Dark and Intense | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Friday, November 24, 2017

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 9/20/16
Pages: 398
Source: purchased

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. 

Three sisters are separated at childhood. Each holds a special gift. One immune to poison. Another in elemental powers. And the other with animals and nature. When they all come of age, only one can take the throne. The other two will be dead, killed by the true queen of the three.

What is Three Dark Crowns?

  • Doesn't this sound like the best story? The synopsis was what really drew me to the story. I was so intrigued that I needed to know what was going to happen.
  • I have never read anything by Kendare Blake before. I did buy Anna Dressed in Blood which I gave to my college roommate when it first came out. My roommate had nothing but compliments to say about the book. She did mention it was dark. And even when you read the synopsis of Three Dark Crowns, you knew it's going to be dark. However, I wasn't expecting so much of it to be dark, gloomy, and to top it all off gruesome and a whole lot of disturbing. 
  • I was expecting much more action than there was. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed at how slow everything seemed to be moving. It was mainly set-up, building this world that these three sisters live in. It didn't pick up until much later in the book.
  • When it does pick up, it gets good. Like I forgot to sleep last night good. 
  • I haven't read much fantasy but I want to. This year, I made it one of my bookish goals to read more fantasy and this book is definitely a good start to completing that goal. 
  • Three Dark Crowns is anything but predictable. When I thought I knew what was going to happen, Kendare Blake turns the tables again and I sit there dumbfounded at such the genius plot moves. The structure of the story was gorgeously done!
  • And that ending! It was one of those endings that will leave you waiting for the sequel, because the story is far from finished. It will have you talking about it long after it already ended. There is so much left to say and Blake leaves it open for the sequel.
something characters GIF

Three Sisters

  • These are not numbered-chapters, instead it plays out like a spy drama where we are told the location before each chapter begins. This really helped me as I was able to associate each sister with what location they were currently staying in. 
  • Yes, I know there are only three sisters, but then you still have to remember which power belongs to whom and who is friends with whom and who are we supposed to be hating at the moment. All the information in the beginning seems slow and definitely overwhelming. To tell you the truth, I wrote little notes to define each sister. And only after I was done reading this book, did I find this character cheat sheet for Three Dark Crowns, created by Epic Reads.
  • Despite what the Epic Reads character sheet depicts, I found Arsinoe to be the least intelligent of all three sisters. This could be because she was so sheltered, the sort of character who puts herself down too much. And we never seemed to get a really good look inside her head. She seems to rely much more on her friends than anything else she may possess.
  • Katharine was my favorite sister, or probably character, in the entire book. We have seen the two other sisters' powers employed before, but poisoning immunity is something that is rarely mentioned in books. It is such a fresh and unique take on a power. As much as I was cringing, every chapter with all the deadly poisons, I couldn't stop reading.

Three Boys for Three Girls

  • Pietyr. I could write a whole blog post about my opinion on this guy and it still wouldn't be enough. First, I love his name. I love the spelling. Though, I don't know if I've been pronouncing it correctly-- I have been pronouncing it like Peter the whole time (don't stop me now). Second, I totally dislike him. Throughout the whole story, I felt like I could see right through this nice and adorable facade. As I got deeper into the plot, he just seemed more and more creepy. I peg him as a love to hate character. I don't have many of those but Pietyr seems to fit that role so well.
  • Not only Pietyr but all the boys in this book are infuriating. Maybe I'm just the type of reader who is always looking for her next book boyfriend but with this book, I couldn't decide who I liked less because all of the boys were terribly unlikable.
  • Am I the only one annoyed at how wrong Pietyr's presence was? His whole character was basically created to help Katharine develop-- to make her into a queen. He is there to "awaken" her into feeling confident in herself. The whole plan was a bit shaky to me. And did it ever really work? We never actually get to see this development in play enough to notice the difference. 


Three Dark Crowns started as a fairytale-esque journey into a dark world. It became so much more than that with a genius plot and intriguing ideas. Readers of fantasy will definitely like Kendare Blake's tale and will surely be eagerly awaiting its sequel.

Three Dark Crowns (9/20/16): 4 stars
One Dark Throne (9/19/17): TBD

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