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 stomach ache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of beasts.
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.
Going in to reading this book, I knew it would be dark – it’s the story of three triplet sisters who are destined to fight and kill one another until one is left standing to claim the throne. Each sister is raised by a different prominent family on their island and taught to use their gifts and to prepare for their sixteenth birthday where they will be presented and the fight for the crown will commence.
It is an interesting premise and certainly the last quarter of the book is fast-paced as the climax approaches, however the first three-quarters of the book were quite slow and there’s a lot of jumping back and forth between the different sisters and their families and friends as the world is built and the backstory established. In that regard I found it difficult to get through, and it’s definitely a book you need to persevere with to get passed the initial stages and arrive at the action.
There are a lot of twists and turns – some of them are unexpected, although I did find the twist at the end to be a tiny bit predictable.
There characters themselves are an interesting mix. Katharine, the poisoner queen, Arsinoe, the naturalist and Mirabella, the elemental. All three sisters have different memories of the others, having been separated at birth and raised to become enemies. In a lot of ways, that sort of mentality – which serves the purpose of the plot – is frustrating because of the suggestion that women and sisters should be enemies and only one can survive, etc. If you can put those thoughts aside, seeing each sister’s struggle with learning to control and manage their abilities, play at politics and survive is interesting enough.
Overall, I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars for the concept and the ending. It will be interesting to see where future books take the story.
Three Dark Crowns is due to be released on September 27th, 2016.
title // Three Dark Crowns
author // Kendare Blake
publisher // Pan Macmillan Australia
genre // Young Adult, Science-Fiction & Fantasy
publication date // September 27th, 2016
format // eBook
I was sent an eARC of Three Dark Crowns in return for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.