I read these individually, but there is a bind up that includes both of them called Queens of Fennbirn. I combined my review because they are fairly short and I don't want to spoil to much if you haven't read the first two full books or the novellas.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was really excited to read this as the Oracle Queen is mentioned several times in books 1 & 2. This is the true story of what happened to the Oracle Queen Elsabet. This was OK, but it wasn't everything I was expecting. We get the story, and it is full of the typical plotting and political aspirations of the various members of the Black Council. The Queen is the Queen, but everyone around her aspires to be in
charge and tell her what to do with her power.
I wanted more from this than I got. It has the potential to add so much to the series, but I'm left wanting. We do learn some new things, but I'm not sure if they will impact the story going forward or add anything to the series. Elsabet doesn't ever use her gift, she gets a dream but thats it. Thre is a ton of backstabbing and plotting which after reading the rest of the books in the series you should expect, but usually that is accompanied by fantasy elements and action. There isn't much action in this, just politics until the end when there is a flurry of action and then its all over.
This is a decent novella, I just wanted more from it. I'm glad I read it and learned what I did about the Oracle Queen, but I just feel like the execution could have been better.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a nice little companion novella to Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne. If you've read those this gives a glimpse into the Queens as young girls living at the Black Cottage. If you haven't read the other books this contains some spoilers, if you have it doesn't spoil anything you don't already know.
We get to know each of the girls a little as they are first split up from each other and taken to each of their foster families when they are 6. We learn a bit about each of the families and how the girls were treated as children. We know how they act and are treated as grown women about to fight for the crown, but they weren't always "part of the family".
This particular novella didn't really expand the world or any of the information from the first two novels. We do get some more information on the characters and some of the events that happen to the queens as children that mold them into the women they become when we meet them in Three Dark Crowns. It is a nice companion, as a fan of the series I really enjoyed it. It isn't required information to understand what is going on in the series, but it was a nice treat.
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