If you’re reading this post, then you best be ready for Five Dark Fates. Well, as ready as anyone can be. The Three Dark Crowns finale is sure to be a heartracing descent into the most ominous of feelings, and we, for one, cannot wait. Who will reign on Fennbirn Island, once and for all? After all these years of betrayal, magic, courtship, mist, and so very much more, our time with these sister queens is coming to an end, and we’re making sure you know everything you need to before this final installment. You can check out summaries for the first two books here:
- Find the recap for book one, Three Dark Crowns, here
- Find the recap for book two, One Dark Throne, here
And obviously, prepare for spoilers from here on out. If you haven’t read the first three books, this Two Dark Reigns recap will severely spoil every shocking twist for you. So go back, check them out, and then scroll down here and let’s go!
What Happened in Two Dark Reigns?
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Arsinoe: After being taken down by Katharine during the ceremonial hunt, Arsinoe was brought by Jules to the Black Cottage to recover. She’s been practicing her poisoning, but still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it—she accidentally killed two suitors and almost took Billy out, too. But when she hears that Mirabella and Katharine are to duel, she reveals herself and helps save Mirabella. They escape and flee to the Mainland with Billy. Arsinoe has no more interest in becoming Queen.
• Jules: Jules has revealed her war-gift to the island. Some want her dead, either claiming that the legion curse will take her sanity or that she’s too strong of a threat to Katharine, and others believe she’s the perfect rebel queen. Though Jules originally has no interest in taking up this mantle, losing Joseph in their escape to the Mainland leaves Jules questioning her own future. She turns back and sails back to the island alone.
• Katharine: Katharine has been named queen—and has the tattooed crown to prove it. But after killing Nicolas, learning that her sisters have escaped, and finding out that Natalia is dead, her grip on the throne is less sure than ever. She has Pietyr by her side, but how much good will that do if she cannot bear the Goddess’s next set of triplets?
• Mirabella: Though she hasn’t forsaken the throne as surely as Arsinoe, Mirabella sets out with her sister to the Mainland. Her love for her sisters has come to trump anything, and if leaving the life she knew behind means that she can help keep Arsinoe alive, so be it. And it’s a good thing, because Mirabella’s strength is the only reason they could fight the mist back and survive.
• Mainlanders: Having fled the island after escaping their imprisonment, Mirabella and Arsinoe join Billy on the Mainland. While Mirabella has an easy enough time adjusting to normal life, Arsinoe isn’t so quick in doing so. Especially since Billy is quite the hot commodity there.
• Visions: It doesn’t help that Arsinoe begins having vivid dreams of a spirit, though she struggles to understand what it’s trying to tell her. There is one clear part to the message though, as the dark specter points back toward Fennbirn Island: It wants her to return home.
• Queen Katharine: Katharine attempts to be a truly fair queen. She even gives Bree, Mirabella’s best friend and an elemental herself, a spot on her council. But her people still aren’t in full support of having her on the throne, and her queendom quickly falls into question. So, she decides to send a search party out after her sisters. They never find the sisters, though, because the mist tears them to shreds. The mist is turning on the island.
• The rising queen: Meanwhile, the war-gifted are trying to convince Jules she is the true queen. The queen’s line has been weakening after all, and as much as Jules wants to deny it, she wouldn’t have such a strong gift for no reason. And so grows the rebellion.
• Unstable allies: This rebellion doesn’t go unnoticed by Queen Katharine. In a bid to stop it in its tracks, she has Madrigal captured. She interrogates her, finding out what she needs to about Jules’s powers and the legion curse, and is convinced to offer Madrigal up as ransom. There must be a trade to get her back: Jules for her mother. The rebellion, upon hearing this, begins to make other plans. Ambush-like plans.
• Low magic’s risk: Pietyr takes advantage of the situation as well. Since his trip into the Brecca Domain, he’s realized that the spirits of the dead queens are inhabiting Katharine. He visits Madrigal in her cell and promises to set her free if she can teach him how to exorcise them from his queen.
• No place like home: Having spent enough time on the Mainland, Arsinoe, guided by her visions, returns home. Mirabella and Billy refuse to let her go alone, and so the trio head back to Fennbirn Island. Also, side note, Billy thinks the reason his dad hasn’t returned home is because he’s disappointed in Billy for not being chosen as king and has extended his work trip. Poor Billy.
• A brief reunion: The visions guide Arsinoe to the rebel camp, where she’s reunited with Jules They aren’t together for long though, as Arsinoe and Billy continue following the specter’s lead and follow it into the mountains. They won’t be tagging along for the impending trade. Mirabella, not completely sold on the rebellion as a whole, will be forced to aid them alone.
• The Blue Queen: Following the guidance of her visions, Arsinoe finally gets some answers. Centuries ago, the Queen gave birth to quadruplets. And when a fourth queen is born, she’s automatically declared the sacred successor: A Blue Queen. Her sisters were killed, but one, an elemental who was sent to drown at see, was actually found and raised on the Mainland, completely unaware of her identity.
• The making of the mist: Years later, the lost queen returned to the island when her best friend was chosen as a suitor. She meets the Blue Queen, her long-lost sister, and realizes who she truly is. Both elementals, the sisters bond, but their refusal to bow to one cruel suitor accidentally brings a war to their shores. In a tragic turn of events, the Blue Queen falls from the cliffs of Fennbirn and becomes the mist. Arsinoe realizes what the specter, this ghost of the past queen, was trying to tell her all along: One elemental queen died to make the mist, and another must die to un-make it.
• Gone wrong: Meanwhile, Katharine and Jules attempt their trade. As Katharine walks Madrigal to her opposition, the dead queens sense the Breccia Domain near and freak out, taking control of Katharine. She slits Madrigal’s throat. Jules’s legion curse, now unbound, reveals itself, and her war gift explodes out of her. She loses control and blasts everyone around. Only Mirabella is able to help take her down.
• Aftermath: Seeing Jules in such a state leaves Mirabella uneasy about the rebellion’s plans to make her queen. Arsinoe has returned and is working to keep her sedated to prevent her from causing harm to everything around her. She chooses not to tell Mirabella about her fate, yet, as she hopes to find another solution to the mist.
• Torn loyalties: Katharine realizes that Mirabella must have been strong enough to fight back the mist, and with her support, she won’t need the power of the dead queens anymore. With Elizabeth and Bree’s blessing, she sends a note of invitation. Mirabella, seeing that it was delivered by Elizabeth’s familiar and includes a tip that Bree trusts Katharine on this, decides to take her future back into her own hands. She sets off for the capital to join Katharine.
• No vacancy: Pietyr believes that it’s now or never—he’s ready to perform the low magic ritual and cleanse Katharine of the dead queens’ spirits. It doesn’t go well. The dead queens rush to the surface of her body and ambush Pietyr, throwing their power into him. Our poor poisoner fave is left with blood running from his eyes, his future uncertain.
Are you still with us?! We hope so, because that brings us to Five Dark Fates, the sure to be ominous bombshell of a series finale. Trust us when we say you’re going to want to dive in immediately.