Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1), by Kendare Blake

Thee Dark Crowns Kendare Blake

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Recommend: Yes

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Add to your TBR: Goodreads, Skoob

First of all, I would just like to take a moment to swoon all over this gorgeous cover. I think I would have read this book even if the blurb wasn’t so great, just because this is one of my favorite covers ever. This was also part of my Books I Want to Read for Halloween post!

“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.” (from Goodreads’ synopsis)

I love the premise of this book so much! Three queens who need to kill each other for the throne, each of them with very cool and dangerous powers? Dark feminist fantasy?? I’m so in!!

But… this book fell a little flat for me. I wanted to love this so much! As said, the plot sounds wonderful, but the writing was too dry for me, the world needed a lot more exploring and crafting and I felt that the synopsis didn’t exactly match the book – for instance, not all the three queens have gifts, as we discover very soon, two of them are nearly giftless, and it might or not be that their gift comes before Beltane, the event after which the killing starts.

The plot went too quickly and too slowly at the same time – they spend most of the book on the months before Beltane, but the things that did happen felt very info-dumpy. I had expected the preparation for the Beltane to be a lot shorter and more of the book spent on the actual hunting and killing of each sister. But then, since this a series, I suppose the next books will explore that more. In addition, I felt that Katharine and Arsinoe didn’t get as much depth as Jules and Mirabella. Also the plot twist at the very end was something I’d guessed by chapter 2, so that was a bit disappointing.

Still, I very much enjoyed the scheming and plotting of the novel, and the dark and gory tones it takes from time to time. It’s definitely very creative and I love that the islands are a matriarchy! I am going to continue reading the series and hope to like One Dark Throne better!

18 thoughts on “Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1), by Kendare Blake

    • Thank you, Noriko! I think basically ALL the other reviews of this book were very positive, so maybe it was just me… definitely look up more reviews if you’re thinking of reading it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I read it a few weeks ago and I like it :/ I think that usually the series books start strong and die slow. Like The Hunger Games (just as an example xD I love that series) but on this one they start slow and it seems that the next one will be strong! Like all the exposition and all the doubts, expectations, and preparation happens on this one. The next one is the quickening or something like that. On that one, we will see all the plans and all the killing :3 hopefully haha

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Honestly, I almost dnf’d this the first time through. Two weeks later I picked it back up and then flew threw it and really loved it. So, I can see where you are coming from. Book 2 was good too, but I recommend reading it soon because the problem with that one was that there wasn’t enough backtracking to refresh the reader with the events of book 1.


  2. Pingback: Mini-Reviews Of My October Reads | Naty's Bookshelf

  3. I was so disappointed that the plot makes absolutely no sense. I’m can suspend my disbelief admirably well, but nothing can convince me that this premise is a good one! Still, I’m on hold at the library for the sequel. It’s somehow still entertaining despite all its flaws.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Review: One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, #2), by Kendare Blake | Naty's Bookshelf

  5. Pingback: Review: The Water Cure, by Sophie Mackintosh | Naty's Bookshelf

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