What happened to Mad Queen Elsabet to make her go bad? Kendare Blake explores the mythology and legend behind her famed Three Dark Crowns series in this novella that takes place 500 years earlier. You’ll meet Elsabet, her flirtatious king consort William, the overbearing and high-reaching Francesca Arron, and many more characters you’ll become fascinated by. It’s almost too bad they live only within these pages.
In the world of Three Dark Crowns, Mad Queen Elsabet is a legend and a warning against sight-gifted queens. The story goes that her gift drove her mad and she killed three entire houses of families before being confined to a tower for the rest of her days until she gave birth to the next triplets and the cycle began again. It is because of her that every triplet born with the sight gift is immediately drowned. But what if the story everyone tells isn’t the whole truth? What is other forces around Elsabet drove her mad long before her sight gift got the chance to?
I’m not a huge fantasy lover, but I love royalty, so I genuinely enjoy the Three Dark Crowns series. However, I’m always skeptical about novellas, especially after a Court of Frost and Starlight just wasted my time for six hours. But Kendare Blake knows how to do novellas. She’s telling an entire story in these pages, Elsabet’s story, without going too far into how she became queen. It’s a short novella, but it’s a complete story, and I really wish other authors would learn from her. Elsabet is not only a fascinating character but some absolutely fascinating things are happening around her, with her king consort who can’t keep his hands to himself and a sweet painter and a poison only few know the true purpose of. This novella is fast-paced and exciting and I wish I could have had more of Elsabet, but alas. I’m excited to see how the main trilogy ties up when Two Dark Reigns comes out this fall.