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Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns

4.0 21
by Kendare Blake

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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.


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

Publishers Weekly
Triplet sisters raised to compete for the crown of Fennbirn have their own talents: Mirabella is a formidable elemental who can conjure and control storms, Katharine is being trained to withstand poison, and dark horse Arsinoe is a naturalist working to summon her animal familiar. In this series opener from Blake (the Goddess War trilogy), the sisters are in the final days of preparing for a bitter year that will end with two of them dead while the other reigns. In this bloody world, those who buck tradition are punished fiercely—a friend's loyalty is rewarded when the priestesses sever her hand, another is banished for aiding in an escape attempt—and human sacrifice is a proven way to sate the higher power and instill fear. This dark fairytale makes a slow processional toward the Beltane Festival, then rushes through the celebration to set up the next book. But along the way Blake establishes myriad side plots and relationships, builds complex characters, and leaves plenty of compelling avenues to explore in future books. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Foundry Literary + Media. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
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)
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.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
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; Ungodly; and the New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns. 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 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
ShannonAThompson 3 months ago
A wonderfully twisted and brutal fantasy. Recommended to YA fantasy readers looking for a female-centric cast, magic, and betrayal. Must enjoy romance and be okay with violence.
ManiB 3 months ago
Three dark queens are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends Three dark sisters all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be Queen Look at that. Look at it. Read it. Let it take your imagination away. That is what is printed on the back cover of this book. And just look at that front cover. Doesn’t it draw your eye? Pull you in? Don’t you feel the yearning to read it? The art and the poem tempt you to pick this book up, give it a try. They make you feel like they will not let you down. Oh, my friends, but they do. They do. I have never been left infuriated by a book. I’ve been disappointed. I’ve been disgusted. I’ve been left feeling dirty. I’ve been left with my soul empty, carried away by musty pages. But never, in all my life, have I been infuriated. I promise you honest reviews and, oh, you shall have one. We have three sisters, triplets, who were separated at a young age to be raised by different factions all on the same large island. This island is a kingdom unto itself and nearly entirely cut off from the outside world. Each sister has a gift. Arsinoe was brought up in a village where most people have an animal companion, a familiar. The people of that village are fiercely independent and are people of the land. They can encourage plants and crops to grow, coax fish from the sea, and are skilled at the hunt. Katharine was taken in by the current ruling faction, the poisoners. They are skilled at mixing poisons and being immune to them. The poisoners see any food that does not contain poison detestable and insulting. They are used to being in charge and will do anything to continue that way. Mirabella was raised by the elementals. They have control of, you may have guessed, the elements. Fire, water, wind, and earth. Mirabella can call down a storm, walk through fire, cause an earthquake, and most anything else involving the elements. She is considered the strongest of the sisters and her faction also controls the heart of religion on the island by means of the priestesses. These three sisters were separated to be raised by the factions only to be brought back together during their sixteenth year to, in a nut shell, fight to the death. Two of the sisters must die by the other’s hand. The one left alive will rule. They have their entire sixteenth year to accomplish this. Doesn’t that sound like a great premise of a book? The poisoners have had control for the last three queens and of course they want Katharine to conquer over her sisters so they may continue their rule. The problem is that Katharine is not a very good poisoner. She can mix and brew with the best of them but actually ingesting the poisons still makes her violently ill. She is weak. Arsinoe is a strong willed, brave young woman but she has no familiar and has not learned control over animals and growing. She is also perceived as weak. By contrast, Mirabella is a goddess. She can walk through flames without feeling the heat. She can bring on a storm that can sink ships in the harbors. She can shake the ground and bring buildings crumbling down. Most assume that she will be a shoo in for murdering her sisters and inheriting the crown. And that right there folks is pretty much all you get the entire book. There is all ..... (full review can be read at http://literaryweaponry.com)
Anonymous 4 months ago
I think this was the most interesting book I've read in a while. I have no idea what will happen next, and I like that.
EmJay 4 months ago
WOW. I absolutely loved this book. Could not put it down. If you're a lover of fantasy, I highly recommend it. It was definitely darker, more violent, and slightly more gruesome than I had guessed, but I totally fell in love with the characters (as vicious as some of them were). It sort of reminded me of a combo of "The Hunger Games" and "The Divergent" trilogies, but again...quite a bit darker. You get the interesting faction-style society from Divergent, where you're loyal to your own kind and stay away from others. And, I mean, the whole society is rooted in the idea of one queen who is crowned after killing her sisters, so, you understand the Hunger Games vibe I'm feeling, right? The story is told from multiple different perspectives, too, so while you might be really loyal to the Dauntless in the Divergent series because of Tris, I found myself rooting for each of the different "gifts" (as they're called in the book) more or less equally. The three queens are truly lovely characters and I got so attached to them--couldn't imagine wanting one to be that "victorious queen" because it would mean the death of the other true. Wow, such a great internal conflict. While I predicted the big "twist" at the end pretty early on, there were smaller ones that I totally didn't see coming. Thinking back, there was definitely some foreshadowing, but pretty subtle, but it would definitely be one of those books that's fun to revisit now that you know the end! I hope there's more to come of Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine! I'm dying to see how the story ends.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
Highly recommend. It's a great fantasy book full of twists, action, romance, and well developed characters. Can't wait for the second book to come out. The book was well written and had great details, i didn't want it to end. I loved the third person and varying perspectives. So many names at first that can be confusing for the first few chapters but it's worth reading on and it all makes sense in the end. Going to post an in depth review on YouTube and others have them as well if you need more info!
