ARC Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

ARC Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
ARC Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns

Written by Kendare Blake
(Harper Teen - 9/20/2016)
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC (416 pages)
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 4 Stars

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Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

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’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.
FTC Disclosure: This book was provided to me from the author or publisher (Edelweiss), free of charge, with the understanding that my intention is to read it and provide feedback in the form of an honest review. I am not compensated in any way in exchange for positive reviews, and I don’t let anything other than the book's contents affect my opinions and review.

My Thoughts

So many YA books have either one narrator or do the duo-narrator thing, so when Three Dark Crowns promised me three narrators, I was intrigued. As a fan of epic fantasy books, which often rotate through whole swathes of character viewpoints, I was surprised to find myself a little confused at the beginning of this book. But, once I got comfortable with each princess and her setting, I really started enjoying this tale.

At first I was dubious about the three princesses being pitted against each other, but it really added so much intrigue and tension for me as a reader. You get invested in the lives of EACH princess and when you’re reading her story, you want her to succeed! Learning how each main character was dealing with her situation was very interesting for me, and I enjoyed the bits of lore sprinkled throughout the book (in the rituals, the rules, the buildings, the foods, everything!).

There is one thing in this story that royally pissed me off, and I have trouble deciding whether it makes sense or whether it was a plot device. I’m hoping for more elaboration on this front in the next book. Speaking of the next book… I can’t freaking WAIT! The way this one ended left me satisfied in some ways, but also eager to find out where things would go from there!

Overall, this was a really entertaining read. Highly recommended!

Read 5 comments

  1. Interesting review, I really enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood so thought I’d probably like this but I’ve heard some not great things about it and now I’m not sure. I’ll have to see where the mood takes me.

  2. I liked this one too even though I had a few issues with it. I wanted more to happen at the end but I know she’s leaving stuff for the next book. I had the same thing- I went into this expecting to have a favorite and I ended up liking all three princesses for different reasons!

  3. I’ve been eyeing this book for quite a while but I hadn’t been totally on board with it because of the mixed reviews that I’ve read. I’m glad you enjoyed the book, which turns out to be the start of a series??? I didn’t even realize it had an upcoming sequel until you mentioned it in this post. Great review! I liked that it was short but had good content!

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