Monday, March 20, 2017

[Review] Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1 
Rating: 3 stars

Published: September 20th 2016

Goodreads Synopsis: 
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.

On the isle of Fennbirn, each generation is gifted with three heirs to the crown, queens who are gifted with remarkable powers. Mirabella is an elemental, who can control fire and thunder with a flick of her hand. Arsinoe is a naturalist, who can call upon the wild to aid her. Katharine is a poisoner, following a long line of poisoner queens, who can ingest the most deadly of poisons. The three of them must fight after their 18th birthday to the death, until only one queen remains to rule them all.

So the only strong one of the three is Mirabella. However, she's got a sense of compassion and dislike for harming others, especially her sisters. Katharine gets sick with most poisons, and Arsinoe's powers haven't exactly come yet. For now, it's all a power game the three are playing, to seem the most powerful and deadly.

Gotta say, I'm rooting for Arsinoe to win this one. She's the underdog, she's expecting to die, she's just about given up at this point, but she's got her friends to cheer her on. She's the most grounded of the three. Her friendship with Jules and her suitor Billy was great to read... And you know what was best about her friendship with Jules? The love triangle had nothing to do with her. Arsinoe was all for supporting Jules to the very end, and I love that kind of friendship.

But, love triangle. It comes out of the blue. I do not understand how you can have sex immediately with someone for saving you (while knowing you have a girlfriend back home), feel bad about it, then have sex again. Unexpected. Also more reasons for not really liking Mirabella.

I enjoyed Katharine, as well. Not as much as Arsinoe, but her development through the story from weak willed to a queen hellbent on revenge got me. Her relationship with Pietyr as unlikely lovers was adorable, too.

My main qualm about it... Ignoring the fact that again, huge cast of characters that were hard to keep track of... was the pacing. I was expecting at least one queen to die this novel. The actual action doesn't happen until 3/4th of the novel. It was so slow, and while I understand the need to bring out all the characters, I was looking for my killings and death, a 'la Hunger Games, but with royalty.

Still, I want to read the sequel to find out who is going to be queen of them all. Personally rooting for Arsinoe, even more so now with that twist in the end. Can't wait until One Dark Throne!

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