Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour – Three Dark Crowns Review!

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is out today, 9/20/16 as Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour continues, and I am fangirling hard ! I am not even sure where to start with this but a review might be the best place, huh? So here you are 🙂


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Three Dark Crowns
By Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062385437
Pages: 398
Genre: YA/Fantasy


Goodreads Blurb:

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

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.


My Review:

Sometimes writing a review for a book I love comes so easily, then there are moments like this. I stare at my screen wondering how I can possibly convey the excitement and love I have for this book that sits before me? Three Dark Crowns has been on my radar for some time now. I was almost afraid to pick it up when it arrived last week. I sort of let it sit on my table and admired it (look at that cover!), saying a silent prayer that it would not let me down. “Please be all that I have hoped you are”.. yeah total nerd stuff. But that is me, and my life as a lover of all things books. So cat is out of the bag, I loved it!!!! Thank you Kendare Blake and BookSparks for sending me this ARC! I will be following up with previous titles by Kendare Blake that I shamefully have not read. So here is my personal experience.

Characters:

We have three main characters, all of which happen to be sisters. All of which have also been torn apart and raised to fight one another to the death for the throne.

“Three Black Witches are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends.Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen

two to devour
and one to be queen”
-Kendare Blake, Three Dark Crowns

(I am sure this is a quote that will appear frequently in reviews. It is so eerily perfect!)

I really am struggling to contain myself at this point. There is part of me dying to elaborate and divulge so much about Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine. However, I feel that discovering their strengths and weaknesses are such an important part of the experience in this story that I am refraining. Dear Lord, I am ever refraining.

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I will say that there is a lot happening here. And by a lot, I mean so much that it can feel overwhelming at first. This story is told through alternating narration centered around each sister. Originally, I was concerned (think about the first time your read Game of Thrones or something similar). It felt like there may actually be too much happening and that can be intimidating. However, after several chapters it all began to fall beautifully into place. I have never so pleased to be so wrong. The author quickly manages to humanize and provide real depth to each sister, weaving an intriguing and entwined tale that is captivating. I easily found myself connecting with them on different levels which made for a difficult read at times. I experienced certain amounts of endearment towards each sister for varying reasons. I was truly torn. Was it even possibly to root for one sister? Did one sister deserve to live over the other two? What a horribly fantastic scenario… bawhaha!  People will die, but who?! I can’t stand it, but I want more!

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World Building:

Just using the term “rich” would be an injustice at this point in terms of world building. Blake has constructed the world of  Fennbirn spanning between the lives of three young girls. It is complex. I had a photo of the book map inserted here, but decided against it. I am a hug fan of maps in books. Half of the fun is opening up a new title to discover a map and explore it, so I have removed it. You are welcome, and you can thank me in the comments below.  The journey across this vast land is experienced best through the customs or culture of each character. There is a lot of variation in terms of lifestyles and practices happening, all with one common goal. We have elementalists, poisoners, and naturalists. Each queen’s story brings something unique to the setting. The alternating narration and introduction of new characters and additional information happening throughout Three Dark Crowns continually expands and builds upon this multifaceted world.

The Plot:

This is where Three Dark Crowns shines. The idea of family fighting for the throne, is certainly not a new concept. We have all read similar books and novels before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Blake however, has made it work and raised the ante. It may take a few chapters for this one to settle in, but please do yourself a favor and allow it to. Patience will be your friend with this one. This is not your run of the mill fantasy book. Separating three sisters at such a young age and raising them to truly hate one another is a sinister twist within its own, but the amount of detail and care that has been taken with each queen and their struggle to rise above escalates matters to another level that feels so much darker. If you are a fan of fantasy then you are familiar with elementalists and naturalists. You have probably even read of rogues or masters of poison, but this is a unique experience. The poisoners were ingenious! Consuming feasts of poison was bloody brilliant! I also appreciate that she held true to familiars and so many aspects related to fantasy while placing her own imaginative touch on everything.

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And the ending.. oh the ending! I absolutely squeal with delight when a book ends in such a satisfying and unpredictable manner! I wanted to stand and applaud, of course I didn’t because that would be ridiculous, but you get the point.

Conclusion:

Three Dark Crowns is nothing if not a rewarding read. Robust storytelling full of fascinating characters with a huge heaping of unpredictability make this gratifying and worthy of every minute. This is being added to my shelf of favorites. It simply left me wanting more!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Purchase Three Dark Crowns on Barnes&Noble.com

Purchase Three Dark Crowns on Amazon.com


About The Author

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Kendare Blake
holds an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a Cybils Award finalist; Girl of NightmaresAntigoddessMortal Gods; and Ungodly. Her books have been translated into 18 languages, have been featured on multiple best-of-year lists, and have received many regional and librarian awards. Kendare lives and writes in Kent, Washington. Visit her online at www.kendareblake.com or on Twitter @KendareBlake.

