Three Dark Crowns By Kendare Blake | Book Review

 RATING: Redeeming ending! (3.5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 398 PAGES | PUBLISHER: Harperteen



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. 

3.5 ratingratingratingrating

Cover ThoughtsI like this cover because it’s simple and clean, yet each crown is very detailed. There’s one crown for each ability: naturalist, elemental, and poisoner. The top crown has foliage growing on it to represent the naturalist queen. The middle crown has flames to represent the elemental queen. And the bottom crown is surrounded by snakes to represent the poisoner queen. After reading the book, I really appreciate the attention to detail and love how each crown represents each character.

I went into Three Dark Crowns with very high expectations. The synopsis instantly drew me in as a story of three sisters who have to fight each other to their deaths in order to become queen. Although by the time I read the book, I had forgotten that each sister has a unique ability as an elemental, poisoner, or naturalist. Three Dark Crowns is told in alternating POVs from each sister, which  at first made it difficult to connect with the characters since there was little time with each girl. And to be honest I found most of the book to be pretty boring and the pace to be quite slow. Even though I had a hard time getting into the book and there was a lack of character connection, I was interested enough by the plot to continue reading.

Three Dark Crowns is about three royal sisters, who have to fight each other to the death in order to claim their crown. Each sister possesses a unique magic of either an elemental, poisoner, or naturalist. An elemental is able to control the elements, like fire and water. A poisoner can eat poison without any consequences. A naturalist can control nature and animals. Mirabella is the most powerful elemental ever, and seems the most likely candidate to win. Katharine is a poisoner with high expectations of continuing the poisoner dynasty, but is unable to stomach much poison. Arsinoe is a naturalist with barely any signs of her gift showing anytime soon. Each girl has to fight with her own abilities in order to win the crown, but will they be able to kill each other?

I found the history behind the island of Fennbirn and the ritual to choose the queen to be very interesting. It made for an intriguing premise, but I think the information was dulled out too slowly. It takes most of the book to finally learn about most of the history behind the island and the different types of abilities and the reason the sisters have to kill each other. Although the information was interesting, it was too spread out in the book. I believe Blake wanted to allow readers to slowly get to know each character in order to build a connection, but I found myself disinterested in the characters until the last third of the novel and more interested in the plot line.

Although I almost DNFed Three Dark Crowns and wasn’t very invested in the characters until the end, I’m glad I pushed through the book and made it to the ending because it left me on the edge of my seat wanting more. To be honest, this book would have been more like a 2 or 3 stars if it wasn’t for the ending. The last third of the book was much more fast-paced with a lot of character connection, action, and unexpected twists. I can’t wait to see how the surprises at the end of Three Dark Crowns end up unfolding in book 2! I might have sounded a bit harsh in my review, but I ended up really enjoying Three Dark Crowns due to its stunning ending. It might take awhile to get into it and become invested in the characters, but it’s definitely worth it.  Make it through the first two-thirds of the book, and you won’t regret it! I have high hopes for the second book, and honestly cannot wait to get my hands on it!




WHAT DID YOU THINK OF three dark crowns?


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7 thoughts on “Three Dark Crowns By Kendare Blake | Book Review

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I have actually bought this ages ago but…not read it yet, because I see so many mixed reviews and I’m worried I’ll be uninvested too! GAH.😂 I just hate slow books?!? So I feel like I’ll have a lot of the same issues with it as you. However I doooo love the premise and the ending sounds fantastic so I’ll definitely read it eventually. I loved the review!

    • Vivalabooks says:

      haha at least the cover is pretty, so it’s nice to have a copy for some good bookstagram pics! I totally understand, since one of my biggest issues with this book was the slow pace. If you’re really worried, I’d recommend waiting to see how people react to the 2nd book to see if it’s worth your time. Hopefully it’ll be better (I have really high hopes 🙂 ), and motivate you to pick up the books!! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. divabooknerd says:

    I actually bought this one recently too Amanda, pretty much based on the gorgeous cover. I don’t mind a slower paced book but I usually struggle with multiple points of view, especially with the characters being very similar of related. Did you find yourself forgetting who was who? Still really interesting in giving this one a read, but will be a little more cautious now that the hype has died down. Wonderful review Amanda and hopefully book two is a much better read ❤ ❤

    • Vivalabooks says:

      Isn’t it just so pretty?!! If you won’t mind the slow pace of the book, I’d definitely recommend picking it up! And don’t worry about the different POVs. Each sister has a distinct voice that makes it easy to distinguish between the different chapters, but the beginning could be a bit confusing since the book jumps from setting to setting due to each sister’s different location. I hope you enjoy it when you pick this one up! Thanks and happy reading!

  3. Lori says:

    I want to read this sometime soon. I usually end up DNFing slow books. So I’m happy that the ending made up for the rest of the book for you. That might help me make it through.

    Thanks for linking up on Saturday Situation!

    • Vivalabooks says:

      I’m the same with slow books, so it was a bit of a struggle at first. But I kept on reading because I really wanted to know what happened at the end. And luckily the ending was definitely worth it! Hope you pick it up soon, and enjoy it!

  4. Elena @ Book Lady's Reviews says:

    I was so close to picking this up today but I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s very slow. So glad you managed to power through and enjoyed the ending! I usually end up DNFing slow books or putting them aside for a bit, until I decide whether I want to continue or not. That’s why, even though I find the synopsis of this one completely fascinating, I’m kind of hesitant about it.

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