Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
One Dark Throne is the second volume of the Tree Dark Crown series, a dark fantasy story around three sisters, each with their own magical inclinations: Katharine is a poisoner, Mirabella is an elemental and Arsinoe is a naturalist. The three of them must fight to death in order to become Queen, and using their powers, knowledge and cunning to achieve that, they are raised since childhood with this objective in their hearts.
Much like Three Dark Crowns, I very much wanted to love this book and this series. After being disappointed with the first installment, I decided to buy the second book and read it anyways, since the blurb indicated that this one was even better than the first. Since I want to love this so badly, I gave it a second chance.
Unfortunately, my problems with this novel were quite the same as for Three Dark Crowns: the writing style of the author simply does not agree with me and I find myself impatiently flipping through the pages and trying to like a series I just can’t like. While very entertaining and with such creative and dark plot, the dialogue seemed too shallow and not very relevant at times for the development of the story or of the characters, and the world building was still lacking a lot. The persistent naïveté of the main characters also upset me a little.
What stopped me from giving this book a two-star rating was the fact that I loved Katharine in this novel! If you haven’t read Three Dark Crowns, please skip to the next paragraph, as this is a spoiler for volume 1. [SPOILER OF BOOK 1] But after Katharine is thrown to her death into the abyss and comes back against all odds, she is dark, vicious and more powerful than before. At the same time, for all the had suffered all those years, I really felt for her and hope she’d win. She alone saved the book for me. [END OF SPOILER]
While I love the premise of this series, I found that I don’t quite care anymore for the next two books and I won’t be continuing to read it. This is not to say I don’t recommend this series – I actually do, if you like Young Adult Fantasy and would like to read something darker but have not much interest in a strong world-building. I personally prefer a different writing style.