Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake

three dark crowns goodreads coverEvery 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.

This book was not what I expected in the slightest. But man was it good. And that ending? Phew, took me by surprise. However I will say that for the first 2/3 nothing really happened, but that last 1/3? So much shit went down. Like man. So much.

First off. Who calls their child Arsinoe? It just kept me thinking of  the word Arse and to be honest she was kind of an arse. She was kind of up herself in the way she thought. At least that was how it felt. Almost as if she had accepted being the one to die and therefore thought everyone should treat her better for it. Even though her whole thing was that she didn’t want to be queen. Also that thing where they called the queens Queen [insert name here] was kind of weird. I get that they are prepping them for being the actual queen but they couldn’t do anything or make any important decisions that meant that they were being prepared in other ways so it just didn’t make sense.

Also, who calls their child Katherine when they already had a child called Mirabella and Arsinoe. It just doesn’t fit. It’s not as formal/fancy as the other two so it doesn’t sound right.

I know that this is a lot of negativity but heck. I’m feeling quite negative at the moment so that’s what you’re getting because I haven’t been really excited about a book since A Court of Mist and Fury. I just loved it so much. It brought me so much joy. But that’s not what we are here to discuss. We are here to discuss how this book came out of nowhere.

This book came out of nowhere in that it was kinda dull and nothing really happened until something did and shit went down. At least it will in the next book. Although, I’m just gonna say that this could have 100% been a stand-a-lone. There was almost no plot until we hit the week before Beltane. At least that’s what it felt like. Nothing was really happening that the reader needed to see and there was no obvious sense of time passing. Although whenever Blake threw in a week count until Beltane and then another a couple of pages later  there was another that was dramatically lower I became confused.  As not much went on it felt like everything had happened in one week, not over the course of like 3 months. IDK. It was just weird and hard to wrap my head around.

If you read Sundays post then you will see that one of the questions I answered was about which published author had a similar style to your own. And I think I actually have an answer to that. The style that this book was written in is similar to the unedited style of my current manuscript so I think that, depending upon how it turns out edited, I have found the author with a similar style to mine! Can you tell that I am jumping with joy? I’d say for joy, but Joy can jump for herself. Screw you Joy. Joy with a capital J looks weird. I don’t think I can ever look at it the same way again. Dammit.

The plot was good, the characters worked well. I really liked Natalia. She wasn’t wishy washy about what she wanted. All of the people in charge of the queens weren’t and I like how it was a matriarchy. Like, yes son. That really did it for me. I always appreciate a good feminist book, and there was no misandry which made it all the more feminist. Thanks Kendare!

This was a really good book, with excellent world building and a really good magic system that was well established and hecking good. I would highly reccomend if you don’t mind not much happening for the first few hundred pages. 5/5 stars, one of my favourites this year. Really good. Do read if you like either Blake’s work or anything that I said above.



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