The Three Impossibles is a perfectly intriguing mystery, with a deliciously dark fairytale feeling, that kept me enthralled and delighted from start to finish.
Mim was born on the day her mother died and the royal family of Galena were cursed. The town is separated from the Outside by a high wall built by the King in order to protect it from Mers and Wings, creatures of the ocean and sky. Mim has not lived the typical lifestyle of a princess as her father has lost his wealth, and neither does she behave in a princess-like manner, preferring instead to spend time with her best friend, the smith, Samuel. On her eleventh birthday, she is given a crown made of lead by her father, the King and a gold brooch by Samuel which she must keep hidden.
Mim has been forbidden to travel Outside and has grown increasingly frustrated by having her questions unanswered, and is determined to unravel the secrets surrounding the curse. When she finds her governess leaving to go to the Outside, she doubles her efforts and seeks answers in the library where she discovers a book called ‘The Three Impossibles’, a book of alchemy which she is unable to open and read. Will this be the catalyst needed to lift the curse?
When Mim’s father employs Madame Marionette to tutor Mim in court etiquette and transform her into the perfect princess, Mim finds a cold, cruel and vicious woman with her own secrets and agenda. Madame Marionette is a brilliantly written villain who pervades a sense of threat throughout, bringing with her a menagerie of stuffed animals, a living caged creature who she has captured, and her huge dog, Groucho who she uses to gain her own way. There were definitely times when she caused a shiver to run down my spine.
More determined than ever to find answers, Mim breaks the rules, and leaves the castle, venturing into the Outside where she finds herself on an incredible adventure, brimming with discoveries, dangers and twists. Will she be able to use her determination and ingenuity to solve seemingly impossible problems? Will she find happiness, and a place where she truly belongs before Madame Marionette becomes the puppet master, and the curse becomes unbreakable, bringing her chances of happiness to ruination?
This is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure with some fantastical creatures of sky and ocean. A lot happens in this story which kept me intrigued throughout, especially when Mim travels to the lighthouse and makes some fascinating discoveries, discoveries that may well hold the key to lifting the curse.
Mim is an incredibly likeable young girl: courageous, kind-hearted and ever so curious, determined to uncover the secrets surrounding her family and lift the curse that has been placed on the castle. She has a lot to contend with as she has a father who doesn’t offer her any affection and seems to be more interested in appearances and re-gaining his wealth than in spending time with his daughter. There are definitely some unlikeable characters in this story who I don’t feel were fully redeemed by the end, but I did like that Mim formed some new relationships on her adventure.
This is an absolutely wonderful action-packed adventure with a superb twist-in-the-tail that is sure to delight readers of 9+.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.