Three Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake
Harperteen, 2016. 398 pages. Young Adult
On the magical island of Fennbirn, a set of girl triplets is born to the Queen every generation. Each one has a different magical ability. The sisters are separated and raised on different parts of the island by factions who share their ability. Mirabella is a powerful elementalist who can manipulate fire, water, and air. While, Katherine who can make and ingest poisons and Arsinoe, a naturalist who can control plants and animals have manifested only weak versions of their gifts.
Now nearing their 16th year, the sisters are in the final days of preparing for a bitter fight to the death. It is the custom for only one to survive to become Queen Crowned. With Mirabella’s formidable magical skills, it seems obvious who will win, but there are other intricate machinations and deceitful plots at play.
Blake has created a twisting dark fantasy full of complex characters with mysterious motivations. The vicious game played through the lives of each queen is intensely fascinating to watch unfold. While this isn’t an exact read-alike, I think fans of Sarah Maas’s Throne of Glass series could find much to like here.