{Leah Reviews} Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Posted September 22, 2016 by Leah in Reviews / 2 Comments

{Leah Reviews} Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns

by Kendare Blake
Pages: 416
Published on September 20th 2016
by HarperTeen
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Also by this author: Anna Dressed in Blood, Anna Dressed in Blood

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 
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. 

3.5 Stars

On the isle of Fennbirn, the struggle between the three triplet queens and their loyalists is strong. A poisoner queen has reigned for many years now, and the poisoners hope Katharine, their current ruler, will keep the line going. But she’s prone to illnesses, so her strength is questioned. The same goes for Arsinoe, her naturalist sister, who is supposed to be able to control animals and plants and have a powerful animal familiar at her side, but hasn’t shown any sign of of this talent. There’s Mirabella, an elemental, who can harness the winds and command storms. Their sibling rivalry is more than that: they must prove their powers and, eventually, fight until there is one left to rule the island.

Kendare Blake is a true talent when it comes to dark fantasy. Her prose is eerily beautiful and atmospheric. The world building was well thought out. Fennbirn is steeped with gloomy forests and crashing oceans, divided cultures and practices. And the food! Each sect of magic is given loving detail. We get to see the poisoner’s realm with its dark, sparkling grandeur; the elemental world with its airy, almost Greco decor; the naturalist village is rich with the salty ocean air and vast forests.

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The stakes are slowly raised as the story moves toward their face off. I felt the tension and the intrigue. There’s so much happening behind the scenes; loyalists on each side prove just how far they would go to make sure their queen makes it to the throne.

Of the three sisters, I liked Arsinoe the most. I feel like her chapters were more intimate, so I got to know her more. Her world is the one I would love to live in. But Mirabella also has a place in my heart for her fragile yet unrequited love for her sisters. This does not mean I don’t underestimate Katharine–she starts off as a delicate flower, but she proves she’s hiding some very dangerous thorns.

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The book does leave me with some questions throughout. There’s a subplot in Arsinoe’s story involving a spell cast over her best friend Jules and a boy named Joseph, whom Jules has always loved. For some strange reason, a love triangle forms. I have my ideas as to why this happens, but the not knowing is killing me. Also, there’s a reveal at the end that might not be all surprising, but it does leave you impatiently waiting for the second book. Or maybe that’s just me. 🙂

Having read Kendare’s Anna Dressed in Blood duology and the first book in her Goddess War series, this is her richest world yet. The stakes are high and there’s a crown to win.

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**Thank you to Epic Reads for the ARC, provided at Yallwest**


About Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn’t make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.



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2 responses to “{Leah Reviews} Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

  1. I don’t know if I’ll ever pick this one up. I read a review that had me deleting this off my TBR. The issue with Mirabella and Joseph had me reeling, and then poor Jules. I don’t know. I would probably be more frustrated and mad than anything while reading this novel. I’m glad that you were still able to enjoy this one 🙂

    • Leah

      I could have gone without that love triangle, too. But I need answers to all of the unanswered questions.

      Hope you find some good things to read that won’t make you mad! 🙂

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