The Young Queens, Kendare Blake – Book Review

Hello humans! I’ve been working my way through the Three Dark Crowns series over the last year or so, since YALC 2017 and in anticipation of the end of the series which I believe is happening this year. I was therefore delighted to find that the novella/prequel The Young Queens was available on my Library’s free ebook service. I snapped this up and read it so quickly you would not believe.

The Young Queens Kendare Blake

Goodreads Summary:

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 . . .

Find The Young Queens on Goodreads

I think this is a very good example of a prequel that could be read either by those who have already read and enjoyed the existing two books of the series or someone just starting. It might spoil things for you a tiny bit, but honestly, the books are quite predictable so it might instead serve to enhance the way you read the following books (I obviously have read them so I can’t say for sure).

This is a short quick read, only 112 pages, but there’s quite a bit of story set up in there. I think it’s an interesting story to tell, how these three girls are separated and gradually learn that they are destined to kill the others if they wish to rise to power. It sets up some of the side characters who get more important in the main novels.

I enjoy Kendare Blake’s writing a lot so it’s not really a surprise that I enjoyed this. If you are interested in learning more about the world these three characters grew up in, to see more of their character development and the events which shaped their actions this is a great read.

What I appreciated was that this didn’t feel like it was inserting plot to make the later books seem cleverer than they were. This was a fully conceived story and while it does inform the later plot it isn’t just setting up things that were previously unexplained. I’m never a fan of a prequel for the sake of a prequel, this serves a purpose and is of itself an interesting read.

As I say, it’s a quick read, and this is a quick review, but if you were wondering whether to check this out of your local library as I did I can recommend it. If you’re wondering whether to start with this or with Three Dark Crowns personally I think you can do either, but getting your teeth into Three Dark Crowns is never a bad thing!

My rating: 4/5 stars

What say you? Do you like to read prequels like this? Let me know in the comments below!


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