Synopsis: 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 stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
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.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
Review: 3.25/5 stars
This book was far from perfect, but hell if it wasn’t fun.
Did I like any of the characters? Uh, not totally. In fact, I hated a bunch of them. (I would physically fight Mirabella and Joseph if I was ever given the chance, and I would like roughly 50% of the characters to line up so I can efficiently slap each of them across the face.)
Some of them Most of them were super flat–I’d say all of them except Arsinoe, Jules and maybe Pietyr. (That’s pretty insane because there are roughly 200 characters in this book.)
The three queens are not my ideal. I was hoping for a little more badassery in all honesty. Mirabella is an emotional idiot (who became best friends with some rando in a day, which reminded me SO MUCH of my Justin Bieber fanfiction-reading days. Except instead of like, Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato, Mira’s bestie is a shockingly flat priestess). Katharine starts out the same way, and Arsinoe is just kind of…eh.
The world building was a little rough, too. This is one of those books that’ll give you a furrowed brow for the first chunk. The whole thing was surprisingly low fantasy for how confusing it was. Props to Blake for not info-dumping, but the weaving in of background was a little slow for my tastes. Also, there are like a bajillion names in this? The map is, though pretty, very confusing, and the time I spent figuring out who Ellis was gave me a headache. And maybe I’m a nerd, but I also just want a history lesson on this world. That’s such a fun part of fantasy books!
Even though this book had a LOT of problems (and didn’t really make it to a lot of the fun stuff they spent the whole time talking about?) it was still pretty fun. So I don’t want to give it a low rating.
I’d be giving this book 3 stars if not for the literal last sentence. It filled me with hope for more bad bitches, gave me a halfhearted belief that maybe (MAYBE) I’ll actually like a certain character next time around, and made me wanna pick up the next book. So it’s not over, folks.
Bottom line: yeah, read this! It’s just a little silly and a little fun, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the books.