Three Dark Crowns: Review
Okay, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is officially a guilty read. I had really high hopes for this book after all I'd seen on Instagram, and I ended up devouring it despite any misgivings I had as I plowed through the story. The writing style wasn't my favorite, though the concept is really compelling, but the execution didn't live up to the concept (in my opinion). But the romantic pairings and relationship drama are so, so, so fun. Warning: minor spoilers ahead!
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.
Disclaimer: The photo pictured above is a UK edition of Three Dark Crowns! They actually have three editions, one for each crown and each sister. I got this copy because I thought the rose petals were so beautiful, and I was thinking of getting all three copies, but I can't find the other two. So, that kind of backfired on me.
Back to your regularly scheduled book review! I absolutely love the concept of this book, and constantly kick myself in the butt for not thinking of it earlier. It's an idea I'd love to bring to shape, and so I had great fun when I was reading Three Dark Crowns. Three sisters with three dark powers, who must compete for a single throne. I expected treachery, displays of magic and strength and deception, and some female kickassery.
Instead, I got steamy romance and budding relationships and sweet flirting.... WHAT?!
That's what I mean when I say that this is easily a guilty pleasure book for me. The plot wasn't what drove me forward, since the execution didn't live up to my expectations. But the relationships (romantic and otherwise) were really quite sweet and I enjoyed reading about each sister and how their romantic development. It helped that their main dudes were very likable (Joseph!!).
But like I said earlier, don't expect too much going into this book. Don't expect mesmerizing world-building or jaw-dropping magic systems and mythology. Don't expect a ton of action or meaningful character development. Even the strategic planning and politics are lackluster since we don't get any evidence of their fight for the throne until about 75% into the book. Three Dark Crowns is a straightforward read, although the ending has a pretty delicious twist.
I rate Three Dark Crowns 3/5 stars!