” Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic runng through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from all but one human, Echo a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market.
The Avicen are the only family Echo has every known, so when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that to 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.”
I really enjoyed reading this book. I know it has been criticized as being too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, but I have not read that book yet so I had nothing to compare it to. Echo is a 17 year old human living with the feathered Avicen after running away from home ten years before and taken in by the Ala, an Avicen and her protector. Although human, Echo is in love with Rowan and best friends with Ivy, both Avicen. They are all teenagers and even though Echo is the only human character in this story, she has accepted the Avicen as her family while some of these feathered people have their objections to taking her into their world.
Being a trained thief, The Ala sends Echo on a secret mission to find objects that will help lead to the firebird, a mythical figure that will help end the centuries old war with the Drakharin,a human/dragon-like race with scales and with powers of their own. But the Drakharin are searching for the firebird too. Echo’s quest will not only test her skills as a thief, but also her friendships and basic belief of who she is as a human.
I truly liked Echo. She is tough, smart and loyal. The supporting characters were also interesting and enjoyable. Caius, the Drakharin prince, is conflicted about his role as ruler of his people. He has a warm heart and the complete opposite of his sister, Tanith, who is a vicious and heartless royal who will do anything to destroy the Avicen. Echo’s and Caius’ paths will intertwine and discover that maybe they aren’t as different as they have been taught to believe.
I loved how the story played out and turned into a quest for the firebird, watching different characters developing and bonding during their epic quest.
This is a fun adventure and a quick read. I look forward to reading the second book in this series.