Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I wish I had all good things to say about this book. I really wanted to love it. Three sisters battling to the death for a crown. It sounds exciting. It sounds Game of Thrones-ish. It sounds likes something I would devour. It was not. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t completely hate it and I am not saying it is a bad book, it just was 1) not what I was expecting and 2) not my cup of tea.
I guess I should start with what i was expecting. I was expecting something more Game of Thrones where there is lots of action and plotting and scheming. This was a much more political based story. The politics of the competition are very heavy and way outweigh the action. I was a little bored and did not deeply connect with the characters. It just takes a special political based book to keep me interested. I am hoping that my tastes and appreciation will develop as I read more like that.
The perspective was multiple. Each girl was the main character of a chapter. Sometimes it works. (I love how SJM does it. All her different perspectives are always so interesting) This execution of the multi-perspective was ok. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst. I definitely found my interest in each story line shifting throughout the book.
The world building was decent. I would like to know more about how the island and the mainland work and more about the history of the world and how it became what it is and the relationships that are there. Perhaps that will come in a later book?
I feel like this book had huge potential, but it fell flat. However, I do think that there is still potential for a really great story, IF the girls grow up! My goodness they were immature. There is tons of room for character growth and that is something I would love to see in the future books.
One thing that did bother me a lot is that this book has 16 year olds having sex. I can handle a lot of controversial issues in books, but this is one that I don’t agree with. I think if you want to be adding sex to your books, the characters should be at least 18. (There are no graphic scenes, it just referenced.)
If I am being completely honest, I spent the whole book thinking that I was going to finish it and then move on with my life. But the ending, of one girl in particular, has got me hooked and dying to know what happens. So I may just have to continue on and see how the story develops. I have read a few reviews saying that people have felt the same throughout the second novel (bored up until the very end when all the crazy action happens). Maybe that is just Kendare’s style and I need to accept that going into the book.
If you like fantasy books that are heavy in the politics and not so much in actual fighting…there is some violence, not in detail, but things do happen…then I say give it a shot. If you have read it, let me know your thoughts!!
Thanks for reading!!