All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
Hi there. Today, I’ll be reviewing a book which was released late into last year: ‘Three Dark Crowns’ by Kendare Blake. If I remember correctly, I got it as a Christmas present and finally got round to reading it, in the massive pile that was created as my to-read list now I’ve finished university. As a result, there a few book reviews which will be of books released in the second half of 2016, and some early in 2017 that I’m only just getting around to.
Anyway, back to this review. I didn’t do a Goodreads review for this one, and as it’s been out for a while, this will contain some spoilers. As usual, there is some basic info below about it.
Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Part of a trilogy: Yes, book 1
Original publication date: 20th September 2016 (US)/22nd September 2016 (UK)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (Read May 2017)
It only took me a couple of days to read this book and I really enjoyed it. The premise alone sounded amazing. Another factor was that the covers (both US and UK) which really grabbed me, because they’re all so pretty. The UK had three covers, one to represent each queen. I ended up with the cover representing Mirabella, and I love it.
Each of the queens grew up separately after their first few years together, and they each developed their gifts. Katharine is a poisoner and immune herself; Arsinoe is a naturalist and can help things grow and develop; Mirabella is an elemental, with the ability to control the main four elements and other aspects such as storms.
In theory, at least.
The reality is that Katharine and Arsinoe have undeveloped gifts, causing people to wonder if they would be any good as queens. More pressure is applied to Katherine as poisoners have ruled for the last few generations. Each chapter focuses on a different queen, and so by the time I met Mirabella, I thought I’d hate her. All the other characters make her out to be above herself because she has this great gift and is really popular.
Mirabella is actually one of my favourite characters in the book. She’s quite down-to-earth and has a few close friends whom she really cares about. Of the queens, I prefer Katharine the least, though she’s still interesting. She keeps a pet snake, which should be poisonous but isn’t, due to her lack of a gift as a poisoner. I really liked that Arsinoe was so at ease with the nature in her part of the world and how well she knew everything to feel at home.
Maybe I’m a little biased there for being a nature lover myself. Alright, yes. Guilty as charged.
But the world building was explained so well- for everything, actually. There was a map at the front of the book. I like maps in books.
The secondary characters were also great. Jules is Arsinoe’s friend/guardian type person, who also gets some of the narrative separately. Jules has a very strong naturalist gift and her familiar- which is an aspect I enjoyed- is a massive mountain cat. Brilliant. She’s also very loyal to Arsinoe, protective but loves her a lot. They’re like adopted sisters in a way. I hope their relationship/friendship will stay just as strong in Book 2.
Other characters are less likeable for their personalities. There are the priestesses who run Mira’s life and try to stifle her from anything that takes away her focus from her elemental gift. Genevieve is the second guardian to Katharine and she’s really horrible to her.
Her sister, Natalia, is a lot nicer to her charge and really supports Kat throughout. She even helps Kat to cheat at the Beltane festival to make people think she’s a strong queen. Then again, Jules also helps Arsinoe cheat at the festival too… #Squadgoals.
This book had a lot of quick pacing to it, especially near the end, which I liked because I found it was really tense. Each chapter was short to get in everyone’s reactions to events, ect, and it made it a page-turner for me. There are also several slower scenes to balance it out.
I didn’t like that some of it was a little easy to guess- though there were also things I was surprised at- but it will be a trilogy, so maybe that will get better. Also, some of the information was repeated a little too often as each party found things out. I know that was the point, to gauge each reaction, but it seemed a little overused. Or maybe that’s just me.
Overall, a solid beginning to this trilogy and I’m looking forward to seeing how Book 2- One Dark Throne- fares after the revelations at the end of Three Dark Crowns.
If you’ve read this book, let me know your thoughts as well.
Thanks for reading this review. All the best.
Hi, I'm an animal lover and have a degree. You can usually find me either reading or writing. Failing that, I might have actually ventured into the outside world...