Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Harper Teen (US); Macmillan Children’s Books (UK)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Goodreads Review

Rating: ★★★★.5

Synopsis: In 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.

4.5 Stars! I really enjoyed this book and am so glad I got the opportunity to read it.

The premise of this book was the first thing that drew me in: three triplet queens are born every generation, each has a specific gift of magic; yet only one queen can rule and she must claim her crown by blood. From the very start, the author throws you straight into the thick of things. Every aspect, from the island’s traditions to the magic, was introduced in a way that allows the reader to easily learn through the story, rather than taking time for lengthy explanations. Also, the plotting was slow burning – in the best way possible. Throughout the story every characters mentions the approaching Quickening (where the sisters will fight it out for the crown) and therefore, as a reader, you know that things will explode in the end (and they definitely do) but there are so many different side-stories outside of this big event that makes the “slow burning” amazing. Some romance is included in this story, but it doesn’t take over in this story. As a world, I find it completely fascinating in terms of how Fennbirn came to be this way and its traditions. The world-building is fantastic, and the author has a great ability of describing the surroundings and settings. Furthermore, although the sisters are the 3 protagonists, there are lots of stories involving side characters and you quickly become very familiar with the inner circle of each queen. Some of these are more likeable that others, but all are interesting and contribute to the main story.
However, I do have some mixed feeling on some dialogues in this novel. In a handle of situations, the interactions seemed rushed – this usually happened when characters between different regions communicated (e.g. a naturalist with a elemental).

All in all, Three Dark Crowns is one of my favourite novels I’ve read this year. I find myself comparing recent reads to it and I am highly anticipating the sequel. I would totally recommend it and hope you all enjoy it!

Disclosure: Thank you to @panmacmillan who kindly sent me a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own and not at all influenced by the publisher.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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