Synopsis (From GoodReads):
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.
I love books about queens and royal intrigue! This book had political alliances, strange powers, and a brutal concept: Royal Triplets are born and raised together until they are aged six. Then they are raised separately to develop their powers (and become the pawns of various political factions). They meet again when they are sixteen and then have a year to KILL EACH OTHER! The survivor is crowned the queen. Talk about sibling rivalry!
What I Liked:
Each queen is a unique person with strong qualities that make them easy to root for. They also each have faults that are impossible to look past. I love how each queen is complicated. There is no clear person to root for. It is kind of like politics itself, in America. Each party has its good parts and its distressing issues.
I enjoyed how the island had three distinct kingdoms. Again, each place had positive and negative aspects. One of the main problems with this society is that each realm demeans the other. They don't seem to value the contributions of each other.
I also loved all the powers on display in this book! There are poisoners, those who control the elements, and others who can command nature. And they all seem to be women! This is a refreshingly matriarchal society. When men come from the "mainland" they are baffled by this.
While I do not believe in spoilers, I will say that they plot has many twists and turns. I enjoyed these and found them so surprising that I shouted out loud when some of these things happened! I love a book where I can be genuinely caught off guard by a plot twist.
What I Didn't Like:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was original, suspenseful, and full of complex characters. I look forward to more books in this series.
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: GoodReads Group Read With Tessa!
Recommendation: A complex, gory, story of political intrigues and self-discovery. I highly recommend this book.