What You Need To Know:
Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Number of Pages: 405
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series/Standalone: First Book in the Three Dark Crowns Series
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: 22nd September, 2016
Rating: Five Stars
Triplets. One crown. A fight to the death.
In every generation on the island called Fennbirn, a set of triplets are born: three Queens, all of which are 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. Katherine 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 to become the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth – of the eldest of the three becoming Queen. No, each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose – it’s a matter of life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing is the one who gets the crown.
There are two things you need to know about this book, it is far darker than first expected and it is completely original. I will say this, this book blew my mind and I couldn’t put it down but from what I can tell there are several people out there that really don’t like it. And I really can’t see why, though I guess there are some people out there that aren’t really a fan of fantasy books. But this is a good fantasy, make no mistake.
“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.”
I thought that there would be one of the Queens that I would like above all the others, that I would have a favourite and would be willing to kill so that they could become the Queen Crowned. Boy, was I wrong. I liked these characters equally and by the end I found myself cooing over each of them in turn. Yes, from each of the different points of view we saw the different communities, different perspectives on the particular characters. That they all thought Mirabella was bigheaded and likely believed that she was going to try to destroy them through some huge display of power. That they all thought that Katherine would try to poison them in their sleep and was as evil as the people that she lived with. That Arsinoe was as wild and savage as her people. Yet almost immediately we learnt that this was not the case. Despite the conditions that they lived in, despite the fact that they should have hated each other, there was something about them that was likeable and they each knew, despite a few reservations, that they needed each other.
” ‘That’s what they call you, on the mainland. Witches. That’s what my father says that you are. Monsters. Beasts. But you are not a monster.’ ‘No, she says quietly. ‘And neither are the rest.’ “
I will admit that I had some reservations when coming into this book, after learning that there would be three different points of views. Typically I can’t connect to the characters when there are three different voices all, usually, telling the same thing. But ultimately I had no reason to. There was something different about all three of them and even without the little symbol to determine who’s voice was being used in each chapter, I knew straight away. Each of the voices, and the civilisations that they came from, were so different and distinct that I understood everything straight away.
“In her mind, every last Queen lies at the bottom of the sea, drowned by the Goddess the moment she was done with them.”
There is little more I can say about this book without spoiling it for so many others. I went into this world blind so I would love for other people to do the same. But I will say this. Yes, there is a love triangle. If people know me then they’ll know that I hate love triangles, they are tacky and, in my opinion, have ruined some of the best novels out there. But it wasn’t what I expected at all. It might not have been the best decision but it did add something to the plot line.
“No one really wishes to be a Queen.”
This book takes so many twists and turns that the final outcome is definitely not to be expected. It is addicted and I’m sure most people will adore what they see and will be waiting with baited breath, just as I am, for the sequel. This was the first thing by Kendare Blake that i’ve read and I cannot wait to find out what else she has in store for me.
‘ “I want revenge.” She whispers, and her fingers trail bloody streaks down Natalia’s arms. “And I want my crown.” ‘
Book Total of 2017 – 57