Three Dark Crowns -Kendare Blake

three-dark-crownsA strange, mystical island is torn by three rival factions: Elementalists, Naturalists, Poisoners.  For generations, the queen gives birth to triplets.  Each child has the abilities of one of the three factions.  The queen mother leaves the island and her daughters to fight for the throne.  Around age 6, the triplets are taken from each other and sent to the faction of their ability and raised until they come of age and are expected to fight to the death for the crown.  Only one will rule.  The triplets, once close in childhood, are now expected to kill each other. The Poisoners have been the ruling faction for many years, but triplet, Katherine does not appear to be very strong and capable of withstanding poisons.  Naturalists have a familiar, an animal to share their bond.  But triplet, Arsinoe, has not been successful in calling a familiar.  This generation, it appears the strongest triplet is  Mirabella.  Mirabella is an Elementalist controlling fire, wind and water.  However, Mirabella is kind-hearted and remembers her sisters with such love that she could never kill them.  This tenderness does not sit well with the powers that be, so they come up with another plan to kill the weaker queens.

The story jumps from one triplet to another so that many characters are introduced.  Perhaps advisable to read in big chunks of time to better keep the characters straight.  The romantic entanglements are excellent.  The winning triplet will need to be married and the suitors arrive to meet the girls.  This story has action, adventure, and an interesting plot, however the characters are the shining star.  Each triplet is so different and has traits to admire.  The ending confirmed what I was suspecting and sets it all up for the next installment .  I think I am rooting for Arsinoe.  I eagerly await the next book in the series, before I forget the characters.  Highly recommend.

eGalley review                                            Publication date 9.20.16

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