Book Review

THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake

Rating: 3 / 5

I picked up THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake for a buddy read with a friend and went into it blind. I’m not sure if that was the best decision as it turned out…

THREE DARK CROWNS is the first book in the series of the same name which is made up of four main novels and a few prequels. It is set on the island of Fennbirn where a set of triplets is born every generation, each an heir to the crown and each possessing magic. In order to become the crowned queen the sisters must fight to the death to claim the top position.

Mirabella is an elemental who controls fire and weather. Katherine is a poisoner who herself can consume poisons without issue. Arsinoe is a naturalist who has power over plant an animal. These sisters have each been raised without having any real relationship with her sisters. Each is being prepared for their sixteenth birthday when the fighting begins.

So when I said that going into this book blind might not have been a good thing, what I mean is that there is a LOT of information being thrown at the reader and a lot of characters to learn. Each sister has her own story and sometimes backstory with her own cast of characters around her to train her and support her. Sometimes these casts cross over into a different sister’s timeline and sometimes not. Some relationships wind up crossing over as well. This is absolutely a book that would have benefitted from a family tree or a cast of characters description. Had I known, I probably would have been taking notes along the way.

Getting into this one really was a struggle because my mind was focused on trying to keep characters and relationships straight. Had I not been participating in a readathon at the time, this is one I might have set aside. All that said, the pace of the story really picked up in the back half and there were some twists at the very end which did prompt me to be a bit curious to see where the story goes from here, but I’m not sure if I’m curious enough to invest reading three more novels.

So my question to you, have you read this series? Is it worth forging ahead if the first book was a bit of a drag to get through for me?

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