BOOK REVIEW: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare BlakeThree Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)
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When kingdom come, there will be one.

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.


**DISCLAIMER** Do NOT read the novellas until you finish with this fist book. It will ruin a pretty major thing that you find out at the end of this book. I’m pissed I read it first, haha, but that’s on me.

Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends

Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen

Ummmmm…..why had I been fooled into thinking that this series was only going to be “okay”?!?!? I always seem to get bitten on the ass when I go too deep into reviews on GR for a book or series that I discover that sounds good but doesn’t IMMEDIATELY catch my attention. So, ever so stupidly, I read reviews written by people that I ~usually~ share similar opinions with….that is, until they differ.

I remember seeing this book when it came out and thinking it sounded interesting but at that point I had been caught up in a Sarah J Maas/ Court of Mist and Fury haze. Unless I KNEW that I was going to love it, or it was by an author I already loved, I don’t think I was venturing out too much and reading new things. Then, of course, when that died down, I went to the reviews. So many people had so many problems with this book and said at the first quarter at least was super slow and boring??????????????????????????????? How???????????????????????

If you can’t tell I very much disagree.

The first quarter of this book isn’t action packed, no, but that’s because we have to learn about the three sisters that are eventually going to be fighting to the death to become queen.

Mirabella, an elementalist, who has been considered the Chosen Queen since she was born because of her great powers

Arsinoe, a naturalist, who has yet to develop any sort of power or find a familiar BUT has been dabbling is some shifty “low magic”

Katherine, a poisoner, who also hasn’t shown much affinity for her gift and who has grown up weak, frail, and scarred due to the poisonings that have been administered to her since she was a child to hopefully build up her immunity

Like, you can’t just go into a series about three Queen sisters who eventually have to fight to the death if you don’t know about each one. I’ll admit my favorite right off the bat was Arsinoe. Mirabella is at first painted to be cold and aloof and while Katherine was sweet, I wasn’t a fan of her guardians the Arron’s at all. The world building is incredible and I am so freakin intrigued by Fennbirn and how it’s surrounded by mist—so basically off in its own little world and only lets people in that the island chooses to let in and doesn’t let people leave if it doesn’t want them to. Like….genius. I hope we get to find out more about the “continent” in later books because I really am just so interested in what it’s like, who all lives there, how it’s ruled, etc.

Aside from our three main characters there is a slew of other important and interesting characters. Jules and Camden! Joseph! BILLY ♥! (and others of course but those are by far my favorites. Each play a very important role to the Queens and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

If you’re looking for love interests, you’re in luck. Every Queen has one, and there’s even sort of love triangle, but not one that you’d expect. It surprised me but I guess I wasn’t super mad about it? I don’t know, you’ll see what I mean.

Plot wise, after the introductions of all the Queens and their foster families and once the book inches closer to Beltane and their sixteenth birthday, things obviously pick up. It was really interesting that Mira seemed to have kept her memories of her sisters which isn’t supposed to happen. It created tension because the name of the game is to kill two sisters and become Queen. Even though Mira is the most powerful, she doesn’t want to kill her sisters. That ends up playing a pretty big role in events.

Things also get pretty dark, too. I mean there are poisonings, there are dismemberments, there is horrific scarring. Like Blake does not shy away from being descriptive with any of these things, either. I thought it really worked well overall. I have never been a fan of books that go too far down the path to the dark side but I thought that what she did with this book was the perfect amount and that it really added to the whole concept of an island being fueled by the blood and death of two if its three Queens.

I have so many questions about so many parts of how Fennbirn works and about certain characters and I cannot wait to keep reading and find out. HIGHLY recommend this series.