In The Three Crowns, the final book of The Fairytale Trilogy, Marianne and Robin find themselves embroiled at the center of a sinister struggle for power within the court of Fairyland. Fortunately they have good friends on their side: Hawthorne, a soldier of undying loyalty; Faye, a grateful lady-in-waiting rescued from marriage to Blue Beard; and Adele, archer extraordinaire. But who else can Marianne trust in this topsy-turvy world of majestically deceitful smiles? The five Lords of the Royal Council of Fairies tell the truth only at a gilded slant, and the current Queen Talia has disturbing connections with the shadowy wizard Rathart. Meanwhile, a chance encounter with the decadent young entourage of Prince Finneas brings heartbreaker Wyeth back into Marianne’s life . . . and he’s not the only person to reappear from her past.
The siblings also face adjusting to life at Oread University, where Robin discovers a surprising penchant for mathematics, while Marianne must cope with Princess Nia as her assigned roommate. Yet as she completes the requisite series of tasks to gain the throne, Marianne struggles with the personal costs of eternally wearing a courtly mask. She finds fascinating distraction in the company of the Brothers Grinn, wannabe folklore anthologists paying their way through school by driving carriages and laboring in the library. Could one of them be the One for Marianne? Or will an assassination preempt both a coronation and a wedding for Marianne?
- Hawthorne: A soldier to Fairyland through and through. Born into the rugged life of a soldier’s camp, Hawthorne lives at the outer edge of respectability.
- Gip: A snow gremlin whose bowler hat could hide a household and whose light-fingered ways reveal why one should never cross Hawthorne.
- Lord Alistair: The Secretary of the Royal Council of Fairies who sees himself as tutor to Marianne in the ways of the court.
- Lord Vincent: Having risen from street urchin beginnings to become Councilor of the Arts, Lord Vincent is the youngest and most flair-filled of the Councilors. He feels that his relative youth entitles him to a little more familiarity with Marianne.
- Lord Bramwell: The brawny, beefy Councilor of Defense who ascended the military’s ranks to claim a seat (and much more) from the venerated Royal Council.
- Lord Twitchell: The twitchy Councilor of Finance who keeps the books a little too well.
- Lord Lionel: The most senior member of the Royal Council whose skeletal appearance belies his steely will.
- Faye: Once upon a time Faye and Marianne were childhood chums. But when Faye’s chips are down, will Marianne be able to play her cards right and free Faye from a nuptial nightmare?
- Blue Beard: A monstrous character from traditional folk tales who makes a guest appearance as Faye’s betrothed.
- Queen Talia: As the monarch of all of Fairyland, Queen Talia is everything that is expected of her and more: ethereally beautiful, naturally graceful, and flawlessly schooled. And if she’s had to make some wrenching personal sacrifices to keep the throne, well, doesn’t all power come with a price?
- Rathart: Having gone against his brethren and sworn his allegiance to Fairyland during the Fairy-Wizard wars, Rathart has been able to remain Queen Talia’s Chief Consort.
- Adele: Owner of Adele’s Archery Arts, Adele ultimately matches Marianne with her very own bow and arrow set to help vanquish foes in the Second Task.
- Fargus: Mentioned briefly in the first book, Fargus now re-appears to drive Marianne through her grueling training to ensure that she is fit to assume the title of Defender of the Land.
- Esmund Grinn: Clever and kind, the elder of the Brothers Grinn finds himself captivated by the resourceful Marianne.
- Wilhem Grinn: The younger of the Brothers Grinn whose pure heart shines through his sometimes impenetrable accent.
- Prince Finneas: The polished product of privilege, Prince Finneas could not be more exquisitely polite in the presence of distinguished magistrates. But when the official business winds down, this prodigal son of the human King Algernon oversees a fast-living court of indulgent young men, including Edward and Wyeth.
- Alberic: A young wizard in Prince Finneas’s entourage who doesn’t exactly practice the Dark Arts—just something “more like the Medium Grey Arts.” His benign brand of magic seems to indicate the future direction of wizards.