Ashen_Burn 6 months ago
I feel bad because I don't want to seem like I'm bashing the author but this book was genuinely awful, but not awful enough to where you threw the book away.. You kept reading because you kept hoping that it was going to get good and you wanted to know how the story developed but every page was just a let down. And that's almost worse than a book that's too bad to read at all.
Anonymous 6 months ago
The book was pretty good most of the way through, I think that the ending MADE this book though! I think the next book will be better. Can't wait!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Well written, I'm rooting for all 3 queens to live! I have no idea if that can happen, but my hope is that Mira pulls them all together! Also, no spoilers, the twist at the vveeerrryyy end was completely unexpected to me! I can't wait to see what happens next!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
Couldn't put the book down! One of the best reads that I've read in a while!
terferj 9 months ago
Hear of ‘fake it until you make it?’ Well, that's what two out of these three sisters did. Katharine I felt so bad for her. The people she was with were ruthless. At times it didn’t seem like there was enough of her in the book which I was okay with because she was my least favorite. But Man, oh, man, when that one part happened (it was closer towards the end)...dang that sucked ...there will be heck to pay. I think she’ll be kicking butt and taking names. Arsinoe I loved. I loved her take charge attitude and she seemed like a cool down to earth girl. Honestly, I think I would prefer Arsinoe’s supposed gift. I totally can rock a familiar. Mirabella grew on me. I thought her gifts were cool. It would be something neat to have. I didn’t think her secret boyfriend was cool though. I liked that her way of thinking was different from her sisters. I thought this was a good book. It took me a little to get into though. I liked the idea of it. I liked the way it ended. I kinda called it. I rambled to myself what if this happened and I thought it was cool that my prediction came true. The only thing that bother me was how many POV’s there were. I liked (for awhile) that every third chapter went for one of the sisters but I hated the guessing game of whose perspective it would be. It was like playing a game of ‘guess who?’ Overall I liked it and can’t wait until the next book comes out.
Anonymous 10 months ago
This book sucks you in and keeps you turning pages. Before you know it you've finished it.
Anonymous 10 months ago
This book kept me enthralled from page one. The great characters make you love them and you don't want anyone of the Queens to die. It was truly a great read. Can't wait to read the next one by this author.
Aditi-ATWAMB 10 months ago
“Three Black Witches are born in a Glen Sweet Little Triplets Will Never Be Friends Three Black Witches, All fair to be seen, Two to devour, And one to be queen.” If that doesn’t send CHILLS down your spine, well, READ IT AGAIN. Ever since I heard about Three Dark Crowns, I just knew it would be the PERFECT book for me and I WAS DYING TO GET MY BOOK DRAGON HANDS (Claws? Talons?) on it! When the lovely folks at Pan Macmillan India decided to grant my request to read this BEAUTIFUL book, I was SO thrilled and it resulted it me doing a (REALLY AWKWARD) penguin-esque Dance. Another hungry BookDragon, Chitra, also happened to get this awesome book on the same day and we decided to buddy read it together. Three Dark Crowns is about three sisters – each with a different magical gift. One is a poisoner, one an elementalist and the third a naturalist. To win the throne they were born for, they need to kill their other sisters. Going into the book, I honestly expected (wanted/ needed) it to revolve around three sisters willing to do anything to win the throne. I was also REALLY hoping they would be badass, and not strung up on some random boy (because the only thing better than #GirlPower is #QueenPower) and well, Three Dark Crowns delivered, but not in the ways I expected. Things I LOVED about this book: 1. THE MAGIC: I have ALWAYS thought that Magic is the COOLEST, and Three Dark Crowns merged three different kinds! Arsinoe is supposed to be a naturalist, who can bloom flowers and have animals as familiars. Mirabelle has control over all the elements – fire, wind, air and water (ALSO, LIGHTNING), and Katharine can’t die even with the strongest of poisons in her system. 2. THE FAMILIES WITH THE MAGIC: This was one of the things I didn’t expect about Three Dark Crowns, but each queen had a family, and a following, of people with magic JUST LIKE THEIRS living in different parts of the Island. They were ruthless or caring or dominating respectively, but it was VERY cool to see such awesome secondary characters with smaller story arcs of their own. 3. JULES: Arsinoe’s best friend and the most powerful elementalist in over 60 years, Jules is BADASS, a loyal friend and lover and POWERFUL and I LOVED HER SO MUCH. I was hoping for a plot twist that made her one of the Queens (no luck there) but she is by far my favourite character! 4. THE PLOT: While the marketing of the book promises something slightly different, the plot of Three Dark Crowns is BEAUTIFUL. Not only is it three sisters battling it out to be the one true queen (there’s no battling in this book per se, but it will come in the next) but it’s also about island politics, families, power, friendship and suitors (or potential king consorts) and while it was about the queens, they weren’t the only three in the spotlight. I LOVED all the secondary characters, and I’m dying for more. THINGS THAT MADE ME CRINGE: 1. BADASS QUEENS OR SILLY PUPPETS? I went in expecting some seriously badass (think Katniss Everdeen or Aelin Galynthius) queens, but for most of the book, they were just puppets on strings, allowing their families or elders to push them around, telling them what to do. It wasn’t until thhe very ending that they became the queens they were MEANT TO BE, and while that excited me, it wasn’t enough. I will MOST DEFINITELY be reading the second book in the duology, One Dark Throne.
