Book Review: Phoenix by Daccari Buchelli

Phoenix starts with a seer named Reiza announcing her vision to the Emperor Jugan. The Emperor is not pleased with her vision and Reiza is not oblivious to the same. According to this troublesome vision of hers,

“…,your Grace. Your eldest son is destined to marry the enemy. If that happens, there is no doubt that he will have secured your throne.”

She is even sure of the girl whom he’ll be marrying — the daughter of King Eagan, Princess Violetta Flame. One may wonder, at this point in time, why would a king be troubled by hearing the news of his eldest son securing his throne one day. Well, the Emperor considers his eldest son, Prince Ryore, unfit to rule. According to him, he is a feeble man who would not be able to protect his kingdom, the Winter realm. His younger son, Prince Fadius, is the apple of his eye. In order to ensure that, Prince Fadius become the rightful owner of the throne, he conspires to murder Princess Violetta in the most inconspicuous manner possible. Princess Violetta, on the other hand, is attracted towards Xyhoni, the honorary heir to the ruler of the Earth realm. They have both exchanged subtle expressions of care and kindness towards each other; however, none of them has been brave enough to confess their love. To complicate their love story, the author has cleverly introduced the unbelievable infatuation of Prince Ryore towards Princess Violetta.

Just when I decided to tag it as another romantic novel, the author sneaked in magic, royal life troubles, conspiracies, and a number of twists. The concept of Earth, Air, Winter and Fire realms has been quite intriguing to me. Romance has taken a back seat for the most part; however, it has always been in the plot. The central theme of Phoenix has been the struggle of Prince Ryore to keep himself fastened to the throne. The plot that started very slowly — and seemed directionless, to me — quickly picked up the pace, and I found myself being able to connect the dots. As a reader, I found the plot extremely unpredictable — except for one act of the seer (I had totally guessed it. Yay!). Anyway, overall, I would applaud the author, Daccari Buchelli, for coming up with a gripping and exciting story.

The characters are defined in a manner that suits their acts and emotions. Princess Violetta is a beautiful young woman who is unsure of herself. She doesn’t know whether the path she has to choose appeals to her or she is performing her duties. Her longing to have a personal space, at times, was very beautifully portrayed, and for the first time, I could feel pity for royalty — never thought that day would come. However, I craved for more fierceness in her character — with her being a flame princess and all. Prince Ryore, on the other hand, is a character for whom one cannot help but feel compassion. He was always demeaned by his own father, and he was constantly living with the fear that his brother would seize any opportunity to seize his throne.

I, especially, admired the author’s acute observation of the depressing life of high and mighty. The life of kings and queens seems a bed of roses to the world; however, on the inside, there are only thorns. At times, they are forced to marry only to maintain their claims at their realm. When such situation arises, they must give up their heart’s one true love and embrace the bitter reality. They are constantly under the pressure of producing an heir to the throne or risk losing the throne altogether. There are times when all a king/queen could wish for is having a little time alone, but that is almost never possible. Daccari has very beautifully captured the price that a royalty pays to live in a palace filled with servants and jewels.

I connected with the plot, characters and the narrative style of the author. Having said that, I did not find dialogues very amusing. Somehow, I yearned for more thought-provoking conversations among the characters of the book.

I would recommend Phoenix by Daccari Buchelli to the readers who enjoy reading about the royal lives, conspiracies of acquiring a throne and a little bit of romance.

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