Author: Scott Reintgen
Pub. Date: January 14th 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368 Pages/10 Hours
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
There was a time where the Gods gifted their people Pheonix horses to battle in war, now those same horses are used for sport. What is required to become a Pheonix rider? Knowledge of Alchemy, fighting, and riding. A Pheonix is created by way of combinations in Alchemy & by Sunset that Pheonix bursts into flames. Each rider has the opportunity during a rebirth to create a Pheonix with specific skill sets/defenses. We follow three characters from very different backgrounds with a whole lot invested in winning this race & securing the bag aka Money & lots of it. It’s been a long time since there’s been an uprising & the Ashlords who are considered the elite in this word have been sitting pretty. Unchallenged since the last rebellion they quelled, the last thing they’d expect is for the people to turn against them. Many lives were lost as a repercussion of the last rebellion as a way to punish the people & ensure they never rise up again, many were ordered to be killed. This race is only the start of a war that’s been brewing & our MC’s have a stake in it all.
Imelda aka The Alchemist –Comes from a humble family who don’t have much funds but are rich in the love they have for one another. Imelda is a skilled Alchemist who has gained some notoriety with the help of her friend who records her creations with Pheonix horses & livestreams them. Imelda has no idea she is recruited as a pawn to divert the attention away from someone with elite status caught in a less than favorable position. Imelda is my favorite character simply because she is proving to be someone who may just flip the script *fingers crossed*
Pippa aka The Favorite –Comes from a family of Ashlords & famous Pheonix riders. The pressure is real for Pippa to make it big but her current relationship with another major Pheonix Rider is making her question a whole lot. Can her boyfriend handle her winning the race? or will that be too much for his ego? Pippa is very intelligent, competitive, and knows how to look out for her best interest. A worthy opponent she does make.
Adrian aka The Longhand – Son of the past rebellion leader, Adrian has been groomed all his life to one day lead their people against the Ashlords who have kept them oppressed. Adrian is described as being very strong & knowledgeable in these races. He’s studied them & has been mentored to recognize his competitors strengths & weaknesses. For Adrian this is about retribution.
Having read Scott Reintgen’s Nyxia trilogy, I was pretty confident we’d get a set of characters I’d love & I’m happy to report this proved to be the case. I listened to the audiobook version after learning that it was narrated by a full cast which is my absolute favorite way to listen to multiple POV stories. The voice actors were PHENOMENAL! you can’t go wrong when you’ve recruited Rebecca Soler who is known for voice acting for Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. We get a good grasp of the Pheonix Riders themselves, I just wish we’d had more on the history of the turmoil as well as the depths of the Gods involvement. Also, as a lover of all things Greek Mythology I really enjoy learning about the myths behind the Gods. I didn’t come away feeling satisfied on my knowledge of the gods in this world but hope we’ll get more of them in the sequel to come. It’s pretty bad a** to have a world where you can create magical horses! also, for all animal lovers the fact that these horses vanish at sunset since they are alchemical creations means they aren’t real horses suffering in this sport & that’s always a plus!<3
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