Book Review

One Dark Throne

One Dark Throne

  • Author: Kendare Blake
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: September 19, 2017
  • Publisher: Harper Teen
  • Series: Three Dark Crowns #2

TRIGGER WARNING: animal testing, amputation

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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, needs to figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, the elemental sister thought to be the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must confront the one thing standing in the way of the crown: each other.

I was really excited to dive back into the world of the killer triplet queenss vying for the crown of Fennbirn. The pace of this book is a lot faster than the previous book (see my review of Three Dark Crowns here), and there’s more action going on. There’s something about three sixteen year old queens running wild in their quest to kill each other that is irresistible to read about.

My perception of the characters changed in this book. In the previous book, Katharine was my favorite, but she’s a totally different person in this book. She’s more relaxed, tougher, reckless, and has become bloodthirsty and even cruel. She has her reasons why, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

“‘The pain is nothing,’ Katharine assures her, wiping her chin. ‘I have endured much worse.’ She pops a berry into her mouth as her stomach starts to churn, and looks at her reflection in the mirror. She is no little girl who would turn into Natalia’s skirts and weep.”

Arsinoe is learning how to manage her own gift while still keeping it a secret. Her character is growing on me, and the stubborn and willful traits that bothered me in book 1 are starting to be more endearing. I think one of the things that I liked best about Arsinoe is that she is not willing to compromise her morals, no matter what. She never does what is expected of her, and she’s fiercely loyal to the people she cares about. So when an unexpected secret is revealed about someone close to her, she works hard to protect them.

Mirabella seems to have changed the least throughout the series. She’s always been the one who remembers the most about her sisters, and displays the most empathy towards them. As the sister with the strongest gift, she’s always been the one expected to be the Queen Crowned, but this also sets her up to have a target on her back. This also puts the ones closest to her in danger. 

I loved everything about this book. It’s dark, fast-paced, and incredible. The writing makes me feel as if I’m right in the book along with the queens, feeling every intense moment. The plot twists come fast, and I didn’t know what to expect from one page to the next. I had no idea who would be crowned until it actually happened, and once it happened, I didn’t fully believe it. There’s definitely something brewing on Fennbirn, and I am going to have to jump right into the next book to find out what it is. Beware — if you read this, you’re going to have to have the next book lined up to start immediately.

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: 14

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