I saw this book recommended to me on Goodreads and added it to my TBR list. When I I was at the book shop buying ‘Throne of Glass’ I picked up this one on a whim. Three Dark Crowns is such an amazing read and is the start of what may be one of my most favourite favourites fantasy series yet.
Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Date published: September 20th, 2016
Page Count: 407
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.
Three dark queens is an as amazingly written fantasy book with such a unique and interesting concept. Kendare Blake creates such an interesting world with history and culture that we only get a small glimpse of in this first book. It has a little bit of everything-romance, mystery , fantasy, politics with well rounded characters and plot twists that left me lost for words as three young queens are groomed to kill the other two to ascend to the throne.
Firstly this battle between the Queens is so interesting to read- not just a physical battler but also emotional and political to not only murder the other two Queens but to gain the support of the people and the eyes of the suitors. There is such a vast different between the three girls. Not only the obvious one in the different Gifts they have, but also in the cultures in which they are raised and how they accept their fate and role in the monarchy. Katherine is a poisoner raised by a strong and wealthy house, trained to poison her sisters and continue the the legacy of the Poisoner people by taking the throne. The Poisoners have been the rulers over several generations, and many of the other houses wish nothing more but to see them overthrown. We also have Arsinoe who is a Naturalist, whose people have a proud culture that values nature and the environment. Lastly Mirabella is the strongest our of the three, an elemental who can control the elements at ease. She is heavily favoured by the temple and gathers their full support and the public are in awe of her talents. These sisters, are so different and this makes the book so interesting and is explored thoroughly. We see each of them approach their fate to murder their sisters in completley different ways. One Queen relishes this and has no problem with doing it, one is unsettled by the idea that she will ever the spill her sisters blood and remembers time they were young and close, and the third seems to be unsure whether she actually beat the other two.
For the first few chapters I got a bit lost with all the key players and how the hierarchy of the monarchy and the throne worked. It took me a couple reads of some parts before I understood the politics at play, but apart from being a little complex it is such an interesting concept that makes for a great read.
The characters are perfect and so different, and switching between each Queen every chapter helped keep the plot moving and slowly building up to the important moments. There were so many plot twists and there was never a boring moment in the book. Overall it was wonderfully written by Kendare Blake. The book finished on such a cliff hanger and I walked around the house for ten minutes trying to digest it. The only negative about this book is that i will have to wait a whole year until the next instalment in the series!
This is probably my favourite Fantasy book i have read this year. It has a perfect mix of fantasy, romance, politics and action and the plot does not slow down throughout. It has such an interesting concept, and i must admit i could not help supporting one of the Queens a little bit more the the others. I cannot wait for the next book and all of the future books in this series.