Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendra Blake
Three dark queens
are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends.
Three dark sisters
all fair to be seen,
two to devour
and one to be Queen.
Three Dark Crowns was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, but unfortunately, I ended up feeling indifferent towards it. The premise is both exciting and different enough from most Young Adult fantasy, however it was executed poorly.
The story is about three triplet queens, each wielding different powers, compete for the throne and must eventually kill the other two to ascend. I was expecting violence, manipulation, bloodshed, tangled politics, and betrayals, amongst other elements, but for a book that promises a dark and gritty story, it was actually quite dull and slow moving. For the first three quarters of the book, not much happens. The upside, however, is that Kendra Blake is an excellent writer. So while I was bored by the first 75% of the book, it didn’t seem to drag and I was able to make it through pretty quickly.
The characters themselves were another issue. Of the three queens, there was only one I actually cared about and found interesting enough to want to continue reading about: Katharine. I thought Arsinoe was bland and I disliked Mirabella quite a bit. I kept finding myself wanting to skim the other chapters until I arrived back to Katharine’s. Some of the side characters had pretty big roles and storylines as well which I was not expecting. Jules was the only other person that I didn’t mind reading about. The romance was also pretty heavily centered in the book-another surprise. Warning: mild spoilers ahead.
The only romantic plot that interested me or that I cared about was Katherine/Pietyr. I absolutely hated Joseph. I wasn’t huge on the Jules/Joseph thing but I understood it but the Joseph/Mirabella romance did not sit right with me and I couldn’t stomach any of their scenes. Since they appear in a good chunk of the book, it diminished my liking of it.
“I want revenge,” she whispers, and her fingers trail bloody streaks down Natalia’s arms.
“And then I want my crown.”
The last quarter of the book, the plot begins to pick up and the action finally arrives. The small twists at the end were both surprising, at least the Arsinoe twist, and intriguing. I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel to learn what happens. I honestly wouldn’t mind if the entire book was just about Katharine and her quest for revenge. All in all, an interesting premise that failed to deliver on the darkness and maliciousness.