Author: Kendare Blake
Narrator: Amy Landon
Audiobook Length: 5 hours 37 minutes
Uncover the sisters’ origins, dive deep into the catastrophic reign of the Oracle Queen, and reveal layers of Fennbirn’s past, hidden until now.
The Young Queens
Get a glimpse of triplet queens Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine during a short period of time when they protected and loved one another. From birth until their claiming ceremonies, this is the story of the three sisters’ lives…before they were at stake.
The Oracle Queen
Everyone knows the legend of Elsabet, the Oracle Queen. The one who went mad. The one who orchestrated a senseless, horrific slaying of three entire houses. But what really happened? Discover the true story behind the queen who could foresee the future…just not her own downfall.
There are some who recommend both novellas to be read after reading Three Dark Crowns (#1) and there are others who say it is okay to read these first. I took the latter option and listened to the audiobooks for these two prequels before beginning book one of the series. Both provided excellent backstories to events and characters that I am sure will be references later in the series.
This is the prequel novella that covers the lives of the three triplet queens, Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katherine. It opens with their mother, Queen Camille, giving birth to the three children. The story covers a brief overview of the girls’ time together after being left at the black cottage. It then goes into a brief glimpse into the three lives with their new foster families. There are a few revelations and details revealed that are set-up to be important to the later parts of the series. However, nothing seemed very groundbreaking. If you chose not to read it, you would be okay with just sticking to the main series.
This novella takes the reader 500 year prior to the start of book one where we get a backstory of Queen Elsabet, the last Oracle Queen, towards the end of her life. It goes into her downfall into madness and visions. Due to a vision of the future, three families are murdered, yet this novella still cultivates sympathy for the character. There is a lot of political inner workings, secrets, and betrayals in this story, so it was surprising how much was packed into its shorter length. She made many mistakes, caused many hardships, and experienced her own hardships, so it will be very interesting to see how this backstory will affect the future presented in the main series.