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.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! As one of my most anticipated reads of the year, Three Dark Crowns was quite an enjoyable read for the most part. After a bit of a slow start, Blake really delivers a novel that will draw you in gradually and then keep you spellbound thereafter.

Three Dark Crowns was wickedly enchanting, exposing both the best and worst parts of humanity with a magical twist. It carves a place in your mind and really makes you ponder the whole nature versus nurture debate and whether the people who you surround yourself with have a bigger influence over the person you become than you originally thought.

♥ Review: I’ve had a few of Kendare Blake’s novels on my bookshelves for quite some time, but for whatever reason, I just haven’t snatched them up to read yet. However, after reading the synopsis for this one, I couldn’t download it quick enough from Edelweiss. (Thank you again, HarperCollins for being the bee’s knees!) I also promptly added it to my most anticipated reads of the year shelf in my mind and after seeing some pretty early rave reviews for it on Goodreads, I was super excited when I finally got to it on my review stack.

So, I don’t know if was because I was anticipating something different from the summary, whether I had to adjust to Blake’s writing style, or if my expectations were astronomically high from all the 5-star reviews, but this novel started off way slower than I expected it would. It took a while and a few sister POV changes before I really started gelling with the book and found my groove. The sisters and the overall book weren’t exactly what I had envisioned from the synopsis either, that being bloodthirsty and filled with evil scheming and treachery. I mean, there was a bit of that but not really from the triplet queens themselves. Instead, the stories primarily focused more on the girls’ upbringing and the people in their inner circles, as well as a lot of political placing amongst families for the council and the temple women. While that definitely was an interesting part of the book and added in quite a few important secondary characters, I think that’s what hindered my ability to fully commit to the story and immerse myself in the world where sisters would slaughter one another. I wanted more of the sisters and less about the background noise of other families fighting to maintain their positions on the council or for the temple to reclaim their ruling spot. (Maybe that’s the point, though? These girls don’t really want to kill one another, they just don’t want to die themselves either.) Either way, it wasn’t as vicious or as cruel as I expected.

Generally, I really enjoyed the different POV from the sisters and seeing how their surroundings molded them into the ladies they have grown to be. Not remembering much of their sisters and knowing that it was a kill or be killed end game made following along with their stories a very intriguing reading experience, especially when two were already deemed to be weaker and one was showed the most favor by the people and expected to win. I know I’m more excited for future novels, not only because of how this one ended, but because of all the misunderstandings of how things developed that I’m sure are going to stir up a bit of chaos in future installments. I’m not so sure that our weak queens will be very weak anymore. Dun dun duuuuuun…

Also, something that I feel like needs to be mentioned is, if you’re looking for romance in this novel, there’s a bit but it is far from being the focal point by any means. Though, again, with how things evolved throughout the course of this book, I’m sure there will be some interesting developments in this department in future books if the author chooses to shine a brighter light on it.

All in all, I was intrigued by the plot from the start, lost a little momentum throughout with all the family shuffling for power, but my interest was definitely piqued again from the massive twists, one in particular, at the end. I foresee the sequel being a bit grittier and absolutely more bewitching than this installment which was already pretty damn good.

♥ Teaser Quote: This book started off with a bang with the quote below and really set the tone of the book for me.

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

– quote taken from the eARC of Three Dark Crowns at 1%

Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
Writing
Characters
Plot
Pacing
Swoons
Angst Me So Good
Overall:

♥ Rec It? Highly likely! I thought it was a solid plot with interesting characters and world, though I’ll definitely be looking for more depth in the coming novels. After that twist at the end that literally made my mouth pop open and my eyes grow wide, I can’t wait to see what Ms. Blake has in store for these sisters next.

♥ A very special thanks to HarperTEEN and Edelweiss for providing me with a paperback copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An advanced copy of this title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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