Three Dark Crowns #1 – by Kendare Blake – Book Review


Rating: 3.5 Stars

“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 was able to read this book in one weekend.  Granted, I’ve been home with a bad cold so I had nothing else to do but rest and read.  But it is an easy read, although a very dark one.  Each generation triplets are born to the current queen but are not raised to love one another as sisters.  These triplets are separated at age six and raised to learn their magical specialty, all the while knowing that at age sixteen they will have to fight to the death with siblings for the right to wear the crown.

There are five magical specialties that one might be born with.  Queen Mirabella’s specialty is elemental and can control the weather, water, air and fire.  Queen Arsinoe is a naturalist and is supposed to be able to control the will and minds of animals.  Queen Katherine is a poisoner and is supposed to be able to digest poisons without them affecting her in any way.  The other two magical abilities that one can be born with are warrior and sight.

The book starts with the three Queens sixteenth year, also known as the Ascension Year, the year that they have to come together and display their powers for the citizens of Fennbirn.  They will then have one year to try and kill their two sisters and claim the crown for themselves.  Each chapter focuses on one of the sisters and their powers and the people who are supporting them.

I had trouble loving this book.  It was very dark and I couldn’t connect to any of the queens.  I felt bad for them knowing what fate may hold for two of them, but the only one who showed any kind of compassion was Mirabella.  I didn’t think I was going to find much to like about the book but I really liked the ending. There were some clues leading up to it.  I really had no idea this was the first book in a series.  I thought it was a stand-alone book and would be done with it when I was finished.  Now I will have to read the next book to find out what happens next.

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