By Cynthia Bujnicki
“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…” —Goodreads
Fans of the series already know who these three queens are but now is the story about who they were and the events that shaped them. As they are triplets Mirabella seems to be the oldest, the caretaker, the one groomed to be queen even at such a young age as her power is that incredible. Readers are already familiar with how powerful she is, but to see how early it manifested is incredible, as is her love for her sisters. She cares so deeply for her sisters and doesn’t want to hurt them, refuses to forget them, and to see that love hold strong over the years explains the events of the main series. It gives her more depth as a character. The same can be said for Katherine. Over the course of the series, the readers are inspired to feel pity for her, especially after the events of this novel. She was not a poisoner, never meant to be one, and with such a sweet and gentle demeanor, to see her subjected to the Poisoners only reinforces the pity readers feel for her. This is a girl who was never given the chance, her and Arsinoe. They girls were not meant to be real contenders for the throne of Fennbirn, only fodder for Mirabella.
It’s a riveting short story that is probably very essential for the series because it explains so much about the girls as well as their surroundings. This novella also gives more insight into the caregivers of the girls, the depth of their relationships with the girls and how they chose to raise them, their lives and how those lives were impacted by having the girls in their lives. It really does offer a lot to the readers as far as back story goes and gives a little more insight into who these girls were and everything the soon became to define them. (★★★★☆ | B+)