Published: September 20, 2016
“No one really wishes to be a queen.”
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.
Three sisters fighting for one crown, who will die and who will reign? I’ve been hearing this concept over and over again in booktubers and I’m quite intrigued. I’m a fan of fantasy especially when there is political intrigued. I like the concept of the book but I’m a little hesitant given that there are mixed reviews. But finishing this book feels more of an accomplishment, that finally you finished it, the more that I think about it rather than pure satisfaction about the story.
I have a lot of issues with this book – the characters, the plot, the pacing, the point of views. However, the ending and the last 1/3 of the book feels more solid than the 2/3 of it. But before talking about what I like about the book, I would like to talk about my dislikes first because I have a lot to say!
First of, the pacing. I’m already halfway through the book and I feel like nothing is happening. At some point, it bores me and I almost fell into a slump. There is a narrative feel to it because of the pacing although it is far from that. I don’t know how I will describe it but it feels like the character building is too much. There is a lot going on about the three sisters, seeing the surroundings that they grew up to and their line of thinking; however, it is not so appealing that it bores you at times.
In relation to the pacing, my other issue is the point of views. I can handle multiple points of view because I’m currently making my way through A Song of Ice and Fire Series but the switching POVs in this book is too much. It does not work well in this book although you can say that it was necessary to see what was going on with the three sisters. It is one of the factors that put me off into reading this.
Another thing is the characters. Oh my goodness! I’ve never been annoyed by a character as much as the two characters in this book. At one point, even though I know it would be impossible for them to, I wish that someone killed them in this book. I can’t really pinpoint if they are character driven or what because their attitudes are all over the place. But the good thing is the number of characters that I liked outnumbered those that I despised.
Second to the last of my issues with this book is the settings. This is our book of the month for our book club and I joined the discussion even though I haven’t finished the book yet because I want to hear other people’s opinion of whether or not I should continue the book. One of the topics that we have discussed is the settings. The description of the places are too vague – they are on the mountain, on an island, there is a snow, a cliff, etc. – but it is not well described! It is hard to imagine the differences of the people in their “island” and those on the “mainland”.
Lastly, the plot. I was disappointed in the most part of this book. The concept has so much potential given the right manipulation of the story. It does not live up to all the hyped and the expectations. Plus, the magic system is not well explained given that the plot also revolves around the differences between the sisters because of their powers and how their magic divided the people. It is confusing that there are other powers like war (something), sight (?), and other powers other than being a poisoner, an elemental or a naturalist.
However! Given all my issues stated above, I enjoyed the last part of it. When the pacing is finally picking up the story takes you to some unexpected turn of events. It makes the struggle of reading the 2/3 of it worth it. Even though I know the plot twist, in the end, it left me dumbfounded. the ending deserves one star. The half star is when the pace picks up. I was initially planning to give it 2 stars but things happen that’s why I gave it a 3.5. I would love to give an in-depth thought about the good part but I don’t want to spoil you guys.
All in all, it was more of an okay book rather than a good book. Will I recommend it to people? Maybe. Will I read the next book? Yes. Is this a strong first book? Not quite, although the ending is a good starting point for the next book.
That’s all for my rant/review.
Till next time,