Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Status: Book 1 of Three Dark Crowns series
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.
First of all, can I say how impressed I am by myself that I’m writing this review a DAY after I finished it*? Well, more like less than because I read until 2AM**, but then that’s what ya do when you’re a bookworm!
**usually it’s anywhere between a couple weeks to a couple months. (I’m busy and lazy) (I also procrastinate a lot)
*I had to wake up at 6 and go to college, i.e. my eyes were drooping ALL DAY in class. I had 7 hours of college today. I really need to make good decisions. (says me lol)
What I liked:
- The story is really cool! We’ve got an island where every generation royal triplets are born and one kills the other two to become queen. We’re currently following a year where the circumstances and situations are different, hopefully leading to change.
- Every character was developed, properly featured and we know EVERY single one of them with focus. The spotlight isn’t only on the queens but also the side characters who make just as much difference.
- Instead of a male-dominated world, we’ve got a female-dominated world. It isn’t thrown into your face by being mentioned a load of times but it’s there through the subtle events and situations. It was nice to read a book where the roles were reversed and it wasn’t boasted about.
- We get the story from various POVs. Mostly it’s the queens but there’s enough from others to not keep us in the dark. I never felt like I was missing a part of the story due to POV restrictions.
What I didn’t like:
Quite surprisingly, when I was brainstorming what to write in this review, I came up with dislikes more than I thought I had.
- First of all, for half the book I was still getting acclimated with all the characters. Why? Because there were SO MANY CHARACTERS. That too with importance and we just kept shuffling POVs so fast! I couldn’t form a proper image for any of them until I was quite into the book. Even towards the end I sometimes took a second to reconcile which name referred to who.
- For just about ALL of the book, I was just waiting for the “main event”. In short, the whole book felt like background prep/info dump so we’d understand when the main events unfold. Problem? THERE WERE NONE. I kind of feel like this book is just a starter* for the second one.
- The pace was pretty slow. That was probably the main reason I couldn’t completely get INTO the book until I sat with determination to finish it last night. I also couldn’t get lost into the book how much ever I tried. It just didn’t grasp my attention, you see?
- We only get to see that island. Legit, we have close to none facts/info about the world beyond this island. I AM CURIOUS. I want to know if the rest of the world is also a fantasy one. Or is it like our world? Is it totally mundane and mostly unaware of this island with queens killing their sisters? Or is it just an accompanying boring world which is mundane and has nothing going on? TELL ME SOMETHING.
- The twist at the end was quite predictable. In fact, almost half into the book when I finally was keeping up with the story without being confused and clueless, I thought up ways in which this story could go and I thought of that. Therefore, the twist didn’t make that much of an impact on me.
- We just get some inserts about past queens and on the traditions but there’s no real background on previous queen-sister fights/murders or previous generations. I felt like I was in a limbo of being informed and yet not at all at the same time. That was super weird, but yeah now that I think back on the story as a whole, I’m a confused mess.
*yay food analogies
As I read the book, it was quite okayish and I thought I really liked it when I read the last line. BUT, as I think back I saw all of these things I didn’t like. Despite it all, I’m quite stoked for the sequel (which releases TODAY) and I’m going to get my hands on it as soon as I can!