Review: THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare BlakeThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Also in this series: One Dark Throne
Published by Harper Teen on September 22nd 2016
Pages: 416
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult Fiction, Royalty, Fantasy, General
Also by this author: One Dark Throne
ARC provided by BEA 2016, HarperCollins

AmazonBook Depository

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 stomach-ache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of beasts.

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.

Three Dark Crowns is a heart-stopping fantasy from Kendare Blake, acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood.

Reading time 4 mins

THREE DARK CROWNS was deliciously dark! This story is about triplet sisters, all with a different power, raised separately by the houses that hone that power. On the year of their sixteenth birthday, these three will face off and have a year to kill each other. The one left alive will inherit the crown. That’s the basic set-up, but there is so much more going on behind the scenes.

Three Black Witches are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends.

Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen
two to devour
and one to be queen.

Katherine is raised in the house that has the power right now. She is a poisoner who doesn’t seem to have the gift. She has been poisoned her whole life and starts the story very frail. Katherine’s story is sad as she is used viciously by her house to make it look like she has power.

Arsinoe is the naturalist who also shows no signs of her power. She is meant to control any plant or animal, but she has never been able to do that. No one thinks she will be queen but her mentor does teach her some magic. Her hope is that through the magic her powers will come.

Mirabella is a natural elemental and the sweetest sister. She mourned for a year when she and her sister’s were separated. She can actually conjure up fires and storms and she is the only one who actually can win. Sweet Mirabella can’t bear the thought of killing her sisters, but kill them she must if she wants to live.

The houses that raise these girls are scheming to gain power over the other houses. The girls are a tool to make that happen. there are a lot of rules for this world and traditions that keep them in check. Both Katherine and Arsinoe have been faking their powers to make it look like they stand a chance against Mirabella. As well as hoping their girl will be crowned queen, the houses are also trying to match the best suitor for each girl. The houses choose suitors carefully so they can keep powers controlled. This story doesn’t have much romance per se, but it does have a few sparks that I think will lend to future romances.

I absolutely loved this story. Each sister has a story and a reason to survive. I adored naive Katherine and felt really bad for her. I wanted to cry for Arsinoe who everyone thinks will die right away. Arsinoe is sassy and I rooted hard for her. I totally expected to hate Mirabella, but I ended up loving her too. I couldn’t even pick which sister to root for. I loved all their plots to kill each other and their conflicting emotions at what that might actually be like.

I really enjoyed the fantastical elements to this story. Each girl is living in a different part of this world and it looks much different for each of them. The story builds at a great pace to the ceremony at the end where the girls celebrate their birthdays and finally face off. I enjoyed the world building for each sister and the witchcraft. This book might have the best map have ever seen in a book. I mean look at all the details…




THREE DARK CROWNS is one of those books for me that lived up to the hype. I read this book really early, like right after I got my grabby hands on it at BEA. I am so sad that I have to wait so long for the sequel. I need to know what happens next. The ending was pretty brilliant. If you like dark fantasy, you need to read this book.

My Rating


Check out the trailer for THREE DARK CROWNS

Three Dark Crowns series

About Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake is the author of several novels and short stories, most of which you can find information about via the links above. Her work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry. She was born in July (for those of you doing book reports) in Seoul, South Korea, but doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, as she was packed off at a very early age to her adoptive parents in the United States. That might be just an excuse, though, as she is pretty bad at learning foreign languages. She enjoys the work of Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Linklater, and the late, great Michael Jackson, I mean, come on, he gave us Thriller.

She lives and writes in Kent, Washington, with her husband, their two cat sons (Tybalt and Tyrion Cattister) and their red Doberman dog son, Obi Dog Kenobi.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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