Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – Review

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.jpgSummary:

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. 

Review: 3 Stars

I picked this book up because I had heard that it was similar to Rule, which I absolutely loved. While the two books both have three sisters fighting for one crown in worlds with fantasy elements, that is where the resemblance ends. Three Dark Crowns is nothing like I had expected it to be. I thought there would be more political rivalry and betrayal and less magical elements. I found most of the book to be slow moving and without a lot happening, but not necessarily boring. The climax and end of the book were both great though.

The way the story was told confused me a bit in the beginning. Three Dark Crowns is told in third person and I expected each chapter to focus on a queen, but each chapter actually focuses on a location where a queen is and the events around those queens. So for a little bit I thought Jules was actually the naturalist queen, but once I figured that out my reading experience went smoother.

The three queens each have different gifts, naturalist, elemental and poisoner, but two of the queens actually seem completely powerless and I didn’t find it particularly interesting to read about weak queens waiting for their gifts to arrive. I felt like so much of the book was spent waiting for something interesting to happen. I felt like everything was drawn out so the author could make the series longer. I did get to know the characters and their relationships to people around them, but I felt like so much more should have happened in this story. When I finally reached about 70 percent the action ramped up. The climax and ending were done really well with some great twists and it was fun to see certain plots from other perspectives.

Overall I feel like this series is going to feel like it should have been condensed into one stand alone book, but the author wanted to drag it out to make more money. The funny thing is even though I feel that way and for most of the story I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, I am still compelled to read the next book  because the story doesn’t feel complete. The ending and climax were great, the characters were good, but most of the book bored me, yet I might read the next book anyway.

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