Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores. This tour is being hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours.
The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publishing Date: June 1, 2021
Debut author Arnée Flores spins an exciting and original tale about hope in even the darkest of places, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale.
The Kingdom of Lyrica was once warm and thriving, kept safe by the Firebird, whose feather and song was a blessing of peace and prosperity. But the Firebird disappeared, and Lyrica is now terrorized by the evil Spectress who wields her powers from within a volcano. All that remains is a mysterious message scrawled on the castle wall in the Queen’s own hand: Wind. Woman. Thief.
Young Prewitt has only known time without the Firebird, a life of constant cold, as his village is afraid to tempt the volcano monsters with even the feeblest fire. But he has heard whispers that the kingdom’s princess survived the attack . . . and he is certain that if he can find her, together they can save Lyrica.
Princess Calliope has no memories beyond living on her barge on the underground lake. But as she nears her twelfth birthday, she is certain there is more to life than the walls of a cave. When Prewitt finds her, he realizes that she is the missing princess: the only hope for Lyrica. Determined to decipher the meaning of her mother’s strange message and find the Firebird, Calliope and Prewitt set off on a quest that puts them in more danger than either of them ever anticipated.
This was a cute, quick read.
The Terrible Thing happened years earlier, but it’s not talked about in detail much. Prewitt knows that there is a curse and a Thief. The princess was thought to be dead and things haven’t been the same in Lyrica. It’s never sunny and people are hungry. The Spectress is still looking for the Lost Princess, thinking that she might be alive. There is no hope left in Lyrica. It’s said that the Firebird Queen’s daughter can call back the Firebird once she reaches the Age of Hope. She gains powers then and can use the song and feather to get it back. The Firebird can defeat the Demon. Prewitt learned most of this from Granny Arila. She told him that he’s the Bargeboy and the other half of the moon. He is tied to the princess and needs to find her to save Lyrica. Prewitt decides to leave to look for the princess that most believe is dead.
Calliope had never been outside. She had never seen sun and is almost always alone. There is a man that comes to take care of her, but he doesn’t live with her. She reads a lot of books and makes paper animals to keep her company. When she turns twelve, Calliope is told that she’s the princess and that her mother was murdered protecting her. The man wants to keep her safe. It’s his job. Calliope has other plans though. She wants to find a way to defeat the Spectress and Demon. She runs into Prewitt and he tells her what he knows from Granny Arila. They decide to search together to find the tokens they need to get Lyrica back to normal. They must travel to places that most believe do not exist. They need to fight a lot and do most things on their own. They meet the Wild Woman and some girls that survived by being sent away. But for the most part, it’s just them. Prewitt and Calliope’s friendship and trust grow throughout their journey. They learn from each other and work well together. They both care about protecting the other one.
I enjoyed the world a lot, even though I got a bit confused for a bit (probably just my mood and not the book though). What I loved most was the growing friendship between Prewitt and Calliope and also seeing how much the parents would sacrifice for love and safety. I gave this book 4 stars.
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.
Warnings for death, fire, some gore, and isolation.
Arnée Flores spent her childhood shifting across rural Washington towns, lugging along boxes of books, and switching schools nine times before her family finally settled down on a wheat farm in the tiny town of Reardan, Washington.
Arnée identifies as Vietnamese American, but as a transracial adoptee raised by a Caucasian family in small-town America, she grew up feeling displaced.
It took a long while and a winding path for her to find herself. She spent a few nomadic years exploring, working odd jobs, and studying subjects from Piano Performance at Washington State University to Pre-Law and Political Science at Gonzaga before she finally understood that all she really wanted was to stay in one place and write the kinds of stories that had helped her feel safe during her chaotic childhood.
Today, she can be found collecting rocks, shells, and other curiosities on the beach near her Seattle apartment, all the while dreaming up wild and magical tales, her little white dog splashing along behind her through the tide pools.
Follow The Tour: