Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendra Blake

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendra BlakeThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Amazon|The Book Depository
Pages: 416
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

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.


Three Dark Crowns has an interesting premise, but managed to completely underwhelm me. Three Dark Crowns tells the story of three sisters – three queens – competing for the throne. Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella each gifted with a different power and forced to live apart with their supporters. Only one sister can claim the throne and must do so by murdering her sisters.

Sounds exciting and thrilling and makes you want to quickly devour its pages, right? The last quarter or so of this book fills that promise, but first you must make it through a slow pace and lackluster storytelling. Blake writes well, but fails to actually engage in any kind of character or plot development until the last few pages. Most of the book consists of the girls mastering their skills (or lack there of) and flirting with boys.

No action, no drama, no excitement – nothing until the last section of the book. I considered dropping it but with so few chapters left I pushed on through.

I am not exaggerating. So little happens – there is no action, no drama, no excitement until near the end. And, by that point, how much do we really care? I don’t know about you, but if I’ve spent most of a book being bored out of my mind, I’m not going to suddenly become invested when the pacing picks up. The background was quite interesting – all the political entanglements of each different faction supporting a different queen. But Blake spends relatively no time on those, and instead chooses to focus on the romance of the three sisters and their friends. I had no interested in the Mirabella/Joseph/Jules (I think that’s her name!) relationship dynamic – it was poorly executed and did nothing to enhance the story.

I wouldn’t recommend this book for people who are looking for a complicated, plot. If you want some mindless romance for about 400 pages – this is for you.

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