Three Dark Crowns #1. Author: Kendare Blake.
When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown. (Goodreads summary)
Sexual Content: “They will think with their hearts.” “It would be just as well if they thought with what is between their legs.” Some kissing. Character set to training queen in seduction – forbidden to bed her, although he complains about not “being able to teach her bedroom skills”. “He was her first” – mostly offscreen, but it’s clear they’ve slept together (especially with the precedent, in which we saw them together as night fell) and she invites him to again.
Language: 1 d***, 1 derogatory terms
Violence: Stories of character’s mother poisoning her aunts. Pinned scorpion worn as ornament – it’s still slightly alive. Child throws a stone at some women. Character must eat a poisonous banquet – is then violently sick. Character poisons prisoner then watches him die. Maid’s hand cut off in punishment. One character pins another’s hand to a tree with a dagger as part of a low-magic ritual. Bear knocks dog flying, then attacks a girl, cutting her face open – a naturalist (magic) stops its heart.