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Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

(I was sent this free ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Goodreads Summary: 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.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

I enjoyed reading this story and I was happy when I was able to receive it. Everything about this is dark and intense. This story is about three sisters preparing for Beltane during the Ascension year when each of the sisters have to show their powers. They then have one year to kill one another. The last sister standing gets the crown but only two of the sisters powers have yet to come. 

Katherine is a poisoner but she is very weak. She has been given poison to slowly build up her immune to it but it leaves her with scabs and frail. She doesn't really come into herself until Peyter whom is the nephew of the lady that is raising Katherine, comes in and gradually gets her out of her shell. He is her love interest as well.

Arsinoe is my favorite out of three. Although she doesn't have her powers she is just as fierce and headstrong as she can be. She has a good surrounding of a lot of people that love her and are very supportive of her. She put others first. She is close to Jules who is one of the strongest naturalist to help guide Arsinoe.

Mirabella is the strongest of the three. She has the most memories of them and remembers being separated from her sisters. She spent a year mourning for her sisters and does not want to kill them  She was in the running for one that I liked next to Arsinoe but something happens that I can't really say for the sake of spoilers that caused me to have different feelings for her. 

I will say that it took me a minute to get into the story because it was a bit slow paced at the beginning and towards the middle. Also each chapter is told by alternating from the different queens until they merge together in each other chapters towards the end.That really was not much of a problem.  It didn't have as much action plot wise as I had wanted but the build up was for the story was good. I also felt that sometimes with the secondary characters, particular in Arsinoes chapters, that they overshadowed Arsinoe a little. 

The ending was good. As I said before I was looking for a bit more but it really does leave you looking forward to the second book. There was some major twists that I didn't really see coming. I can see the next book being really good. 

Rating 3.5 Stars
Recommend? Yes


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