Official Synopsis: 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.
My copy came from: I purchased the hardcover from Amazon.
Review: Strange and dark, with an intriguing premise that made me overlook its faults.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake was the November Book of the Month for Hype or Like Friday, and I hadn’t really heard anything about this book before I read it, which is probably one of the reasons I liked it so much. I went into the book completely blind, not knowing anything about the plot, so I didn’t really have any expectations for this book.
Taking us into a bizarre world in which triplets battle to the death for a crown, Three Dark Crowns tells the story of Katharine, who is immune to poison, Arsinoe, a naturalist who can control plants and animals, and Mirabella, an elemental who can control the weather, fire, and water to name a few things. There are rules to the “battle”, and the triplets must wait until they are sixteen to start trying to kill their sisters, with the winner becoming queen.
Stop sounding so sad. And stop looking at me that way. This is what we are. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t ask for it.
Raised apart from each other, and schooled in their specialties, the triplets don’t have a particular love for each other, as they were separated at an early age and are trained to kill in order to be queen.
Out of the three sisters, Arsinoe probably was the most likeable; she seems carefree and down-to-earth and genuinely cares for her friends. Katherine was a bit too obsessed with learning how to seduce for me to really care for her (why must this be a lesson she needs to learn??). Although, I did love the fact that her favorite piece of “jewelry” was her very poisonous pet coral snake worn as a bracelet. And Mirabella, well, Mirabella was fine, she was probably the kindest of the sisters, and seems to be the one sister willing to try to not fight and instead be friends, but then she goes and has sex with a random guy (who of course isn’t random) on the beach after he washes ashore. It was just way too much of insta-love for me, and was flat-out irritating, and brought a weird love triangle into the mix that I just didn’t care about.
I cannot stay here anymore and dream of my sisters talking to me from dead bodies. I cannot kill them. I know that you need me to; I know that is what I am meant to do…
With mention of the three different gifts (poison, naturalist, and elemental), there is also mention of “rare” gifts: the war gift and the sight gift. Neither of these gifts were ever explained, but were mentioned enough for me to think, “ok, which of the sisters will have these gifts”, but again, nothing was ever explained. Since there is a sequel to this book, maybe I’ll find out more about these gifts later. I hope so, as they sound interesting. And they are probably far more practical and useful than the ability to withstand poisonings. After all, if people know you are a poisoner, and immune to poisons, they won’t try to poison you, therefore making your gift useless. In my mind, the elemental is the strongest gift, as you could just zap the other sisters with lightning, and the battle is done. But I guess if Mirabella did just that, there wouldn’t be a book to read…
If the idea of three sisters with magical gifts battling for a crown interests you, then you might really like this book! I admit to being a bit irritated that women are always pitted against other women (or girls against other girls), so this was frustrating to read. But I do hope that there might be a twist to this plot in the next book.
Three Dark Crowns had some predictable parts, but other scenes weren’t predictable at all, and the book was unusual and intriguing enough for me to like it and read it fairly quickly.
I do have one recommendation for those who want to read Three Dark Crowns: you may want to wait until the sequel is available (Fall 2017 I believe), as the book leaves off on a cliffhanger. Cliffhangers now make me weary (thank you, George R.R. Martin, for that!), and I’m almost to the point of giving up series books until the whole series is published. That’s how irritated I am with cliffhanger endings.
While it may sound like this book really irritated me, and it certainly did in parts, overall I really did enjoy it, and I liked the darkness and unusual aspects of the book. I’ll definitely read the sequel, and it gets a LIKE from me!
Bottom Line: Unusual, dark, and intriguing. Has its faults, but I still enjoyed it.
And I’ve now started creating Pinterest pages based on the books that I read. Here’s a link to my Pinterest page based on Three Dark Crowns here. If the Pinterest page intrigues you, pick up the book!
What do you think? Are you intrigued by the plot or are you weary of the trend in books that everything needs to be fought for? Have you read Three Dark Crowns? Are you anxiously awaiting the sequel?