**DISCLAIMER** Do NOT read the novellas until you finish with this fist book. It will ruin a pretty major thing that you find out at the end of this book.
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
Okay, why had I been fooled into thinking that this series was only going to be “okay”?!?!? I always seem to get myself in trouble when I go too deep into reviews on Goodreads for a book or series that I discover that sounds good but doesn’t IMMEDIATELY catch my attention. Like usual, I read reviews written by people that I ~usually~ share similar opinions with….that is, until they differ.
I remember seeing this book when it came out and thinking it sounded interesting but at that point I had been caught up in a Sarah J Maas/ Court of Mist and Fury haze. Unless I KNEW that I was going to love it, or it was by an author I already loved, I don’t think I was venturing out too much and reading new things. Then, of course, when that died down, I went to the reviews. So many people had so many problems with this book and said at the first quarter at least was super slow and boring….How????
If you can’t tell I very much disagree.
The first quarter of this book isn’t action packed, no, but that’s because we have to learn about the three sisters that are eventually going to be fighting to the death until one is left standing to become Queen.
–Mirabella, an elementalist, who has been considered the Chosen Queen since she was born because of her great powers
–Arsinoe, a naturalist, who has yet to develop any sort of power or find a familiar BUT has been dabbling is some shifty “low magic”
–Katherine, a poisoner, who also hasn’t shown much affinity for her gift and who has grown up weak and frail due to the poisoning that have been administered to her since she was a child to hopefully build up her immunity
You can’t just go into a series about three Queen sisters who eventually have to fight to the death if you don’t know about each one. I’ll admit my favorite right off the bat was Arsinoe. Mirabella is at first painted to be cold and aloof and while Katherine was sweet, I wasn’t a fan of her guardians, the Arron’s, at all. The world building is incredible and I am so intrigued by the world of Fennbirn and how it’s surrounded by mist—so basically off in its own little world and only lets people in that the island chooses to let in and doesn’t let people leave if it doesn’t want them to….Genius. I hope we get to find out more about the “continent” in later books because I really am just so interested in what it’s like, who all lives there, how it’s ruled, etc.
Aside from our three main characters there is a slew of other important and interesting characters. Jules and Camden! Joseph! BILLY ♥! (and others of course but those are by far my favorites. Each play a very important role to the Queens and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.
If you’re looking for love interests, you’re in luck. Every Queen has one, and there’s even sort of love triangle, but not one that you’d expect. It surprised me but I guess I wasn’t super mad about it? I don’t know, you’ll see what I mean.
Plot wise, after the introductions of all the Queens and their foster families and once the book inches closer to Beltane and their sixteenth birthday, things obviously pick up. It was really interesting that Mira seemed to have kept her memories of her sisters which isn’t supposed to happen. It created tension because the name of the game is to kill two sisters and become Queen. Even though Mira is the most powerful, she doesn’t want to kill her sisters. That ends up playing a pretty big role in later events.
Things also get pretty dark, too. I mean there are poisonings, there are dismemberments, there is horrific scarring. Blake does not shy away from being descriptive with any of these things, either. I thought it really worked well overall. I have never been a fan of books that go too far down the path to the dark side but I thought that what she did with this book was the perfect amount and that it really added to the whole concept of an island being fueled the by blood and death of two if its three Queens.
I have so many questions about so many parts of how Fennbirn works and about certain characters and I cannot wait to keep reading and find out. HIGHLY recommend this series.