Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Book: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: September 20th, 2016
Pages: 396

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.

The plot of this book is promising: 3 triplet sisters born each generation, each wielding a different ability, where they must fight to the death for the crown once they turn 16. A poisoner, a naturalist, and an elementalist, pitted against each other.

But I don't know...it just fell a bit flat for me. There were definitely some good parts to it, but it felt like a slow burn.

The plot definitely was the most intriguing. Of the three sisters, two of them aren't exactly what we assume them to be, and it was very interesting to see them try to work around that. Though it took quite a while for the plot to pick up, once it did, it just kept on rolling to a pretty good end.

I will admit the characters were a bit hard to get into. I liked Katherine's initial set-up, but there didn't seem to be much depth to her or her growth. Arsinoe acted as a nice wild card to bring some life into the book, though my like of her took some time. I probably enjoyed Mirabella the most, since she had active desires of not killing her sisters outright and the potential to use her abilities to fight the system. With the exception of Arsinoe at the end, all of them just didn't seem to have as much independence as I would have liked.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the temple either. I felt like it dictated quite a bit of the book's background, culture, and plot. It was always "the Goddess this" or "the Goddess that" as a means of explanation; I wanted to know more, like just what significance the Goddess had. It felt very cult-like, and it wasn't until we got of the Goddess' abilities near the end with Arsinoe's stunt with Billy to justify their intense worship of her.

Overall...I don't know. The writing felt choppy at times, and it took about 80% of the book before things actually got interesting. I skimmed quite a bit of it, waiting for some kind of action or confrontation to go down, but it never quite occurred to the scale I anticipated. Possibly setting up for the next books? I presume so. The ending is definitely enough of a hooker to pipe my interest to continue the series, but I'm not sure whether I'm invested enough to read the entire book rather than just look up a summary. But with everything finally rolling, the pace should hopefully be faster in the next books for sure!

1 comment:

  1. Ahh I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as you hoped to! I heard a lot of mixed reviews of this too, apparently the characters and the plot aren't as good as people expected. I hope your next read will be better, Erika!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress