Book Review

Two Dark Reigns

Two Dark Reigns

  • Author: Kendare Blake
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Publisher: Quill Tree Books
  • Series: Three Dark Crowns #3

TRIGGER WARNING: gore

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Katharine has waited her whole life to take the throne.

And with the fury of the dead queens roaring beneath her skin, her time has come. But many still challenge her rule, and with the whereabouts of her sisters unknown, Katharine’s anxiety grows. Then bodies mysteriously start washing ashore, throwing Fennbirn into a panic.

Hiding out on the Mainland, Arsinoe and Mirabella try to make a life for themselves away from all they’ve lost. But it’s not long until home beckons: Arsinoe is haunted by visions of the legendary Blue Queen, a rare and mystical fourth-born queen who died hundreds of years earlier.

Jules, after befriending a war-gifted girl named Emilia, learns there is a rebel army that wants to usurp the throne — and they want Jules to lead the charge. 

A queen on the throne, two on their way home, and an unexpected renegade who’s gone to ground … the crown has been won, but these queens are far from done.

After the fast pace of One Dark Throne (see review here), this book seems to have returned back to the slower pace of Three Dark Crowns (see review here). The action built slowly throughout the book and then suddenly things happened fairly quickly towards the end of the book. 

Katharine’s rule isn’t widely accepted by everyone on Fennbirn, especially after her … unconventional rise to the throne. Not to mention that she won’t be able to continue the line of queens, which isn’t widely known, but is definitely going to be a problem. And when the bodies start showing up, it seems like even the island isn’t happy about her reign.

“That she is a poisoner in the most literal sense, her whole body toxic to the touch. No one could ever know that. Not even the island, or they would also know that she can bear no mainland-fathered children. That she cannot bear the next triplet queens of Fennbirn.”

Arsinoe and Mirabella aren’t having an easy time on the Mainland, and find that they don’t exactly fit in. That didn’t exactly surprise me. But then Arsinoe starts being haunted by dreams of the dead Blue Queen, and she realizes that it’s a sign to return home, even though it places her own life in danger.

Jules isn’t exactly safe either, and her new friend Emilia doesn’t exactly have her best interests in heart. She’s focused on overthrowing Katharine and instilling Jules on the throne, but she’s really very overbearing and actually kind of irritating. 

I’m just going to have to pick up the next book to find out what happens, and keep my fingers crossed that the pattern holds and the next book will be faster paced. Since it’s the final book, there’s going to be some sort of resolution, but I honestly have no idea what to expect at this point. There’s too many variables to be able to predict an outcome, and each of the sisters have their strengths and weaknesses. But the fate of Fennbirn depends on one (or all) of them. 

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: 11

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