I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I absolutely loved this book!
Three girls, triplets, are born to be queens and separated at a young age to be trained in their special abilities. Once they become of age, a battle will ensue until there is only one girl left standing: the new queen.
Katherine is The Poisoner. Arsinoe is The Naturalist. Mirabella is The Elemental. Two queens are yet to fully receive their gift and time is running out. The third is rumoured to be extremely powerful and has the support of her people as well as the temple: she is the favourite to be new queen. But all three queens have people in their corner and it is not going to be easy for either one of them.
I love the world that Kendare Blake has created. It's so dark and vivid and I feel like each queen's surroundings were well thought out and described. This can also be said for each of the abilities; they are so different and each intricately fleshed out. I also couldn't help but think about which ability I would choose if I was in this world and I think I would definitely be a naturalist. Eating poison or controlling the elements don't really speak to me but having an animal familiar by my side? YES PLEASE!
There is quite a big cast of characters in this world which always poses the risk of getting people mixed up but I didn't find that the case here. Whilst they aren't all given full backgrounds (there is time for others to be explored as the series continues) they were all still unique enough to be memorable. I have a particular fondness for Arsinoe's close friends Jules and Joseph as well as a lot of intrigue regarding Pietyr and Billy and the potential romances that are brewing.
As for the ending? I let out an audible gasp. I should have seen it coming and I can't believe I missed the signs that are definitely there. Blake definitely got me! Things have been set up nicely for book two and I absolutely can't wait to find out what happens next!