Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns

5.0 1
by Kendare Blake
     
 

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Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 

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.

Overview

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 

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. 

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Blake is a sure hand with complicated and intricate plots, and if that’s not enough to make readers stick around for the next installment, the cliffhanger ending certainly will.”
Marissa Meyer
“THREE DARK CROWNS is a brutal and inventive fantasy that is as addictive as it is horrifying. I can’t begin to guess the fates of these three remarkable sister-queens, but I’m salivating like poisoners at a feast to find out what will happen next.”
Megan Shepherd
“Full of mystery, intrigue, and deadly girls I wouldn’t dare cross, Fennbirn is a darkly magical world I’m both drawn to and frightened by. In short, this is a book I could linger in for months, with three girls I am rooting for with all my heart.”
April Genevieve Tucholke
“I loved this book. Blake’s THREE DARK CROWNS is hypnotic, twisting, and beautiful...as satisfying as a drop of poison in an enemy’s cup.”
Booklist (starred review)
“With exquisite world building and luminous detail, this is high fantasy at its best. The magic is fierce and the plot intensely twisted, but at this novel’s dark heart beats a story about sisterhood, the unbreakable bonds of family, and ties that bind enough to kill.”
School Library Journal
07/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—A poisoner—a teen who comes from a line of people who are supposed to ingest poison without being harmed—whose body betrays the gift that should have been innate suffers the ravage of toxins to defend her house's reign over Fennbirn Island. A naturalist who dims in the brilliance of her childhood friend turns to low magic to mold the earth and its creatures. An elemental whose beauty is made more terrible by her savage fires and storms is trapped within the palms of the Temple priestesses, ruthless in their scheme to overthrow the Black Council. Three sisters celebrate their 16th birthdays at the Beltane festival, but two are to be murdered during the Quickening, and one is to be crowned the red-handed Queen. This is a story entrenched in deceit, twisted by selfish desires for redemption and revenge in a crooked game set in generations of insidious matriarchal rule. Readers will be riveted by Blake's ingenious world-building, stunning developments of main and supporting characters, and spiraling tensions. VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of fantasy action thrillers with strong female leads, such as Victoria Aveyard's "Red Queen" and Sarah J. Maas's "Throne of Glass" series.—Zeying Wang, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-06-28
The opener to a pitch-black epic fantasy series horrifically upends the bonds of sisterhood.Every generation, magically gifted triplet girls are born to rule Fennbirn, and it is the duty of each young queen to try to murder the others once they come of age. But this time only the elemental Mirabella has yet displayed any power, as the naturalist Arsinoe and poisoner Katherine are deemed weak and giftless. Although kindhearted Mirabella shows some reluctance to kill, both headstrong Arsinoe and abused Katherine are more than ready to employ any tactic to live...and win. Blake has constructed an insular, all-white, matriarchal society from convincing intimate details. As the personal lives, loves, and betrayals of the three queens are manipulated by their supporting factions, the intricate machinations of the plot never overwhelm the vivid, complicated characters of the queens and those closest to them; while it’s impossible not to sympathize with each, it is equally difficult to root for any of them. The omniscient third-person present-tense narration, switching every chapter among various players preparing for, scheming about, and even fleeing the upcoming ritual competition, employs sumptuous, poetic prose (if little of Blake’s trademark wit) with an odd detachment, creating a fablelike distance from even the grisly, shocking climax. Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062385437
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/20/2016
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
739
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kendare Blake holds an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a Cybils Awards finalist; Girl of Nightmares; Antigoddess; Mortal Gods; and Ungodly. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages, have been featured on multiple best-of-year lists, and have received many regional and librarian awards. Kendare lives and writes in Kent, Washington. Visit her online at www.kendareblake.com.

