I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
**Contains minor spoilers**
Quick fire review:
This book is all kinds of twisted, all kinds of dark and all kinds of wonderful. I loved the whole fucking journey. I picked my favourite Queen early on and was really intrigued by how the story developed. The writing is just as fantastic and Kendare Blake’s always is.
THE ENDING IS EVERYTHING!
Pick this up! Just do it!
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomach-ache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of beasts.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose . . . it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.
Yoooooooooooooo! You can’t just end a book like that! You can’t!
I will admit that I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to like this in the beginning. There is some big info dumping and about a thousand characters are introduced which can be a little overwhelming but do yourself a favour and stick it out. It will get better.
“Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends
Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen”
We join three sisters on the Ascension Year as they start final preparations for Beltane, a ceremony where they will have one year kill the others and become the new Queen. There will only be one winner and the stakes are high…for a lot of people. Each sister has been raised separately by adults who have gifts similar to their own. They are their teachers. They are their confidants. They each hold their own secrets.
Meet the sisters:
- Katharine – the poisoner. Perceived as the weakest link, her teacher has been poisoning her a little throughout her life to try and build up a natural immunity. These poisoner tests she has been put through have scarred her physically and mentally and left her
- Mirabella – the elemental. The boss bitch. Mirabella is seen to be the best choice for Queen as she has a strong grasp of her power and is the most developed. She also happens to be the nicest of the three as she has no intention of harming her sisters given her loving childhood memories.
- Arsinoe – the naturalist. There is always someone who doesn’t have powers and Arsinoe is that character. She certainly tries her hardest but for a long time it seems like she just isn’t going to get a handle on her gift.
I picked my favourite Queen early on but was really interested to see how Kendare Blake expanded on each sister’s journey. The writing in this is reminiscent of her Anna Dressed In Blood series and every dark, creepy moment created a great atmosphere. There are some seedy as fuck characters in this book and some really strong additions that had me hooked until the very end. Speaking of the end, can book 2 be out now please because I NEED TO KNOW!
I don’t want to write too much more because I will spoil everything but if you love fantasy books with dark twists and some compelling characters, then there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy this book.
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