Published: Sept. 20, 16
Source: Edelweiss and Publisher for review
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.My thoughts:
Having really enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood I couldn't wait to get to this book. It did hold some of the darkness that I enjoyed in Anna, but I'm afraid it didn't hold my attention in the same manner. I think it had to do with the worldbuilding in this book. While the world builds slowly we are sort of thrown into the world without footing. We don't quite know what is going on and it was disconcerting and I needed more. It is also disturbing in terms of those of us who hate to see animals harmed. While nothing was so bad it made me put it down, I became a bit distracted in wanting to know if the animals are safe. I know others who feel the same way so it may worry them as it did me, but again, it wasn't too bad in that regard either and it is still readable.
The world finally started to develop about midway through the book. Most of my attention was hoping two of the queens would develop powers. There is a twist in this plot and unfortunately I guessed it quite early. I also am guessing at another twist to be revealed and won't be surprised to find out it is true. However, even though it was easy to guess, it did not take away from the story as a whole.
My continued frustration was one that wasn't resolved by the end. There were characters I needed to know more about but never got that information. This just added to my frustration about the worldbuilding. I will say that by the end the world was a bit better established and the book much more interesting. It is enough to pull me through to the next book.
I give this book 3 stars. Even though it was a shaky beginning for me, I did find some interest in the end. I do feel that parts will start to sort itself out more as the series goes along and I do hope more of the holes are filled in the next book. I do want to read the next book to find out what happens. I also have a feeling this will be a book you will love or hate. I found myself in the middle of that pack.