with a pulse-pounding crescendo.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“The well-paced plot is chock-full of shocking revelations, betrayals, and moments of empowerment in the face of adversity that give this novel an epic scope and set up the beginning of a promising book series.” – BCCB

“Crown of Feathers is epic in the truest sense; it draws on Game of Thrones-worthy military history and political machinations, weaving letters and historical documents into the narrative… it’s the perfect series kickoff.” – Quill & Quire

“An action-packed adventure that will leave fans of epic fantasies eager to find out more. The ending is the perfect setup for a sequel.” – School Library Journal

“This is a new twist on fantasy favorites, and Pau Preto’s first novel is as ambitious as it is lyrical.” – Booklist

“A beautifully told story about justice, sisterhood, and warrior women. This richly woven world had me turning pages well into the night. Nicki Pau Preto is one to watch!” – Shea Ernshaw, New York Times bestselling author of THE WICKED DEEP

“Set in a world of warrior queens and their fierce phoenixes, Nicki Pau Preto’s CROWN OF FEATHERS is absolutely unforgettable. It draws you in with the first flaming feather, and doesn’t let go. Fans of magical creatures, get in line, because I haven’t loved a phoenix this much since Dumbledore’s Fawkes. This is an instant favorite.” – Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series

“A fierce and incendiary tale of warrior women, sisterhood, and the choices that define us, all set in a soaring new world that readers will fall in love with. I couldn’t put it down.” – Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of the Last Magician series

“For readers who crave vivid world building and nuanced characters, CROWN OF FEATHERS is a feast of magic, action, and romance! An immersive, deeply satisfying fantasy that will stay with you long after the story is finished.” – Elly Blake, New York Times Bestselling author of the Frostblood Saga

“The unique and imaginative world of the Phoenix Riders had my rapt attention from the first sentence. Nicki Pau Preto is a bright new talent, and I can’t wait to read more!” – Morgan Rhodes, New York Times Bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series


Simon & Schuster / Simon Pulse

• An Indigo Best Book of 2020

• A Publisher’s Weekly Noteworthy Novel Sequel

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.


Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry

• A Publisher’s Weekly Noteworthy Series Ending

• A CBC Books Canadian YA Book to Watch for in Fall 2021

In the heart-stopping finale to the CROWN OF FEATHERS trilogy, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable,” Veronyka must face her most devastating enemy yet: her own sister.


I had a sister, once…

Veronyka is no longer an orphaned stable boy or a nameless Phoenix Rider apprentice: she is the daughter of Pheronia Ashfire, the last queen of the Golden Empire…and the niece of Avalkyra Ashfire, the resurrected rebel queen who tore the empire apart.

We shone brightly, burned fiercely.

Now that the secret is out, everyone at the Eyrie treats Veronyka differently, and with Tristan still a hostage of the scheming Lord Rolan—and Sev with him as a spy—Veronyka feels very much alone. Except for her beloved phoenix, Xephyra, of course, and her new friend, Kade, who has his own reasons for wanting to save Tristan.

Was it always going to come down to this? Sister against sister? Darkness against light?

Veronyka is determined to do whatever it takes to get Tristan back, even if that means revealing her identity to the world and inheriting a throne she’s not sure she wants. But when she discovers that Avalkyra has bonded with a strix—a legendary creature of darkness that feeds off the life force of others—Veronyka realizes she has more to deal with than an encroaching war with the empire. Val is willing to destroy everything to get her revenge on a world that rejected her, and if Veronyka wants to bring peace to the empire and Pyra alike, she must face down her sister once and for all.

The world began with Ashfire queens…perhaps they will also be its destruction.


The CROWN OF FEATHERS series is available in:


The BONESMITH Series


Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry

COMING SUMMER 2023

Pitched as GIDEON THE NINTH meets THE CRUEL PRINCE, the story follows a failed ghost-fighting warrior who must journey into the haunted wasteland of the Breach to rescue a kidnapped prince, but to do so, she is forced to team up with the very person responsible for the kidnapping.


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