Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Three Dark Crowns
Kendare Blake
Series Name: Three Dark Crowns
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2016
Pages: 407 (paperback)
Publishers: Pan Macmillan
4 and a half Star

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Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death.

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.


I received this book in the September “You Win or You Die” The YA Chronicles Subscription box and I have finally picked it up. For a while I didn’t know if I wanted to because I know a fair few people have put it on their DFN list on Goodreads. But I’m glad I finally decided to pick it up as I really enjoyed it.

This is also the first book I have completed for the AYearAThon, I was half way through this book when that ReadAThon started though, but it’s still my first book finished!

Again any spoilers will be in purple font!

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I like the cover of this book and I love how there was three different editions of this book made. One with the crown of each of the Queens. The copy I own is Arsinoe’s Crown, the green one belongs to Katharine & the yellow is Mirabella. I love that idea, however I haven’t been able to find any other but the red cover for sale on any sites as I was going to link them. So I don’t know if they are only available to certain countries or if they only sold them for a limited time.

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I enjoyed Kendare Blake’s writing. A lot of people have said the book is slow, it was a little but not enough to be annoying. I enjoyed the world building and getting to know the characters properly through the whole book! The main thing I disliked in this book was that there is a LOVE TRIANGLE!!!! And I strongly dislike love triangles. I get that it had a role in a certain part of the book, but I still don’t like it overall. I also noticed a couple of spelling mistakes in this book, only like 3 but that kind of annoyed me. But that may be because I don’t know if this book is the fully edited and final edition of this book as the book released on the 22nd of September and we usually get the boxes around the 20th of each month. So they would of had to get the copies of the books at least a few weeks before release date to pack the boxes, so that may be the case. I’m not 100% sure though.

Also this book is written in Multi POV, mainly following our three queens Arsinoe, Katharine & Mirabella, but also occasionally other character too like Jules, Pietyr, etc. I really enjoyed getting to know the three queens as well as get that little bit of extra info when following other characters.

I also like that there is a map in the front of the book! I really like the design of the map with drawings around the sides represents the three main gifts, elemental, naturalist & poisoner.

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I like this plot a lot, the idea of it is really good and yes it was a tad slow, but I didn’t mind it. There wasn’t TONNES of action at the start but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I like that there were so many twists and turns in this book. I found it pretty much unpredictable. And that last 2 pages of the book I was not prepared for at all and surprised me heaps because it was just so out of the blue. But reading that last sentence and thinking about it, it all made sense.

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In this book you were given enough info and time with each of the Queens that by the end, you know which one you are backing! I personally like Arsinoe the most out of the three queens. I still like Katharine & Mirabella, but Arsinoe is my favourite. Katharine was an interesting character but there just wasn’t much to her, but I think that was because of how she was raised, there wasn’t much left to her after everything she has been through. Mirabella is kind and thoughtful and interesting. However I don’t like that after she found out who Joseph was she still proceeded to sleep with him again. Again my hatred for love triangles. She cares about her sisters when she shouldn’t and I like that. Arsinoe is fun and adventurous, she is also kind and caring.

I like and dislike Jules at times. I like her when it comes to when she is around Arsinoe. But when it comes to Joseph I dislike her. I don’t care how much someone claims they love you or you love them, if they sleep with another woman then that relationship should be over. It’s her own stupid fault for continuing to get hurt when she keeps going back to him whenever she is feeling vulnerable. Also I don’t particularly like Joseph, he was fine at the start, but it didn’t last. Again with the love triangle crap. I think he has gotten so used to the fact that he ‘loves’ Jules that he doesn’t even realise he doesn’t love her anymore than a friend, anymore than he loves Arsinoe.. Because the chemistry the book showed between him and Mirabella shows more than that of between him and Jules. Fucking love triangles! I enjoyed both Luke & Billy, they are both interesting characters and I liked that Luke owns a bookstore! 

Natalie is someone I still don’t know how I feel about, she comes across cruel at times but I do think that she loves Katharine like a daughter. Genevieve is just cruel. And Pietyr is a character that I just had a funny feeling about from the start and didn’t know whether I liked him or not. I still don’t know if I do or not.. 

I really enjoyed Elizabeth and Bree. We don’t find out a tonne about Bree, but I generally enjoy her. Elizabeth is a really nice and caring character that simply came to talk to someone who looked upset. I think she is awesome! Luca I just don’t like, she is greedy and will do anything to get her way. 

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I really enjoyed this book, I only didn’t give it 5 stars because of that love triangle. If that wasn’t present I could have liked those characters more and I probably would have given in a full 5 stars! I’m keen to see what happens in the next book One Dark Throne when it comes out September this year.

Let me know if you have read this book and what you thought in the comments! Please warn about spoilers so that other commenters aren’t spoiled.

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