5 / 5 stars
Title: Three Dark Crowns
Series: Untitled #1
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Date: 15th September 2016
Source: eARC provided by NetGalley
A Summary (Thanks, GoodReads):
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.
Sooo.. if you couldn’t tell from the summary, it seems like it could be a super dark, delicious fantasy. Was it everything I wanted, and more???
I absolutely loved this book! I requested it from NetGalley and crossed all my fingers (and toes) and hoped like hell that I’d get to read it early. And I did, so thank you so much HarperTeen!!
I loved Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood duology for its dark, bloody scenes and wonderful friendships, and I loved Three Dark Crowns for similar reasons.
Told from varying perspectives, Three Dark Crowns gives you insight into each and every queen. I initially thought I’d pick one and hate the others, but I ended up loving each of the queens equally. We get to see them interact with friends and “family”, along with seeing some cute romance that doesn’t take over the story totally (thank goodness!).
It was dark and brutal and it was everything I wanted from this book and MORE (!!). I enjoyed the writing in this book, which flowed well throughout. The beginning is a little slow, but the shifting perspectives (whilst confusing at first) help keep the pace moving along. I found the writing to be beautiful and descriptive, while still being action-packed and easy-to-read.
The world-building was alright, although some elements were lost as we skipped between perspectives. In saying that, I felt pretty familiar with the world by the end of the book. I really enjoyed the mix of magic in this book; we see ‘high magic’ that only the queens possess, alongside ‘low magic’ which is your more traditional witchcraft style magic.
There were some incredible plot twists thrown in for good measure, and even though the ending isn’t a complete cliff-hanger: I NEED THE NEXT BOOK, AND I NEED IT NOW!!
I’d recommend this if you enjoyed: