Two Dark Reigns
by Kendare Blake
Here we go! On to Book Three, Two Dark Reigns. This book has a couple of pages before the story starts, reminding you who belongs to what family, as well as a map of “their world”, so to speak. I did find it helpful and referred to it as needed. I suggest you use it as well, as it makes the picture clearer for the reader and allows for you to connect to them.
Interestingly enough, this book starts in the past-400 years before our girls’ story begins, and I found myself initially feeling like, why? The plot had grown significantly and I didn’t want an additional piece taking away from the current story, as I wanted to know what was happening in the current time. However, it quickly sucked me write in. I really admire the way Blake can inspire actual emotion and attachment to her characters, in such a short time. It was a very short story, and shockingly harsh. It seems that 400 years ago Fennbirn was just as brutal in their traditions and beliefs. This history story finds itself VERY important in the stories to come of our three queens.
Book 2 leaves us with our “Queen.” Queen Katherine is crowned, although any of her subjects are whispering behind her back and secretly doubting her rule, as her sisters were not killed-they are missing. Katherine is fighting to prove herself as Queen, fighting her inner demons-literally, and is in a constant state of anxiety. She finds herself gifted, with more than just her poison, and she ruffles a few feathers politically to start off. She continues to fight, poison and attempt to keep her subjects supporting her. This becomes increasingly difficult, with the Dead Queens ruling her actions, the feeling of betrayal all around her, and the threat of the Legion Queen. However, when the island itself seems to turn against her, it is brought to a whole new level, and she is put to the test.
We then travel away to Bastian City with Jules Milone, Camden of course, and Emilia Vatros, a warrior of the Vatros Clan who lead Bastian City. We learn that Jules, is destined for great things, and has the War Gift. Here in the city, with the help of Emilia, Jules must harness and train to use her gift properly and to its fullest extent. This is proving difficult, as her war gift was bound by her mother when she was a child. This was done, because in Fennbirn if a child was born with the war gift they were expected to go mad, so they were drowned. She learns how and why she was not killed as a baby, as well as what is expected of her in the future, and let’s throw in another prophecy-“ You were once a Queen and may be again.” This causes a whole lot of trouble and Jules destiny changes its course once more. Jules is crowned the Legion Queen, a Protector, and a Leader. The magickal island itself, is changing, seeming to orchestrate and support a change of rule.
Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Billy are in hiding on the Mainland, finding it very difficult to adjust and fit in with Billy’s mother. Still mourning the loss of a good friend, whom they buried, missing Jules, she tries to convince herself that they can build a life there. She is jolted out of that fantasy by a vision that changes everything. That vision leads to enchanted dreams that tell Arsinoe is seeing through the eyes of a Queen of the past, which lead to more questions, shocking revelations in their history. The girls course is changed once more, called back to the island, the Goddess, and Battle.
Two Dark Reigns is complex, and has a depth that keeps you on your toes. Every time you think that you have closure or and end to something, it changes, twists and goes in a different direction. This part of the Queens’ story is full of loyalty, love, tests and trials. It goes off point very little, and I found that the side stories were relevant as well as fascinating. By the end “see” yourself on the island with them.
Next issue will conclude this series with Five Dark Fates.
About the Author:
Jade Perri is the owner and founder of Embrace Your Path. Jade is an eclectic Witch, who has been practicing for more than 10 years and offers guidance on an array of topics. She specializes in the art of divination. She is an enthusiastic teacher and offers classes and certification in many different areas. She also holds a special interest in animal communication and handmade custom poppets. She is an avid reader and her passion is the fantasy and British historical fiction genres. She is also the mother of two children, and likes to spend time with her husband.