Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (Untitled, #1)

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.

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.

Kendare Blake is such a consistently good author. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and I enjoyed Antigoddess, by this point I am obligated to enjoy everything to woman puts out. Three Dark Crowns was in no way an exception.

Now, I think part of the reason I can't say I adored this book is to do with the fact that recently I have been on a run of shallow, cute contemporary reads and Three Dark Crowns was much darker and much more loaded than anything that I read recently. That being said, I still really really enjoyed this book and I can honestly say Kendare Blake has done it again. #KendareBlakeHasDoneItAgain, can we make that a trending hashtag?

This book is about three sisters - more like strangers than family - that have been brought up in different environments with the same knowledge - two must die, one must live. We join the girls a few months before the Ascension Year - the year they have to battle to the death - and we see their development up until then. 

To start with I wasn't 100% keen on the split points of view, but because each of the girls had such unique personalities and voices, I didn't find myself getting confused and it started to work for me. Now, I have to say that my favorite of the three Queens was Katharine, so I enjoyed reading her parts more than the other girls, but each arc and the overriding main story kept me hooked anyway. My favorite bit was where they all came together and things started to go a bit cray-cray.

Now the end is written to shock, but with regards to Arsinoe's discovery I had already sort of guessed that - Katharine's ending was a shocker though, and almost a literal cliffhanger, so I am definitely hooked into wanting the next book already, because this is a story that is nowhere near finished yet and I can say that I am absolutely hooked.

There isn't much more that I can say about this book - Kendare Blake has proved once again that she is a brilliant author and world builder, and my faith in her has grown even stronger. I seriously enjoyed this book, even despite a few flaws which keep it from getting the very top ratings.

Book released September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review


  1. Shame on me , shame. I have her anna dressed in blood duology on my shelves. I have to fix that. Her newest book sounds amazing. The epic reads video on three dark crowns is very creative. I recc you see it. Lovely review, Jade

  2. I will definitely be picking this one up - it sounds fab. Although shamefully, I too haven't read any of her other books... Something I must go fix immediately! Great review!


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