Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)

Release Date: September 20, 2016
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 398 pages
Source: Purchased Book

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.



Characters: So, before reading this story I wasn't quite sure what to make of the three queens in this story, well obviously, but mainly I wasn't sure how I would feel about all three. Going into this book I had the idea that I would glom onto one of the queens and hope that she'd make it. However, while all three queens are very different, I seriously cannot choose between them. As this story unfolds I really felt a connection to each and every one of the main characters. Katharine is a sweet little cinnamon bun that you just want to wrap up in your arms and protect, that is until you realize that perhaps she can protect herself. Arsinoe is fierce and brave, growing up in a community of love, even if her talent doesn't appear to be very strong. Mirabella, the girl that people say acts as if she's already Crowned with her stunning looks and powerful elemental gift, but deep down she remembers her sisters, specifically she remembers loving her sisters. Each of these queens is so well written and put together with an aspect to their personalities that makes it near impossible to choose between them.

Romances: With three main characters comes three different romances. Each romance has its own complications, mainly because whoever becomes queen is intended to marry someone from the Mainland in efforts to hold onto a peace treaty with them. I don't normally write about multiple romances in a single section but I'll try my best. Katharine's romance is the one least touched upon. A young lad named Pietyr offers to train her in the ways of flirting so that she can charm any and all of the suitors, however, real feelings develop, and that's really it in terms of non-spoilery things, and honestly I wish there was more to this because since it's not really touched upon there isn't really a whole lot leaving me to possibly root for them. Arsinoe's romance might not even be a romance at all, though she does form a connection of some sort with a boy from the mainland and a prospective suitor. I really enjoyed this relationship, even if it doesn't turn out to be romantic and I liked how these characters complimented each other. Finally, Mirabella's romance is too spoilery for me to talk much about but I will say that it both intrigues and infuriates me.

World Building: Going into this book I was expecting a Hunger Games-style survival story of these three queens ending in only one left standing. I knew there would most likely be other fantasy elements to it as well, but I never expected for it to be so detailed and well fleshed out. Don't get me wrong, I was expecting a fantastic book, I just assumed it would be more action-adventure and less intense fantasy. The really interesting part of this book is how the groups, that have raised these girls, interact and their own political schemes. How deeply rooted this tradition is in this kingdom is astonishing, though I do have to say that since the entire hook of this story is connected with the religious lore of this kingdom I wish we learned more about it. It just sort of feels like this is a thing that happens which people accept and there doesn't seem like a "good enough" reason as to why.

Predictability: I have to say this story threw me off my game a bit. I mean, on the whole, I wasn't able to predict that much of anything. as the story unfolded I was just along for the ride and I was totally okay with that. There were quite a few twists and turns that this story took some of which nearly made my jaw hit the floor. There is one twist though, arguably the biggest twist in this story and most definitely the last, that I thought about, dismissed, but still held onto despite what I thought was my better judgement, but when all was revealed I felt this surge of pride that I had truly picked up on something HUGE and I can't wait to see how it all ties into the next installment.

Ending: So the final climax of this story was a bit bittersweet, I mean it was awesome and epic in so many ways, but the consequences from that moment are pretty astronomical and while I was excited about the final climax, I can't help but shed a tear, metaphorically, for all that it set into motion. There is a bit of a cooldown period where things seem to get into position for the next installment followed up by a rather amazing cliffhanger.


I really loved this tale and while it's more set up than I would have liked and I wish I knew more about the lore and mythology of this world, I have to say it's a fantastic first installment and I'm both excited and apprehensive about the next installment.


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