Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Three Dark CrownsThree Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake
Publication Date: September 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback (ARC copy)
Rating: 2/5
Buy the Book: Amazon|Book Depository|Exclusive Books (SA)
Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death.

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.

I've put off writing this review for almost as long as it took me to finish the book. In saying that this was a slow read is a massive understatement. It rather recalls that famous Devil Wears Prada quote - it moved at a glacial pace. This wasn't a fun read, it wasn't an epic story. What it was is a great premise to what could be an amazing series.

Three Dark Crowns follows three very separate storylines for triplet sisters, one of whom is destined to reign over the land. The main problem I encounter with this is that the plot lines are so devoid of connectivity, you often forget that they're related (the story as well as the sisters). The Queens each possess a supernatural power that they spend most of the book attempting to hone. The calmative point sees them battle it out in a display of skill, which ultimately they'll use in planning their demise, leaving the surviving Queen ruler. In my opinion, this book could've done with a major cut of most of the first half - in facts in might've been better off as a prequel novella.

Ultimately I have higher hopes for the next book seeing as the story is well set up for a great sequel. Perhaps I'm holding some slight resentment for the fact that this ended up setting me back in my reading challenge, but to say I'm excited for the follow up would be a lie. I'll tentatively give book two a chance, similar to that of a dodgy Tinder date, complete with a duck and run strategy.

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