And so begins the Legend. This book plate from a medieval royal manuscript (British Library, Royal MS 12 F. xiii, Folio 30v) is drawn to represent King Garamantus with his noble Hounds as depicted in the eighteenth chapter of 'De Proprietatibus', a collection of the works of Pliny and Aristotle and of the medieval physicians and romancers.
In Legend of Three Crowns, King Francis cultivates his 'Hounds', three gentlemen of his bedchamber, who do his every bidding. Amusing, witty, and very busy annoying Francis' court and bedding the lords' wives, they yet have a greater purpose, which the King's daughter, Aramanda, discovers in her quest to be named her father's heir.
Book One of the trilogy focuses on this fairy tale existence King Francis has built for his country and the stability for his dynasty, centred around the mystical birthmark of his daughter's in the shape of three crowns. But like any good medieval fairy tale, the plot soon becomes dark.
To protect a family secret and preserve an illicit operation, Francis orders the murder of his minister, Wyerly, a man who has befriended Princess Aramanda for political gain. The mystical forces of her family's dark past begin to invade Aramanda's seemingly idyllic life, and she sees a graphic premonition of Wyler's murder. Her brother, Edourd, ruthlessly allied with the lords, is determined to best her and replace her in her father's affections, securing the crown for himself. But the hounds, led by the King's favourite, Milton, ally with Aramanda, and their mischief proves effective in staunching the lords' advantage.
Aramanda's belief in loyalty and honour tie the hounds irretrievably to her, and Milton, desperately in love with her, struggles to serve her, even as she is tied irretrievably to the Legend of Three Crowns.