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"Three Dark Crowns" Book Review

Reading is one of many passions Victoria has. She is always one of the first people her friends ask when in need of a good book!

Here is a spoiler-free review of "Three Dark Crowns."

Here is a spoiler-free review of "Three Dark Crowns."

Three Dark Crowns Summary

Welcome to Fennbirn, an island somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Just travel through the mist if you wish to visit, and you will find it. However, be forewarned that Fennbirn is not a place for the faint of heart, and it follows its own set of rules based on their Goddess and her wishes.

Every couple of generations in Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born, each with black hair and black eyes to match. All are destined to be a queen, but by the Goddess's orders, there may only be one. Each queen is born with a magical gift; at the age of six, all three siblings will be ripped apart and sent to train in their gift until they're 16.

Once the queens are 16 years, they have one year to claim their throne. Claiming the throne of Fennbir is no small task. Doing so would require sacrificing their siblings to the Goddess through murder. The last queen standing will become the ruler of Fennbirn.

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What I Liked

  • Great characters: Upon starting this novel the reader will be introduced to our three main characters, Kathrine a poisoner, Arsinoe a naturalist, and Mirabella an elemental. When I started this book I expected that I would pick a favorite character—someone I would be rooting for right until the very end. At the very least I thought I would find someone I would hate and know not to cheer for. This was never the case. Each sister is individually awesome in a different way. I couldn’t pick a favorite and therefore had no idea who the victor was going to be. It’s truly an unpredictable story; Kendare Blake without question thoroughly thought out her characters and executed them perfectly!
  • Character development: This novel concentrates a great deal on character development. The reader can't help but connect with each and every sister in the series as a result. As a reader, it feels like your living the lives of each of these young women and connecting to their individual circumstances.

The Legends Poem

Three dark queens

Are born in a glen,

Sweet little triplets

Will never be friends

Three dark sisters

All fair to be seen,

Two to devour

And one to be Queen

— Kendare Blake

  • Easy to read: Many times while reading fantasy novels based in other worlds or mythical places I've found it easy to get lost in their lingo or religious backgrounds. What I really enjoyed about "Three Dark Crowns" is it was written in a reader-friendly manner, nothing was ever to complicated or over explained, the dynamics between church vs state was very clear right from the beginning. Even though Fennbirn is its own world with strange laws and customs the reader will never find themselves scratching their heads in confusion.
  • The End: This novel has one of the best cliffhanger endings I have ever read. Everything happens fast and epically for the reader. I'm happy I stumbled across these books after they were all published for I couldn't imagine waiting year after year to know what happens to these characters I am now so invested in.
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"Three Dark Crowns" is an easy read.

"Three Dark Crowns" is an easy read.

What I Didn't Enjoy

  • Too much romance: So I should have known better before entering this novel that YA's (Young Adult) love there romantis drama. I can handle some romantic drama and even find that without it a fantasy can easily feel empty of reality, however, overdid it for me.
  • Too many perspectives: You will continuously follow the perspectives of Kathrine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella, the three queens. Then suddendly somewhere towards the middle of the story the author decides to write in the perspectives of some of their friends and family. This confused me only momentarily for I became accustomed to the smooth rhythm of queen perspectives 1,2 and 3. That being said the perspectives of these characters did not harm the plot of the story or take away from it all together, just as the reader I had to adjust and be more mindful of who's viewpoint I was looking through.
  • 75% Character development 25% action: In my personal opinion a good story aims to find a happy medium between character development and action. "Three Dark Crowns" does not find that happy medium which is very unfortunate for the potential for a truly amazing story was there. When I read the description I thought I was going into an action-packed war of sister against sister, but this really doesn't happen until the very end. The plot and need to know what happens was my only true motivator not to put this book down but in full honesty, I can see a lot of DNF's (do not finish) in this series future.

My Conclusion

If you are commonly a YA reader, I honestly feel you will love this novel; its romantic, dramatic and exciting with interesting characters. The plot is well thought out and I was honestly completely enveloped into the world of Fennbirn. However, if you are one of those people that has a hard time with stories that don't progress very quickly I don't advise this tale for you. With that in mind I stand by the fact that "Three Drak Crowns" has one of the best cliffhanger, exciting endings I have read in a very long time. For this alone I highly recommend the book for I feel this is an uphill series that just gets better and better as you read along.


Rose McCoy on May 27, 2020:

I totally loved these books! I ought to reread them and see if they’re as good as I remember...

Dina AH from United States on May 26, 2019:

Victoria, we share similar reading preferences. You have written about books I find interesting. I agree with you on the excessive romantic plots within Three Dark Crowns. I found the imposter syndrome aspect of the queens' psyches far more interesting. It added to the tension when it was displayed against the urgency from those surrounding the queens.

The book ends on a chilling note. Did you read the next books or was the unbalanced ratio of character development and action too much? I read the next one. I still need to pick up the third book before the finale comes out in the fall!

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