Three queens, each reported to possess a unique elemental magic. Three sisters separated at birth and raised to fight the others to the death. Three crowns but only one can be queen. Thus is the plot for Kendare Blake’s ambitious young adult fantasy Three Dark Crowns. I found myself undeniably hooked after the first chapter.
On the island realm of Fennbirn every generation gives birth to three female triplets. Separated as children, the queens are sent to live with families that possess the same magic they do. They are then raised to develop their talents and fight to become the best because once they turn 16 the fight is a matter of life and death. Katherine, poisner is raised to be hard and ruthless. Despite her constant training she remains unable to stomach even the weakest of poisons.
Arsinoe is a naturalist, who should be able to bloom gardens of flowers and control even the fiercest animals but must fake her powers to be taken seriously. Then their is Mirabella, a powerful elemental who has mastered the ability to control storms and fire. Mirabella alone remembers the connection the three sisters once shared. As the time to fight one another draws closer, the three queens must make a choice between love and power.
Blake sets the stage for what promises to become a entertaining series, jam packed full of memorable characters and magical whimsy. Slightly on the darker side, the characters show little remorse for each other yet remain just this side of becoming one-dimensional. Side characters and allegiances give the story a necessary richness.For lovers of fantasy series, this is another must for the bookshelves. I for one look forward to what Blake has in store.