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Three Dark Crowns 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Alyssa75 2 days ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake Book One of the Three Dark Crowns series Publisher: HarperTeen Publication Date: September 20, 2016 Rating: 2 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 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. What I Liked: HERE THERE BE SPOILERS (in the next section). You are warned. I was an actual fool to think I would like this book, after reading a spoiler-filled review that talked about a love triangle - in detail. I actually love spoilers and welcome them (in private, of course), so I was grateful to have read that review. But I somehow convinced myself to read this book anyway. In any case, I read that review the day before I decided to pick up this one and read it. I really should have stay away. Things I liked about this book - for one, the premise. Triplets raised apart and trained in their respect area of talent to kill each other? Cool. Katherine is a poisoner (a terrible one), Arsinoe is a naturalist (a terrible one), and Mirabella is a beautiful elemental (a really good one). Basically everyone thinks that Mirabella will kill her sisters and win the crown, and with good reason - she is the strongest. But the powerful groups training each girl have as big a role as the girls do, in the process. I liked Katherine. She seems frail and too sweet at first, but as the book goes on, she gains a lot of confidence. She's still sweet (surprisingly, for a poisoner), but she's more assertive too. I also liked Arsinoe. Her naturalist powers are basically nonexistent, and she pretty much knows that she won't be queen. Yet that doesn't stop her from living life and training. Mirabella... I pretty much disliked her from the start, but the real reason for my hatred of her will come later. The character I adored the most is not one of the triplets - Julies is Arsinoe's best friend, and the most powerful naturalist (unfortunately for Arsinoe). Arsinoe is never jealous of Jules, which is nice. Jules is kind and selfless, but she has a spine of steel and she is very fiery. I liked Jules a lot, and my heart broke for her throughout the book. She is on the receiving end of The Disgusting Love Triangle to End All Love Triangles, and she deserved so much better. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Seoling 5 days ago
So Three Dark Crowns was a book on one of my most anticipated lists for the fall season. I have not had a chance to read a Kendare Blake book, but I know that she has gotten a lot of praise for her Anna Dressed in Blood series and I’ve been told that she is a great writer. I am so very disappointed to report that this story did not live up to my expectations and I had to declare this book a DNF 10% into the story when she began introducing characters with a tell, and not a show. It’s the typical kind of issue that turns me off to stories (no matter how wonderful they may get later on). If an author, regardless of it being exposition or not, introduce a character without the tell tale “_______ is this person/thing/place/etc” or “_____ is this/that”, then I can’t particularly move on. Not only was this an issue but there were far too many characters introduce in a limited amount of space. I know that from reading other reviews, that people were able to get a really great story from it, but by the time I DNFed, I couldn’t remember who was who (at least the minor characters). I felt as though each sister could have had their own book - introducing all three of them made it hard to keep track of where I was and who I was reading about. Do not get me wrong, I love the premise of this story. It reminds me of Marie Lu’s The Young Elites and the idea of a dark and twisty story that leaves me no desire to have a “good guy”. And when I began the story at the start, I thought that this was going to be a great one. I loved the idea of the three sisters and these three abilities that define who they are in the line of succession to be queens. I thought Katherine’s life was incredibly bleak and she had gone through a lot of turmoil, but execution issues ruined the conception. I hope that I can return to this story because, like I said, I love the idea. It’s got so much potential, but for now, I have to put it aside.
MissPrint 8 days ago
On the island of Fennbirn, a reigning queen gives birth to triplets each generation. Once the triplets are born, the queen's rule is over and she is exiled with her consort to his homeland. The triplets--all equal heirs to the crown--are separated and raised according to their magic until the year they turn sixteen when the real battle for the throne begins. By the end of the year the crown will go to the last queen left alive. Katharine has been raised by the poisoners, arguably the most powerful group on the island and the ruling class for generations. But Katharine is weak. Even the simplest poisons wreak havoc on her body-- a fact that she and her guardian are determined to keep hidden at any cost. Mirabella is a powerful elemental with the ability to summon storms and conjure fire. Her power is unprecedented drawing even the supposedly neutral temple priestess to champion her bid for the crown. Arsinoe has found familial love and friendship in her home among the naturalists. But she has not found her magic. She cannot control animals of any size or make the smallest plants bloom--something any naturalist should be able to accomplish from a young age. As Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe contemplate their fate they all have their eye on the crown. Katharine knows the crown is her only chance at revenge. Mirabella feels the crown is her right as the strongest heir but she isn't sure if she wants it. Arsinoe knows she is unlikely to survive the year but she is determined to try to survive for as long as she can. Three sisters, three dark magics, one crown in Three Dark Crowns (2016) by Kendare Blake. Three Dark Crowns is the start of a trilogy. The book follows Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe in close third person narration. Snippets of the story also follow those closest to the sisters as all three move inexorably toward the battle for the crown. Blake expertly brings the island of Fennbirn and its strange customs and fierce traditions to life. Evocative prose and vivid landscapes make the island a secondary character in the novel as different parts of Fennbirn are revealed in each chapter. Magic on this island has a cost, as does the right to rule, and throughout the novel all three sisters pay dearly. Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe are distinct characters with ambitions that have demanded they harden their hearts and make great sacrifices. Three Dark Crowns is dark fantasy at its finest and most tense. Page-turning action contrasts with moments that will leave readers breathless. Intricate plotting, surprising moments of intersection between the characters, and shocking twists make this a must-read. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix, A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
tpolen 8 days ago
I'm such a fan of this author - Anna Dressed in Blood? Perfection. Also anxious for the movie. When I saw this book on Edelweiss, I had to have it. I've seen numerous YA books revolving around young queens - why they don't want to rule, why they do, they just discovered they're next in line for the crown and didn't know they were of royal descent, etc. Sometimes there's an attractive/evil king involved that adds some conflict to the story or they're forced into the job to keep the peace between countries. But Three Dark Crowns is unlike anything else I've seen out there. It's a dark, fantastic world where each triplet is raised and groomed to be queen - after she kills her other sisters. Each sister has her own distinct personality, strengths and weaknesses, and the environments and circumstances in which they're raised are just as dissimilar, but they go about their daily lives, all the while knowing what's expected of them when they turn 16. Secrets, betrayals, heartache, power struggles, love interests - they're all here, along with surprises and twists, but be warned this book primarily sets up the world-building and introduces us to the sisters and their struggles, leaving the reader with a hint at the battles to come in this mesmerizing series. The good new is that this book immediately hooked me - the bad news is I have a while to wait for the sequel. Highly recommend to Blake devotees, as well as fantasy fans looking for something original. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.