Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns [Three Dark Crowns #1] by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Author Info: Website|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
Rating: 4 stars

Tell Me About It
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
My Thoughts
When I first heard about Three Dark Crowns I had to find out more about these mysterious sisters and thier abilities. But when I began reading I did initially struggle to get into the book. It's didn't immediately grab me, so the first few chapters with each sister didn't really do much for me, but as it progressed and the stakes were risen I HAD to know how this would all end.

Imagine being born a triplet, and having an ability, but also knowing that you will be separated from your sisters and sent to live with caretakers who train you, and at some point in the future you will have to kill two of your sisters in order for you to live, and claim the crown. For the sisters Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe, this is what they are preparing to do.

Katharine is the Poisoner Queen, able to ingest and survive a variety of poisons. Mirabella can control the elements, rain, wind, sun. Arsinoe is a naturalist, able to make roses bloom and call animals to her. But with this story comes a problem. Only the strongest girl will survive, and out of this trio only Mirabella is able to use her abilities to thier full potential. Katharine is poisoned, her food is tainted and her skin is pricked every day in order for her to build up a tolerance to it, but all of this has made her weaker and frail. Arsinoe is unable to make a single flower bloom, never mind calling an animal to her side. The pressure is mounting for these girls, they have to find a way to defeat the strongest, but also prove themselves to be the strongest.

Three Dark Crowns is a book full of secrecy, plots, and some amazing world building. Once I got past the first few chapters I was hooked. I loved getting to see the girls in thier home environments with thier friends, seeing how they train, how they treat others, and really getting to see thier individual personalities. These girls may be triplets, but they are nothing alike. Each time I got another chapter from a sister I decided I liked them better for thier personality, or for thier actions, or felt sorry for them and needed them to win, but when it really came down to it I could not just pick one sister. I like them all for different reasons and I really don't know how this will all end.

Towards the end of the book something happens that tips the scales in the favour of two of the sisters, and I honestly could not believe it had happened, I kinda had a suspicion all wasn't what it seemed by never in a million years did I see this coming. The after effect of this action did surprise me a little, but it wasn't a complete surprise, especially as I connected a few dots myself and came to the same conclusion.

After I finished Three Dark Crowns I actually realised why something happened. The event that I mentioned above occurs and we get to see the end of it, and I was shocked, I did not see that coming, but four hours later I realised how this was possible, and as I type this up I wonder if the person involved had a suspicion about it all, or if it was intended to be the end.

Final Verdict
I know my review is extremely vague, and mentions events that you have no idea about unless you read the book, but I want you to go into this book blind like I did, and connect the dots yourself.
After the way this book ended I definitely need to see what happens next and I hope the next book isn't too long away.

Three Dark Crowns has three different covers for the UK edition, each cover represents each sister. To take a look at these amazing covers and pick you favourite, visit Waterstones to see Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella's covers.
But don't leave it too late as these are subject to availability.


  1. I reviewed this one too today and I absolutely had to be vague. Everything could be a spoiler. Mostly I agree with you although I had a difficult time with the ending as well. It was well done, but I should have cared more about the characters by that point.

  2. I agree with everything in your review. Its captivating really but its a little slow.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex


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