35 thoughts on “Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour – Three Dark Crowns Review!

  1. I received a hardback copy in my OwlCrate box today. I’m so glad you liked it. Nice review! This book sounds so intense. I can’t wait to read it. I might have to add it to my already stacked TBR for next month. I was hoping this book would live up to the hype. I love the cover. Did you get a Galley or a physical copy? This is a great book to have on your shelf. I couldn’t stop taking pictures earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I received a physical ARC which I was was really excited about. It is definitely a YA read, but very complex for the targated area. The potential to have a great series is there. I was very excited about the ingenuity when it came to the poisoners, etc. I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome! It’s so cool when you get paper ARCs. I just started asking for physical copies since I’m normally a Kindle reader. It was pretty cool to come home one day and find 3 boxes of books that aren’t even published on my front step and they were from Penguin Random House of all places. I was beyond thrilled. Complex read might also translate to the targeted demographic not understanding it. But I also think the intended YA age group is really people in their twenties and thirties because that’s who seems to read the most of it. Thank you! I might add it to next month’s list if I can fit it. I have 3 books over 600 pages on next month’s TBR, so I guess I’ll see how fast I read them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nothing beats book mail! I get so excited haha. That is a pretty hefty TBR! I don’t believe you will find it “too” complex. I just happen to know several reading friends who get intimidated with too many characters and multiple settings 😉 I thoroughly enjoyed it though. I look forward to your reviews of these big books you will be tackling. I have not read as many larger titles since Mr George RR Martin decided to leave everyone hanging… I may be a bit bitter haha.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I couldn’t agree more. It’s so fun to open boxes full of books. 🙂 I read a lot of fantasy, so I’m sure I won’t mind the complexity. It sounds great with the sibling rivalry. Very Game Thrones mixed with YA. I’m reading two Stephen King novels, one of which I read ten years ago. I have a tradition where I read only horror, mystery, or thrillers for the month of October. And I only watch scary movies and shows. It’s my favorite month of the year. 🙂 I even have a special R.L. Stone book planned for nostalgia. Oh, I know. GRRM left us all hanging. I refuse to read more of the books until he gets moving on that ending. And I hear the books aren’t as good as you go on.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Well I absolutely love that you only read horror, mystery, and thriller for October! It is such a great month. Fall and loads of campy horror films! Bring it on 🖒😉 King is one of my favorites. He occupies several of my bookshelves. I think for the longest time, The Stand was one of my largest reads. I can still remember sneaking and keeping a copy of the Shining under my bed because my mother said I was too young! RL Stine was fun also!

              I finished Song of Ice and Fire only to be left in limbo. However, I enjoyed the series all the way through. I have heard complaints about Feast of Crows, but I liked it 😉

              Yay for all things Fall and Halloween 🍁🎃 Happy reading! I need to grab a horror read as well 👻

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s my tradition every October. Plus all the old horror films are too good to pass up. I can’t get enough of them. 🙂 I even bought a Freddie Funko Pop. I found a bunch of King books I didn’t even know I had today. He’s my favorite author. 🙂 Yeah, that sounds like a plan. You need at least one horror book or at least something with mystery and suspense for October. Happy reading! 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  2. HELL YES!! I received this book as a ‘present’ in the mail yesterday and was like *shrugs* never heard of it. But after reading this fantastic review, I’m super stoked to get to it! Along with all the other ‘presents’ (read: subscription boxes) I have received during the last 6 months ;). And you’re totally right about the map, it looks awesome! I shall thank you on behalf of the other readers for not putting up that image ;).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah but I noticed it(the map) was still showing in my summary after I removed it 😠 wth… I hope you enjoy this one Anne. For a YA I loved it! Now be patient in the beginning lol and give it time haha. Let me know if you decide to read. I want presents 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WP is being a little shitling with the images lately. I have to double check everything that goes on Facebook and Twitter these days because it sometimes just randomly picks things off my phone. STILL. I can be patient! Wasn’t it your birthday recently? (yes, I checked Goodreads) 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          1. See, that’s like yesterday ;). I’m going to send Pearl and Karen a Men in Kilts calendar for Christmas, let me know if you want one too for your PC den! Be careful, it might just be into that kind of shit 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s certainly interesting how we took very different things from the same book! As I mentioned, I love the feasts of poison as well – Katherine’s powers are the most unique out of her and her sisters, I feel. I also love the twist at the end of the book and did NOT see it coming at all. Glad to hear that you liked this one a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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