ARC Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

18 Sep 2016

Book Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy Romance
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'm having one of those episodes where I put down my book and wanted to scream bloody murder because DAMNIT I NEED MORE. I keep telling myself that I won't get suck into starting a new series but nope. Jasmine knows nothing of self-control. Now look at what I've done to myself.

Let me preface by saying that the moment I read the blurb of Three Dark Crowns, I begin scouting high and low for a way to get my impatient hands on this. Three sisters, three deadly powers, only one can win the title of the next Queen. How is that NOT enticing to you? It was basically screaming "Pick me pick me!" written all over it. My desperate self was rewarded when I approached Kendare herself and being the sweetest author ever, she sent me a paperback ARC. 

But now I can safely say that Kendare is rather diabolical because she wrote this book (duh) and let me tell you, this book was evil. Evil in all the good ways that would make your jaw drop open wide and you'd go all "Did that just happened?!". I've read her work in the past and I would have thought by now that she couldn't find more ways to surprise me but she did. Oh she's an evil one for sure. And I LOVE her for that.

The book mostly revolved around three of these sisters being Mirabella (The Elemental), Arsinoe (The Naturalist) and Katharine (The Poisoner). Each of them hailing from different magical groups and in order to be the next Queen, one must kill the other two. Each chapter is told from either one of these young queen-to-be and their posse of similar magical abilities.

Now I'll admit that it took me quite a fair bit to get warmed up to each character and their sub-characters. It usually doesn't come off as a surprise to me when it involves multiple main players but my advice is to be patient as the story gains momentum after a quarter of the book in. The romance is a slow-building one but rest assured, there IS romance. You'll be shipping for multiple couples and you may even get your heart broken along the way when your ship starts to capsize (like I said, Kendare is evil like that).  

Which brings me to why I loved this book. It was so unpredictable and I'll be damned that some of these characters are not who they seemed to be. There were plot twists that literally slapped me across the face and I went a little berserk because WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!. I wanted to smash a couple of things while I read because my feels were all over the place. I was somewhere between shocked, appalled, heartbroken and mostly (again) shocked when some of these events unfold. Which pretty much made this book a whole lot more memorable for me. 

Kendare, you evil genius author.

Three Dark Crowns is brilliantly written for fans who like their fantasy reads smudged with darkness. It's not necessarily a fast-paced read but slowly gains momentum as the plot thickens and the intensity sweeps you in for a ride. It's character-driven and sooner than later, you'll be invested with these characters and their blossoming romance.

Be prepared to get tangled into this web of deceit and brilliance that Kendare brings in this first instalment of her new series. 

Now excuse me while I writhe in agony for the next book already.

Paperback ARC graciously sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kendare Blake

So, I write books. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are horror, The Goddess War books are mythology, and Sleepwalk Society is contemporary. Different genres, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind. 

There's more coming soon like Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and Ungodly in 2015, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end. 

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and great authors to be in charge of our days, and our nights.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la

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