Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
When kingdom come, there will be one.
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 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.
This book was slow to start, and it took me while to read it until the action picked up and then the story began to move along faster. The concept was interesting to me, but it took so long to develop the characters, the provinces, the world in which the book is set in, how things are run, etc. Despite this I still found it interesting but it dragged a bit… until the end.
I really enjoyed this book immensely once I got about half-way through that I decided to continue with the series and I am so glad that I did! I was drawn to Katharine almost right away, I didn’t care much for Arsinoe and I began to really dislike Billy and Joseph. Jules’ familiar Camden stole the show for me, a mountain cat as a familiar and I’m a sucker for cats! I found to be bogged down with all the details at the beginning, but after I got around all the characters, I began to really enjoy it. My one complaint is that there are too many characters, I couldn’t keep track of where everyone was from, who they were supporting, and what their roles were, it just got confusing!
Overall I really enjoyed it, so much that I bought the second book in the series (One Dark Throne) and then the rest of the books once I was done. I really enjoyed this book; it might be a contender for a re-read in the next few years!