SPOILERS BELOW!The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake
Amazon|The Book Depository
Series: Three Dark Crowns #0.1
Published by HarperTeen on April 3, 2018
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series introduces readers to the Oracle Queen in this riveting prequel e-novella.
Triplet queens born on the island of Fennbirn can be many things: Elementals. Poisoners. Naturalists. If an oracle queen is born, however, one with the gift of sight, she’s immediately drowned, extinguishing her chance at ever taking the throne.
But that’s not how it always was. This cautionary practice started long ago, with Queen Elsabet—the legendary, and last, oracle queen—whose reign was tinged with blood and horror.
Paranoid, ruthless, and utterly mad, Elsabet’s mistrust led to the senseless slaying of three entire houses of innocent people. At least, that’s the unchallenged tale carried down from generation to generation. But what really happened? Discover the true story behind the queen who, though born with the gift of sight, could not foresee her swift and sudden fall from power . . . until it was too late.
Fans of the Three Dark Crowns series will be enthralled with Queen Elsabet’s genesis, riveted by her madness, and compelled by her tragic—and bloody—reign.
Novellas are common these days, with every series having it’s own set woven into the story. These novellas are becoming essential to each YA series I seem to pick up these days. I do enjoy reading either additional plots explored or characters in these short additions, but I also feel if it was important enough to publish shouldn’t you find a way to incorporate that into the original novel?
The Oracle Queen was interesting but was also largely boring. In the first two books the Arrons have proven themselves to be a scheming bunch that will do anything to ensure a Poisoner is on the throne. Elsabet’s fate was predictable but I kept hoping that she would truly live up to the “mad queen” instead of the betrayal plot that played out.
It was also like watching a car accident, where you know exactly what is going to happen and there is nothing you can do to stop it. In the end I hope Blake does more with the Arron family, especially some justice for Elsabet.The Young Queens by Kendare Blake
Amazon|The Book Depository
Series: Three Dark Crowns #0.2
Published by HarperTeen on December 26, 2017
Three black witches, born to a descending queen. One would rise to become queen in her place. Perhaps the strongest of the three. Perhaps the cleverest. Or perhaps it would be the girl born under the best shield of luck.
Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella - three young queens born to fulfil their destiny - to fight to the death to win the crown. But before they were poisoner, elemental and naturalist, they were children, sisters and friends . . .
This story didn’t really need to exist, it was pure fluff. Enjoyable fluff, but something I definitely didn’t need to read (unless this information will be useful for books 3 and 4 of the series). We meet the former Queen and her consort briefly before they set sail off Fennbirn, and we get to see the relationship between the triplets. We also get some insight into why Arsinoe and Katharine were switched. I feel like overall this could have been incorporated into the series instead of as a standalone novella.
If you enjoyed the series you will most likely enjoy these novellas.