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Reviewed by K S Marsden for Readers' Favorite
Elsfaer has been raised in an isolated monastery, impatient for the time when she will mature and get her phoenix wings. But all her plans for freedom and traveling the world are put on hold when a secret destiny is revealed. Reign of the White Phoenix by Jessica Cage is part of the Rise of the Elites series – seven books by seven authors, all set in Penumbra and various locations on Earth. The High Spirit has decided that things are out of balance, and seven Elites (leaders of various factions) must fall, and seven new leaders will rise. Elsfaer has no idea about any of this, but she has to get over her anger at being lied to all her life if she is going to prove to her people and herself that she is a true leader.
Reign of the White Phoenix is the first book I’ve read by Jessica Cage. I loved the setting, starting off in a monastery on Earth, then following Elsfaer through the portal into Penumbra. You get to learn about the phoenix people through her eyes – how they have divided themselves into clans, becoming increasingly weaker. More and more phoenixes are being born without wings, and only Elsfaer can unite them again. I personally thought the plot relied a bit too heavily on people keeping secrets from Elsfaer, but it is still a really fun adventure. I loved the worlds and the divisions of the phoenix people. I also really liked the level of romance in this book. Once Elsfaer meets someone special, it never overwhelms the main narrative, which was great!