Book Review

Review – Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I kept seeing this title around the Twitter-verse, and when I saw it was available on Overdrive I decided to give it a try.


23207027Every 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.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.


Sounds like a thrilling premise, right?

Unfortunately, it was boring. Boring right up to the last 10 to 15%. I’ll admit, the ending was good, but having to sludge through the first 85% of a book to get to the good bits isn’t ideal.

I give Three Dark Crowns 2 stars.

The ending is the only thing that kept it from being 1 star.

Part of my dislike for this book was the writing itself. I don’t really like reading in present tense. And not adding to the rating but something I was annoyed with – the pronoun antecedents were often murky and there was terrible comma usage. Those things can be really distracting. I also didn’t like the POV.

I never found myself caring for one queen over another. I thought that they didn’t seem to be trying very hard, and there wasn’t much emotion to them for me.

Also, WHAT was the point of a queen, really? To have more queens? So they could rule anywhere from 1 to 20 years and then sail out into the mist with their king and leave the island in the care of temple and council? Really? I don’t know. I think I needed more information on that front.

I love the idea of the naturalists having familiars. I’ve loved familiars ever since I read The Golden Compass in the fourth grade. But again, it was just lacking a real connection.

The ending of the book was interesting, and though I’ll not suffer reading another full length book in this series, I may ask a reader friend for a quick, spoiler-y summary.

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3 thoughts on “Review – Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

  1. Ha! I just finished this book last night, and I started writing my review. I agree with SO much of what you said, but I am giving the series a chance (especially after I accidentally saw what I think was a spoiler). I think a big part of the problem with this book is how it was marketed. The blurb does not match this book, so I think the expectations were incorrectly set. It’s definitely not a page-turner, but it was a great toothbrush time book for the past 3 months!

    Liked by 1 person

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