Review: Three Dark Crowns

Posted November 14, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Three Dark CrownsThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, horror, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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three-half-stars

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.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was so excited about this book. Three sisters, each born with a distinct magical affinity. Each sister raised with the expectation that she would be the next queen, but only if she kills her sisters. This Is the Highlander of YA fantasy, there can be only one.

Plus the queens have really neat affinities. Arsinoe, the Naturalist, has the ability to control the earth. She has dominion over plants and animals. Nature was a weak power. Katharine, the Poisoner, has immunity to all poisons. She eats poison and is not affected at all. Her power and her family are known to be sly and secretive. Mirabella, the Elemental queen has the power to control water, wind and fire. Her power is coveted as the greatest of all. Unfortunately, Arsinoe and Katharine have struggled their entire lives to keep their shameful secret. They have no powers at all.

So why was this book SO BORING.

I really struggled because, even though the plot kept advancing, I felt an extreme lack of connection with the characters. I liked Arsinoe best, if I liked any of them. However, Arsinoe seemed like she had the least corruption and the most redeeming qualities. She still retained some of her humanity, maybe to her detriment. While I didn’t find her off-putting, she was still bland and uninteresting.

I definitely liked Mirabella the least. Mirabella was the clear favorite. She grew up with every advantage. She didn’t have to struggle the way her sisters did and it made her unsympathetic. Katharine had the exact opposite problem. She was the underdog, but so far under it was impossible to think she would claw her way out. Katharine was weak, pathetic and it made her incredibly unlikeable. However, pitiful is at least interesting. I thought Katharine’s chapters were the best, even if I didn’t like her a person.

The plot finally picked up at 60 – 70% of the way through and I finished it. The ending of this book was the one bright spot. If you start this book, you have to finish it. It’s literally it’s one redeeming point.

I’m still don’t know whether or not I will continue this series. Before the ending, I was a solid no. However, she pulled me back in. We’ll have to see what I think when One Dark Throne comes out.

three-half-stars

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