Three Dark Crowns: Three queens are born, only one can rule: a poisoner who is the weakest of her kind, a naturalist without the ability to grow a bud, and an elemental, perhaps the strongest of her time.
Poisoners are able to consume the strongest of poisons and live without feeling any of the effects, but Katherine is having a hard time stomaching them all. The line of poisoner queens have ruled the past few generations, giving the Council all of its power, but its people are now a little concerned that the previous poisoner queen might have just been the last.
Naturalists form bonds with animals called familiars, and can help produce some of the best harvests with some of their magic. However the strongest of their kind is Jules, with her mountain cat by her side, and not Arsinoe, who is still hoping that her familiar will appear one day. The queen’s time is growing short, and Arsinoe is still trying to find new ways to defeat her other sisters, regardless of the absence of her ability.
Everyone expects Mirabella, an elemental and the strongest of the three, to be able to successfully murder her sisters and become the true queen. However that is a difficult task, for Mirabella cannot fathom the idea of killing her sisters. The temple grows inpatient everyday, and they start to form a plan against the two other queens. It is supposed to be the queen’s job to kill her sisters, but the Priestesses are willing to take over if Mirabella does not accept her duty, law or not.
The stakes are higher this time around; poisoners, naturalists, and elemental alike want a chance for power and the only way they will get it is if one of their own becomes the sole ruler. Deaths will ensue, betrayals will be made known, and strength will be tested, but it is all for the good of Fennbirn’s future.
Review: This book was a lot different that I originally made it out to be.
Now don’t get me me wrong, I still found ways to enjoy the book (I’m planning on reading the second after what had just happened). However I expected “skillful sisters plotting against each other and acting cool while doing it” but I got “trouble in paradise: boyfriend edition”.
A lot of this book seems to rely on romance a lot. It’s not a bad thing! It certainly is a way to get attention from a reader, and add to drama and betrayal with it. However it made up the entirety of the book and made the subplot of romantic relationships seem more important than the queens trying to win the crown. To add onto that, the original concept of the book was a lot slower than what I thought would happen. I imagined that a lot of ground would be covered and there wouldn’t really be anything left for a second book, but the first book took place before the Ascension Year started (the year where the queens had to fight each other). At first this seemed like a good thing, and I thought this left more room for the queens to strategize plans, but I got less of that and more “other people are strategizing for them”.
Back to the romantic aspect of the story (sorry, I just have to discuss this), there were a lot of conflicting problems between characters. But I have to admit, it did make for good drama. It made me feel negatively or positively about a certain character and I was able to either learn which ones actes more trusting than others. Though, I did kind of find two Tamlins in the process… Okay maybe one, the other isn’t exactly a Tamlin is he? (I’ll speak of them later and you’ll be able to guess which characters those were.) It even helped me get into the persona of the queens more, and found out that some of their actions felt a little childish or over the top.
I liked Mirabella, however this feeling of mine didn’t stay consistent throughout the story. She started off having a kind character despite the rumors Katherine shares of her, and thought she held pretty good morals of humanity. However, one thing did kinda irk me in the book, and even though I found some redeeming qualities about her, I couldn’t really get passed her reaction during an event in the story. (I can’t tell you what it is, I’m staying to keep this as spoil free as I can. I hope that I’m not failing already.)
Katherine was sweet at times, and the times where she was described as it, but her mannerisms felt a little childish. Not as much as Mirabella, but a small bit. She was still probably my favorite of the three queens despite it all, and I felt a little sad for the fact that her sisters appeared more in the story than she did. Katherine was introduced first, but I felt that her importance in the story diminished compared to her sister’s.
Arsinoe was a caring character towards her friend Jules, and was even tough in the face of doubt. Though she gave up too easily in the beginning, she still found a way to have a chance at winning the crown. Even though Arsinoe was close to being my favorite character, I can still say that I probably respected her the most out of all her sisters.
I loved Jules from the moment she was introduced. She had a good sense of humor, cared for Arsinoe like a sister (not like her real sisters, that’d not be pretty 😅), and handled a lot of responsibility. In all honesty she was probably the best motherly-type character of this book. (But I still really like Natalia too! 😄 She May not have acted like it all the time, but you could tell she had a heart deep down.)
Now we get to the discussion of Joseph… To be frank, Jules deserves better. 😅 I probably liked him in the beginning but after what he does in th story, I liked him a lot less. I forgave him for the first mistake he made against Jules, because I was being nice and thought that maybe he wasn’t himself (because something else happens before hand which may have made Arsinoe trigger the event), and he even admitted his mistake. However he kept making that mistake continuels and I gave up all hope her him. (Sorry if you’re a fan of him. If you are, I hope I didn’t offend any ships.)
Pietyr is another story. I did not trust him the first time he was introduced. His character seemed too sketchy to believe in, and he gave me nothing to make me put my money on him. Over time, I was always wary of him, until just before the act he committed where I briefly trusted him. Then he payed me back with a reason not to like him again. It’s not as if I didn’t see it coming, I did, and was still hoping that his one redeeming quality made up for it, but it didn’t. He ended up disappointing me too.
I liked the style of writing, it was very descriptive while keeping the whole atmosphere of the book appeared dark. Also, even though I admitted that the original concept seemed a bit slow, it was still very consistent throughout the book, and everything else didn’t really seem to go too fast or too slow, which appealed to me. Although I saw a few differing points on this with other reviews, I still didn’t feel the book drag. Though if you did think it felt that way, then I can see why, but I thought the book to be leading up to the grand finale, which certainly made everything worth reading.
Overall, I had felt both the pros and the cons of this book, but I still really enjoyed it!
More: Thank you so much for reading this review! If you liked this post and want more just like it, then I suggest that you click on that Like and Follow button! Also if you want to see more books by Kendall Blake, then the link for her site is right here! Have you read this book? Let me know in the comment, and also what you thought about it! Until next time, I’ll swing by later!