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Book Review: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake

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On Fennbirn Island, in every generation, a set of triplets is born. One elemental. One poisoner. One naturalist. Three queens, each raised from birth to devour the others. Mirabella is the powerful elemental, able to summon lightning, storms, and the brightest of flames. Katharine is the poisoner, capable of consuming the most fatal of poisons without becoming remotely ill. Arsinoe is a naturalist, said to bloom the most beautiful of flowers and able to control the wildest of animals.

 

However, becoming Queen isn’t simply a matter of royal birth. Each girl has to fight for the crown, a fight that two of them will die for. It all starts on the girl's’ sixteenth birthday, and the best sister will win.

 

To start off, bravo to the cover. A novel’s cover is quite important; it’s an introduction or a curtain to the story that lies behind, a first impression if you will. Most of us, whether we like to admit it or not, sometimes choose books to read based on the cover. “Three Dark Crowns” has a very intriguing one, with a solid black background and three crowns representing each of the queen’s races. The crowns themselves draw your attention, what with their individuality and the way they shine under the light, as though they were real and begging to be read about.

 

The story itself starts off a little slow at first, which is to be expected due to the establishment of the characters and such. As you divulge deeper into it, the plot picks up and continues with a relatively steady pace. The ending is what gets you, steals the breath from your lungs as you scramble to read the next page and find that it is a cliffhanger: writers most wicked device.

 

Speaking of writers, the author, Kendare Blake, has a pretty eloquent writing style. She’s straight and to-the-point, while also maintaining descriptiveness. This story that she has crafted is a masterful concept, dark and shrewd. There is a certain preciseness to it that makes it unique, as well as its premise of violence.

 

As for the some of the characters, mainly Mirabella, Katharine, Arsinoe, I felt that they could have been better developed. Yes there was some depth, but there could have been a lot more to them. This could, however, be Blake’s plan: to develop further in the sequel so readers can get the full extent of who these queens are. But we won’t know until said sequel is released. With Jules, Natalia, Joseph, Madrigal, and a few other characters, they were given greater depth and a certain humanity that allows you to relate to any one of them. Which is a significant quality in any novel.

 

Overall, “Three Dark Crowns” is a good read. The writing is good, the characters are admirable, and the story is very unique. I’m giving this book a 6.5/10.

  

 


 

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