Rise of the Phoenix is the first book in The Imperial Saga, a fantasy series by Anne Winchell.
Tahirah, and her brother, Khalid, are the only remaining royals after Tamarud is invaded. Tahirah must learn to harness her magical powers, lean on her allies, and claim her destiny.
“It always felt like she was raising a mask to hide her emotions, and she had done it so many times over the years it took little effort now.”Anne Winchell, The Rise of the Phoenix
Tahirah’s struggles to show any weakness or vulnerability made her a relatable main character. Although she stoically cries in silence and covers her emotions, she never comes across as harsh or uncaring.
With their unfamiliar lands and unique cultures created solely out of the minds of the authors, fantasies can often be confusing for me to read. I appreciated that Winchell included some contextual information at the beginning of the book and a glossary at the end to help me absorb more about the world she created.
Rise of the Phoenix is my third read of Winchell’s. The others include The Last War and The Moon of Lycca, a space novella. While The Last War remains my favorite so far, I’ve enjoyed them all. Like The Last War, Rise of the Phoenix features Winchell’s trademark smooth, engaging writing style and a plot born out of conflict.
Rise of the Phoenix sets the readers up well for the next installment in the series. It leaves you wanting to know more about Tahirah and the phoenixes. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next book leads.