Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Page Count: 398
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When kingdom come, there will be one.
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.
Three dark queens are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends. There dark sisters all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be Queen.
Magically gifted sisters who must kill each other, a matriarchy that rules the lands, ruthless political power plays, and intriguing world building? Now I am impressed.
Separated at a young age, magical triplets are born to compete for the crown, but only one will win. They live in a land where magic reigns supreme, and the stronger theirs is, the more control they have over their people. But laying claim to a crown steeped in pain and blood will test even the most powerful sister.
I’m conflicted. I like and hate this book. But in a good way though. It gave me chest pain (actual chest pain, people). And a part of me didn’t want to finish the book because of two certain characters. But I warn you now: this book is dark. Fennbirn survives off the murder of countless triplets. Death saturates this land. For some chapters I had to wrap my head around that thought. Why not have the triplets overthrow tradition and simply rule together? No, the Goddess demands payment. And only one queen will rule.
The whole book’s premise revolves around the sisters’ journey to the Ascension Year, where the triplets display their power and plan how they’ll kill their siblings within the following year. Interesting, yes? Three Dark Crowns grows into its own realm. Kendare immerses you in her story, and her world building will hook you (or at least, it did with me). You see, I haven’t read any of her previous work, but I’m impressed with this one. But I understand why some readers never finished it. The book slowly builds up, and while others didn’t like that feel, I loved it. Kendare gradually shows you her world, and every chapter opens up new storylines and avenues to explore. And my mind is swimming with possible theories for the sequel (I’m dying to talk about them).
Now let’s move on to the sisters:
Arsinoe, the naturalist queen, hasn’t quite grown in to her powers yet. And her friend, Jules, may just outshine her, when her people claim Jules is the strongest naturalist in the last six decades. I adore this queen. She’s sweet and caring. And she sees no reason to compete with anyone, even Jules. Her potential love interest, Billy, a boy from the mainland, makes her shine. And I thought their budding relationship cute. But Arsinoe plays with powers she doesn’t understand, and in doing so, she may have doomed more than just herself.
Katharine, oh, I pity her. She’s the poisoner queen. I can’t help but want to protect her from the Arrons, the family who trains her. How many times she’s had to to ingest poison after poison just to satisfy this family is beyond me. This queen isn’t meant for this power, yet she continues on. Her love interest, Pietyr, is an interesting character. But that plot twist took me for a loop, I swear.
I have zero respect for Mirabella, the elemental queen. From the start, I was rooting for her, and she was my favourite character, until, well, she just messes everything up. I won’t spoil the book, but I hope her sisters completely annihilate this harlot. And her love interest can simply fall off a cliff and drown, like he should have the first time. Can you tell I’m angry?
I loved the secondary characters, and Kendare just throws them at you (so make notes, or you’ll get lost quickly). Jules may be the most favourite character out of this series. She emits a strength that just draws you in. And I have many theories about this one, and I hope some come true, because if they do, this sequel will amaze me.
One of the book’s aspect that astonishes me is the matriarchy. YES. The matriarchy rules. Who would have imagined it would work in this environment? But it does. Women control the land of Fennbirn. This book screams women’s empowerment. Unfortunately, this power has warped these women.
Don’t be scared over the DNFs posts on Goodreads. I was worried too, but I gave the book a chance, and I glad I did. The politics in this book will attract any YA reader. I know I’m counting down the days to read the final book.
What are your theories on Three Dark Crowns? What do you think of it? Are you waiting for the sequel? Let me know in the comments.