Title: The Crown of Three
Author: J. D. Rinehart
A thousand years of war have left the people of Toronia longing for peace. And a prophecy promises peace will come when three stars rise, and three children are born of King Brutan. The king is less fond of this prophecy, since it also predicts his death at their hands. So when the triplets are born, they are scattered and hidden. But now the time is coming that the three of them are drawing together at last . . .
This was interesting in the sense that it bucked a lot of what I was expecting. Evil king? Dead after a couple of chapters. So the book is a lot more about introducing the children and the powers they each possess, and leading them to each other and the probable throne. Until it all goes south in a most unexpected way.
I liked Tarlan and his bond with animals, as well as the three giant birds that help him out. He’s naive but not stupid, and much quicker than the other two at figuring out who should be trusted. I wasn’t nearly as fond of the other two siblings. Gulph starts well, but his character arc quickly becomes “listening when other people tell me what to do, even when I know it isn’t right.” Or doing very little. Elodie was even worse—I didn’t buy her character transformation and I question if she’ll actually be someone you’d want in charge of a country. I’m still not sure why Fessen, who has kept the rebel army alive in the face of violent opposition, thinks it’s a good idea for a girl who can’t even swing a sword to command his army, prophecy or no. All she really managed was to get a lot of them killed, but they’re fanatically loyal (mostly). It would make a lot more sense to allow her to direct the general goals and leave the specifics up to the people who actually know what they’re doing.
Overall I thought this had some good ideas, but I wasn’t sold on the execution. It’s a little odd that the siblings are instantly best friends when they didn’t even know they had siblings. I liked Samail better than Elodie (well, hopefully he’ll continue to accompany her). Still, I’ll probably read the sequel whenever it comes out, if only to see more of Tarlan and his birds. I rate this book Recommended.