Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake


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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




I started reading Three Dark Crowns after looking around for candle boxes from my favorite bookish candle shops. I saw that Wickworms was selling a box for Three Dark Crowns. I owned the book but hadn’t read it. I thought I could justify getting the box if I at least read the book and didn’t hate it.  I read it and I DO plan on purchasing the box next paycheck. As for my opinions on the book, I think they aren’t anything new but I want to talk about them anyway,

Let’s start with writing style. Three Dark Crowns is written in third person omniscient POV. What this means is the narrator can describe the thoughts and feelings of any character in an objective way. So while each chapter takes place in a different area so as to see what each possible Queen is up to, the narrates also focuses on other characters near and around the almost queens.  I’m not used to reading third person anymore so it kind of threw me off for a hot minute. But overall I didn’t hate this style of story telling. It did confuse me when the narrator started focusing more on side characters and what they were feeling. But I think that has to do with plot.  The story was pitched as being about the princesses who have to kill their sisters in order to be queen. And it is about that. But it’s also about the land of Fennbirn and how the people ready themselves for the accension year. It’s about political movements and how different people are players in the game. In the end the fact that we focus on other characters helped make the story more interesting in my opinion. When I would get bored , I’d wait for the narrator to just switch who they were viewing. Finally for writing style I’ll say that the masses weren’t kidding when they said this book has a slow start. The first 2/3 kinda drip along. There is more focus on all the indivisual players and less of the princesses. There is not a ton of action, just minor happenings here and there. If you aren’t determined to finish books then you could possibly give up. But I will say that it did pick up in that last half to one third.

There are quite a few chracters in this story. Besides the princesses there are the families that hosted them during their childhoods, and the boys that they interact with. The princesses are pretty relatable. They aren’t cookie cutter YA characters. I liked that they had obvious flaws and in some cases were aware of said flaws. I definitely had a princess that I liked the best. But personally I didn’t hate any of them. Which was helpful. In fact there wasn’t any character I hated. Though there were a few I was meh about. There would be whole scenes with characters that I was just like, “Okay can we skip this part? Please and Thank You.” But I thought for the most part the princesses were well developed.

Something that was not well developed was the romance. One of the princesses has more of a friendship going on. And I can totally see that. I actually head canon this particular princess as either ace or bi sexual. But the other two princesses had these romances that I thought came off as very insta love. Maybe its because we were switching where the POV was focusing on. But these relationships didn’t happen naturally. Mirabella saves a boy from a storm, they have sex twice, and then suddenly she can’t stop thinking about him. And he tells his fiance that he is in love with another woman. Like WOAH! Way to give in to stereotypes that boys only think with their penises. *Claps hands*. I realize this is a society ruled by woman but to make the men seem idiotic and unable to form coherent thoughts in the face of the female breasts was just… not okay with me. And the third sister drums up a frienship with this boy who is helping her became more flirty and confident. Which he does by having her practice kissing and flirting with him. I kinda saw Katherine falling for him because she was developed as not having experience around boys. But without much time seen together on the page he is suddenly in love with and is jealous of her other suitors. I was like, “Wait, What?” I would understand infatuation. But LOVE? It left me wanting a bit more.


As for personal enjoyment, I did enjoy the book. It was slow to start but I was okay with that because I knew it going in. I’m hoping the next books in the series will have a bit more development and action so I’m not as bored. But I’m invested enough in the characters to continue on.

I would not recommend this if you don’t like slow stories or if you are expecting a close and personal look at the queens and their feelings. The third person POV puts a bit of space between the narrator and the characters.

But if you like the concept and some political power plays then I do suggest you try this one out and push through.



I hope you guys are having a lovely day. Have you read this book? If so, or you’re interested then let me know in the comments down below! I’ll ttyl. TTFN.

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6 thoughts on “Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

  1. thebookishlibra says:

    Such a bummer this wasn’t a better read for you. It’s on my TBR and I tried to start reading it once but then set it aside because I thought it started off very slow too. I’m sure I’ll read it at some point but it’s not a priority for me. Great review though!


  2. Emma says:

    This was a much more in depth review than others I’ve read. I hadn’t heard much about the individual characters yet and I feel like the romances aren’t going to be something I enjoy. I do plan to pick up this book eventually but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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