I’m enjoying this series more as it goes on, I think.
I feel as if every novel adds a twist or two, solves a riddle or two, and amps up the intensity.
I’d love to see Blake’s notes on the history of the queens. I know the losing queens are basically erased from history, but I get the feeling Blake has done extensive imagining and somewhere has a great bundle of information on this world and its history. Names, gifts, lineage, etc.
So this is the third book in what was originally supposed to be a duology, and there’s a fourth book after this that I’m also really looking forward to. In this book, the queens re-emerge, Katharine victorious, and try to solve the mystery of the killer mist that normally protects the island suddenly turning against them and leaving dead people in its wake.
So although I have worked really hard to suspend my disbelief in this series and its entire premise of murdering queens – my issue stems from the fact that until a queen is crowned, the government is basically run by the foster family of the queen’s mother, who leaves the island as soon as she gives birth – I am still a little confused with the concept of the Blue Queen, who takes a larger role in this novel in the form of flashback visions/dreams. A Blue Queen is a fourth born queen, immediately crowned because her older sisters are put to death, and any of them can still have any gift. I think it’s really unfair that whoever just happens to be born last in a set of quadruplets falls into ruling because her sisters are murdered. What if the fourth born queen was a seer? Seer queens are also murdered, to save them from going insane (as depicted in one of the novellas – really worth reading if you enjoy this series). That part doesn’t make sense to me. I know it’s the will of the Goddess, but still. There’s room for fatal error there.
Anyway! Apart from that very small issue, I also enjoyed watching Pietyr come to some kind of realisation. Pietyr always bothered me. I can never quite understand his motivations. I also have a newfound respect for Jules’ mother Madrigal, who is such a wealth of knowledge of low magic – which seems to be a bit of a cop out, in that low magic can kind of do anything if you have the right ingredients and know what you’re doing. And all the murder! There’s lots of stabby-stabby murder in this book and it’s glorious.
I really enjoy watching these girls come into their power and figure out how they’re going to survive in a world that expects them to murder each other. I love seeing them defy tradition and really fuck some things up. I love watching Mirabella go from nearly a White-Handed Queen (one who is so expected to become queen that the temple murders her sisters for her) to developing a deep bond and connection to Arsinoe. I love watching Arsinoe figure out who she is and the lie that has been told her whole life (and Braddock, I love Braddock – and Billy too, I guess, he’s pretty realistic). And sweet, sweet Katharine, our innocent, tortured damsel turned blood-thirsty Queen Crowned.
That ending. It got me. It really did.
I really want to see how these sisters end this story in the next book.
I received a copy of this book from Pan MacMillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Book: Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel. OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title.
I'm using Two Dark Reigns to claim this door. It's not the second book in the series, but it does have the word "two" in the title.