Toronia has been ripped apart by the Thousand Years’ War for longer than memory lasts, a war fought not with an outer enemy, but within itself. King Brutan, the most recent ruler, seized the crown unjustly from his brother. He is an unmistakable tyrant, and the fighting continues.
But one night, three new stars appear in the sky. Their coming was prophesized by Toronia’s first wizard, many years ago, said to herald justice for the kingdom with the coming of three new heirs who will kill the king and seize the throne. And so the three heirs come, triplets born to King Brutan who he intends to kill. They are only saved by the intervention of an ancient wizard, who takes them away and sends them to different corners of Toronia, hoping to save them by separation until the prophecy is fulfilled.
The triplets grow up in secret, hidden apart. Agulphus, called Gulph, becomes an acrobat in a traveling troupe of entertainers. Elodie is raised by a wealthy lord, knowing she will become queen, but not of her brothers or the prophecy. And Tarlan grows up in ice and snow, raised by a witch and surrounded by powerful, enormous birds. The three soon find their paths colliding, and the prophecy being fulfilled. But they are pitted against a merciless king and dark magic—a power which only grows as they fight against it.
Crown of Three was a very cool book which I enjoyed quite a bit. Gulph, Elodie and Tarlan are three very different protagonists who are all likable, but in whom I think most readers will find a favorite who they’ll find themselves rooting for especially—I certainly did! Despite carrying on three storylines for most of the book—following the three main characters—J. D. Rinehart managed to switch between them in a fluid way which kept me engaged in all of them. This book pulled me in and kept me reading to the end; I recommend it to readers ages eleven and up who enjoy high fantasy and multiple protagonists.