Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

With the epic premise of three sisters competing to the death for the right to be queen, I was expecting a lot from Three Dark Crowns. Unfortunately, "a lot" was not what I got, unless you count a lot of disappointment.

The romance was definitely the weakest aspect of all three plotlines. To keep things spoiler free I won't mention what happens in each one, but there are elements of instalove and cheating. The love interests were also poorly developed, seemingly only there to be decorative. The book could have 100% been done without any of the romances, because I literally disliked all of the ships and likely would have enjoyed the book more without them. They only distracted from the main plot.

Speaking of which, I must say, the main plot wasn't that great either. I was expecting political intrigue and darkness and epic battles and instead I got a lot of boredom and a lot of characters I didn't really care all that much about. I especially found it difficult to get into the plot at the start- you're sort of dumped into this intricate world and have no idea what's going on with the many characters and three points of view. In addition to that, most of the book is incredibly slow. Things do happen throughout, but they're not interesting things and don't help move the plot and pace forward.

I'm kind of annoyed because in the last couple of chapters, there's this massive twist (which I didn't see coming at all, so props to Blake for that) that kind of makes me want to read the sequel. Or at least read a synopsis of the sequel or something.

So yeah, I can't really recommend this one too much, although there have been many people who have rated it 4-5 stars. You may like it if you have more patience than me.

It was okay
Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 1/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 2.5/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 5/5