I liked the contrast between the three sisters and the people who raised them. Katherine was a poisoner with a weak ability to withstand the poisons given to her daily. She was supposed to be immune but what she had was built up from tolerance, not from any gift. Arsinoe was a naturalist, able to make flowers bloom, able to control animals, but again there had been no sign of any strong gift from her. The only sister to show a strong gift was Mirabella, an elemental who could control all four elements and who would easily dispose of both her sisters and win the throne if Katherine’s and Arsinoe’s families couldn’t find ways to help them.
The plot went between the three sisters and their families as they all prepared for the day the three girls would meet and the battle for the throne would begin. We got to see how sure Mirabella’s family was of her success, how Arsinoe’s and Katherine’s families planned on helping them, the history of other queens and their stories. Everything about it was so creepy and dark. The only way to become the queen on the throne was for your two sisters to die and even being raised apart for most of your life, that’s not an easy way to start a reign.
The first book was very character driven and very set-up focused, as mentioned. It did it’s job in making me very excited for the rest of the series to see how everything will play out. I have so many questions and theories that need to be proven or more clues to form them a little better. There were reasons I wanted each sister to be the one to live and each of them felt like they were on equal footing in that regard. I like that Kendare Blake was able to make me care about each sister so there wasn’t really one I would choose over the other. Just because I had a favourite didn’t mean I wanted the other two sacrificed because I cared about the people who cared about them.
Definitely a book that made me excited for the whole series.