Alschager 12 months ago
Before today I have only read three YA fantasy novels. Majority of the time I avoid that genre but this novel had me hook line and sinker! Three Dark Crowns is the first in a fantasy series by the author of the acclaimed horror novel Anna Dressed in Blood. On the island of Fennbirn, 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 —and maybe fire, if she’s an elemental. This generation includes Mirabella, an elemental; Arsinoe, a naturalist with skills with animals; and Katharine, a poisoner. Mirabella happens to be the strongest of the three. As a result, she stands as the clear favorite once the girls get the green light at Beltane to start killing each other. It also happens to be somewhat strange in terms of what YA cliches it takes on and its pacing, but still somehow not bad. I remember the other book I’ve read of Kendare Blake’s, Anna Dressed in Blood, also being strangely good, so that’s not much of a surprise. In short, I will happily recommend Three Dark Crowns, but with the caveat that some readers may find it not as appealing as others do. In terms of pacing, the easiest comparison may in fact be A Song of Ice and Fire, thanks in part to the aforementioned getting thrown into things as well as the rotating perspectives. Each queen and her surrounding allies get chapters in a recognizable pattern: Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella. Not only are you expected to figure things out as you go, Blake goes for a very slow burn in terms of plotting. Things certainly happen, but with every character mentioning the approaching Quickening, which will start the year of queenly sororicidal, you know what is going to happen before it even does. As this is still a YA novel, romance is included, but doesn’t take over as it often can in this genre. I never saw any female main characters waffling about their feelings. The world of Three Dark Crown is richly imagined, with clear distinction between the different disciplines and their respective lands. I found the Arron family, head of the poisoners, to be the most compelling of the sets of characters. The naturalist and their companion animal also made for an interesting setting, although I felt their chapters would have benefited from expansion on the world building. Mirabella seems very isolated with her elemental ability, and the setting she inhabited was the weakest of the three – despite the supposed political machinations by the temple. I struggled with the book because the three main girls had quite similar voices. Katherine and Arsinoe, in particular, suffered from similar character flaws and an inability to excel at their talent. As I mentioned before this is only my 5 fantasy novel and I will definitely be recommending it to my friends who love fantasy and young adult.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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.
blamethebooks 5 months ago
Three Dark Crowns tells the story of Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe, triplet queens who each hold different powers. In the tradition of their land, when they turn sixteen, the queens must try to kill their sisters in order to become the one true queen. (Sounds like a lovely family, doesn't it?) The queens were raised separately, so that they could learn to strengthen their power and eventually overcome their sisters. I personally liked Mirabella and Arsinoe more than Katharine, but all of the queens were pretty darn badass. One of my favorite things about this book was that, while there were romances, the queens made it perfectly clear that they did not need a man to get things done. The romances did not overpower the story, because the queens were strong and powerful on their own. While I really enjoyed the story of Three Dark Crowns, I did have a few things that prevented me from loving it as much as I could have. I don't normally have problems with multiple points of view, but I struggled a little bit with Three Dark Crowns. I felt like I couldn't connect with the characters as much as I would have liked because I kept jumping from person to person within the story. For me, this made the middle part of the book drag a bit, because I didn't feel very connected to anyone. However, as the story continued, I did find that I cared for the queens - it just took me a while to get there. There was also a very strange love triangle that popped up in the middle of the story that didn't seem to make much sense to me. Hopefully this is more fleshed out as the series continues, so its existence makes a bit more sense. I loved the plot twist in this story, but I wish it had happened sooner! It was a really cool twist, but it didn't get a chance to get developed. I know that this was probably intentional and it is what the sequel will be for, but I feel so unfulfilled because I don't know what happens next! I think having that bit of action sooner in the story would have helped me a lot with feeling connected to the characters. Either way, I loved the twist and I still want to know what happens next. I can't even imagine what will happen in the sequel.