BONUS BOOK: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

“Her whole life they have thought her a failure, yet at the first hint of hope, they move to follow her, as if it is what they wanted all along. Perhaps it was.”

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis: “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.”

Review: The premise for Three Dark Crowns sounds promising enough, and I decided to give this book a try after a coworker recommended it. While this novel does deliver in the area of character development, I was not a fan of the overall plot development or direction. Mirabella, Katharine, and Arsinoe are all interesting in their own rites, but for me Arsinoe was the real star of the show, largely because she simply didn’t care what the rest of Fennbirn thought of her. Even as my favorite character, however, there were plenty of times when Arsinoe and her band of friends began to annoy me. The Mirabella-Jules-Joseph love triangle felt contrived and unnecessary. I also felt like the world-building for Three Dark Crowns was too diffuse, leaving me oftentimes confused about different people and places. On a more positive note, I was really shocked by the twist at the end; it certainly hooked me in a way that most of the book failed to. However, I ultimately felt that it was too little, too late, and that Three Dark Crowns had an interesting foundation but failed in execution.




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