Before the Crowns Got Dark – The Young Queens Novella Review

I absolutely loved Three Dark Crowns and am super in to the world, so when The Young Queens showed up I couldn’t resist its novella charm! The good thing about novella’s these days is that they’ve gone from being simple fillers or side-stories in a series that aren’t strictly essential reading, to full blown, conceptualised short stories that are pretty vital to a deeper understanding of the story and series as a whole. The Young Queen is absolutely essential reading to the Three Dark Crowns series.

the young queens stackTrue, there aren’t exactly any big reveals that happen in the pages of The Young Queens but this prequel fills in some pretty important information gaps with some pretty impressive detail. It offers us more enlightenment into the emotions and temperaments of the queens and their personalities. But on top of this, we get to find out how Arsinoe and Katherine came to be switched. It’s for sure a sad part of the story, especially as it’s told from Queen Camille’s perspective, but it serves its purpose to show just how desperate people were to remove the poisoners from their positions of power.

As the story develops, we learn about the young queens; their personalities, their upbringings and their emotions which really does make the story a lot more in-depth and complex overall. Given the level of detail, it likely wouldn’t have been easy to integrate all of these details and intricacies into the main books of the story – not without it seeming unbalanced and jarring.

the young queens coversThe novella had a lot of background stories that we as readers would have loved to learn more about – such as Mirabella’s near destruction of her surroundings when she raged-out, as well as how Jules, Arsinoe and Joseph got punished for trying to leave the island.

But The Young Queens is very much a character driven novella. Each queen, as well as other characters from the main series, has a little role to play throughout the story. It’s a really good device to be able to get to know each character a little better.

One of the nice surprises is that we get to see more of Queen Camille, the triplets’ mother. Camille seems like a really intelligent person and a great queen for Fennbirn from what little we got to see of her. But it was still nice to catch a glimpse of her emotions and thoughts, as well as Willa’s.

All in all, The Young Queens is a great addition to the series. Kendare Blake’s writing is still just as good as it always is and it was a great way to stay in the world of Fennbirn.

Whilst The Young Queens wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, it did help to clear up some details that raised questions from the core series. It’s absolutely worth taking the short time to read if you’re a fan of the series.


Do you like the sound of this novella? It actually comes in a collection of The Young Queens and The Oracle Queen and you can buy it here!

[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.

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