Friday, March 17, 2017

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Released: September 20, 2016
Read: September 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Format: ARC, 416 pages
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1

Description on Goodreads:

    Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Bloodwill devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 
    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’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
    The last queen standing gets the crown.

    I read Three Dark Crowns such a long time ago, but it's not until now that I FINALLY figured out exactly what I want to say. Being one of my utmost favourite novels, I didn't know how to start this review and I didn't want to screw it up. So here goes nothing.
   Katharine, Mirabella and Arsinoe are each fierce and riveting in their own way. It is clear right from the start that the people who raised each child had a massive impact on their behaviour and attitude. Arsinoe is a wild child that lives for the moment and ignores her queenly duties as much as possible. She doesn't like rules and is more interested in going on adventures than winning the crown. Jules, and the rest of her family, treated Arsinoe like a child (as she was) and not like the future queen. And rightly so. She got to have fun before she was forced to grow up, and that's an important perspective to have. Knowing how the villagers think and feel will bring Fennbirn into a better state of peace, making Arsinoe an accomplished queen. 
    Katharine on the other hand was raised to take what was hers and stomp on those who got in her way. She's somewhat blood thirsty, as she tries to be as ruthless as Genevieve and Natalia want her to be, but has a kind heart at times. She's more of a weakling and is intimidated easily, although she has put up with emotional and physical abuse most of her life. She's a strongly built character, and I don't mean physically. When you read about her, you feel like she's a real person and you come to learn how she'll react to certain situations. 
   Mirabella was definitely my favourite of the queens. I found her the most relatable and such a badass when it came to her gift. Her powers over wind, lightning, water and fire give her an advantage over her sisters, along with the lengthy amount of practice she's had over he years. Meanwhile, her home life is a lot healthier than Katharine's. She has a nice reliable foster family and friends that would do anything for her. I liked reading from Mira's point of view so much because of her curious nature. She was told all her life that her sisters were monsters and that when the time came, they'd slaughter her if she hesitates to kill them. Of course she'd doubt this and want to know more. That's what I admired; she didn't just believe what everyone said, she wanted to know herself what Katharine and Arsinoe were like. 
    The events of the book were enticing and I loved that you could read what was happening with one sister while knowing exactly what another was doing on the other side of Fennbirn. 
    Now about the romances... there was a LOT going on. I don't want to spoil too much, because it's not obvious who ends up with who, but I liked that the love triangles criss-crossed between the Elementalists, Naturalists, and Poisoners.
    Overall I would DEFINITELY recommend Three Dark Crowns, not just for the epic plot line and extravagant characters, but for the beautiful cover as well.

Favourite Quotes:

  • “Queens do not remember these things,"

          "Saying so does not make it true."
          "You will need it to be true, for it is too cruel otherwise, to force a Queen to kill what she loves. Her own sisters. And for her to see that which she loves come at her door like wolves, seeking her head.”

  • “His eyes, when they meet hers, are like the storm. Perhaps he is not a boy at all, but some elemental thing, made by the crashing water and the endless thunder.” 
  • "We are all dual-natured, Queen Mirabella. Every gift is light and dark. We naturalists can make things grow, but we also coax lobsters into pots, and our families tear rabbits to shreds."
  • "I could never hate you, but if you do not leave now, my cat will tear your throat out."

Rating: 9.5/10

Recommended if you like: witchcraft, powers, nature, finding the evil within characters, making a new OTP, unexpected endings, the elements (as in air, fire, water, earth), other novels by Kendare Blake, competitions to the death, reading about close relationships between people and their 'pets', adventure, slight romance (the book doesn't get very mushy)

Keep flipping pages,

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