Book Review

Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns

  • Author: Kendare Blake
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: September 20, 2016
  • Publisher: Quill Tree Books
  • Series: Three Dark Crowns #1

TRIGGER WARNING: amputation, animal mauling

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born — three queens, all equal 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.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started reading this, but this book rocked my world and left me wanting more … immediately. Plus, I got a lot of peer pressure from Susan at Novel Lives to ignore my towering TBR and read the next book in the series or face the consequences (aka have her send one or more cats my way and potentially die of cat allergies).

In the female dominated society of Fennbirn, three triplets are born in each generation and raised as queens. They’re separated at age 6 and raised in very different environments that train and encourage their individual magical talents. On their 16th birthday, they begin their battle to the death for the rights to the throne. 

Katharine is under pressure to gain the throne, and create a dynasty of poisoner queens as the fourth in a row. Arsinoe is said to have abilities, but instead is relying on a dangerous form of magic regardless of the cost it will incur. 

Mirabella controls elements, and her powers are strong:

“Mirabella has just filled the air with lightning. Gorgeous, bright bolts, crackling across the sky and crashing down in thick veins on all sides. Long, repeated strikes that brightened the interior like day.”

But the crown isn’t won through powers alone. There’s alliances to be made and politics to navigate. Each queen has to make their own alliances, woo suitors, and refine their abilities to prepare to kill their sisters. 

I never really knew what to expect and which queen was the strongest competitor. They all had strengths and weaknesses, and there were definitely some shockers throughout the story. Initially it seems like an easy guess, but as the story goes on, it was impossible to figure out who the frontrunner was. By the end, I had my favorite queen, but only time (and the next book) will tell. I’m definitely going to be flying through my library stack so I can get the next book in the series sooner rather than later.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 7

16 replies »

  1. You moved to wordpress?? Part of me wants to say I’m so sorry and part of me wants to cheer?

    Well either way, welcome to our collective nightmare, the water is warm.


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