Title: One Dark Throne
Author: Kendare Blake
Status: Book 2 of Three Dark Crowns series
The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?
With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.
In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.
Despite slightly not liking the first book (which I reviewed here) I was really looking forward to this book. I was STOKED to see how this would end.
Well, guess what?
Blake got contracted for two more books in this series. While that’s really great for her to develop the story and show more of the world, the reason I read Three Dark Crowns this late was so I wouldn’t be left hanging in suspense. But it’s not written in the cards.
Moving on to the review.. (which has spoilers for the first book so beware)
The plot just went.. haywire. In a good way. I figured out the twist in book 1 but I was so in the blind here, I was constantly confused at to which direction the book was going.
We pick up a little after the ending events of book 1 and we see a COMPLETELY transformed Katharine. She was the skittish weak mouse learning to not slouch in the last book but now? She’s a blood-thirsty, cunning queen who will do anything for the throne.
In Rolanth, Mirabella is looking to kill as well, especially after the stunt pulled by Arsinoe at the Quickening festival. And knowing how cruel Katharine is, she knows that it has to be her on the top.
Meanwhile in Wolf Spring, Arsinoe is looking to develop her secret talent even though Jules doesn’t like it. Throughout the book, though, I felt like Arsinoe was just going with what fate threw her. She didn’t initiate much and simply tried to survive. She was the mellowed contestant int his book.
We also have some highlights on Jules, Joseph and Madrigal. That was nice, but I kept wondering how those new facts revealed would tie into the story.
I cannot go further in this non-spoiler review without revealing everything so I’ll stop here.
Now, since I REALLY need to rant and talk about things in this book, I’m including a spoiler section. If you don’t wish to be spoiled, click here to skip this section.
Y’all, what was up with the Breccia Domain? I failed to understand the point of it. Even if Katharine became the queen, how would it benefit the old lost queens who were thrown in there? If Katharine killed Mirabella and Arsinoe, wouldn’t they also be thrown in there and the whole cycle would simply be continued? I did not get how manipulating Katharine would be beneficial for the dead queens.
And Katharine went FREAKY. As heck. A complete 180 to who she used to be. And that ending with Pietyr saying that she will be queen, just the last one?
I DID figure out why the previous queen exchanged the babies and sent them to the wrong places, hoping for Mirabella to win. She didn’t count on the fact that Mirabella and Arsinoe would refuse to kill, hence complicating it all further.
To be honest, though, everything went criss-crossed in the book. Random titbits thrown in, such as Jules’s war gift, Madrigal’s pregnancy (and her baby having some important role? or dying? or something horrible?) and JOSEPH.
So Jules and Joseph travel with the rest to go to the mainland and just as they fight and win against the “Goddess’s power/will”, Joseph dies? And Jules just jumps off the ship and GOES BACK on a boat??? I was frustrated with a lot of things in the end, but this tops the list. This felt like something she thought up on the spot to have something to write about Jules in the following books.
Honestly, the only thing I was quite happy with was Arsinoe and Billy’s romance. Billy and Mirabella’s friendship was also cute. BILLY WAS CUTE. Especially with “Harriet”, lol.
My thoughts overall..
Again, I’m not THAT impressed by the story. Especially the ending. I feel like because she was suddenly contracted to extend the series by two books, she brought random things and the it kinda just went.. well, went. Through the last few chapter I was just cringing because how was this going to end?? And to be honest, I would have preferred it finishing here nice and tidy.
But then this also opens up room for her to explore the mainland of the world. Here’s to hoping it goes well.
If you’ve read the books, what did YOU think? Did you love it? Hate it? Are you excited for the next two books, or do you also wish it was wrapped-up properly here as originally planned? Tell me everything!