Thursday, 9 March 2017

THREE DARK CROWNS (Three Dark Crowns #1) - by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns - by Kendare Blake
Year Published: 2016 - by Macmillan Children's Books.
Pages: 405.
Genres: Young adult / high fantasy / romance /
Source: Thank you to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!

Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death. 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 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.


I was so excited at the prospect of reading this book. Firstly, the cover is GORGEOUS. Definitely my favourite edition; I just adore the roses. And secondly, THAT PREMISE. I mean come on, who doesn't want to read about royal sisters fighting to the death over a crown?
It sounded amazing. But unfortunately I was disappointed.


It wasn't a bad book, and there were plenty of things I liked. The writing was simple but strong, and perhaps because of that it had a brilliant impact on my emotions. The atmosphere was deliciously chilling, and the foreboding was terrifying. The world-building was strong and atmospheric, and the whole idea was fantastically nasty. The story had a very Game of Thrones feel, and I shivered under its wickedness.
There were also some amazing, mouthwatering descriptions of food that made my stomach rumble. Blake also infused her tale with some gorgeous phrases that although infrequent, were poignant and tangible whenever they turned up.

My favourite part of the whole book was the last quarter. It was fast-paced, breathless, and exquisitely mind-blowing. The conclusion was superb, and my emotions were all over the place.



But unfortunately, up until that conclusion, the story was very slow. Very. I was bored until about the last quarter of the book, and most of the scenes leading up to that felt like fillers, packed with coincidence and wasted potential. A lot of the scenes felt weak and aimless and too, too slow.

Out of all the sisters, I think I liked Arsinoe the most. But I did love the contrast in personalities between each of the girls, and how each of them came across clear and defined. I knew exactly who each queen was, and their individual growth and character arcs were very good.
Jules was an equally strong character, but I personally didn't like her. Although, I did love her friendship with Arsinoe; it was satisfying to read about a strong female friendship.

But the cast was too huge. I lost track of most of the secondary characters, and their personalities were undefined and vague. I got sick and tired of all the people Blake was overloading on her story, and I just couldn't care about them.

I didn't like any of the romances or love-interests. Without giving spoilers, I'll just say that I liked Billy the most, hated Joseph, and wanted to roll my eyes at Pietyr. In addition, I thought that scene with Mirabella and Joseph in the forest was beyond silly. It was weak, unnecessary, random, and totally obscene.




Three Dark Crowns was missing something. The romances were weak, many of the scenes unnecessary, and the cast was too massive and their personalities too vague.  
But the sisters were brilliant, the atmosphere terrific, and the finale mind-blowing.



24 comments:

  1. This book seems interesting, but I think I'll pass on it because I've read a lot of reviews saying that it is boring. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was interesting, but yeah, very boring too unfortunately :(
      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Exactly. Is that like the best premise ever? But I agree the build up was pretty slow (and frankly I think it's a big challenge with basically three entirely separate casts). It was a bit much to keep track of. I do think she did a good job of making each sister distinct, and I liked them all.

    LOL about Mirabella and Joseph. I kinda rolled my eyes too. she had to warm him? I think she even described it that way? SMH. I did like Billy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right? It is a superb idea!
      But yeah, agreed. It is a hard thing to pull off, and unfortunately I thought Blake failed at that.
      Yes I liked the distinction between the sisters, too. That was really good.

      I KNOW RIGHT?! IT WAS SO STUPID!
      Yeah Billy was decent :)

      Delete
  3. Aww, sorry to hear it was the three flowers read for you! I agree the romances were weak and the book could have done without them! But I did find the premise and the story to be highly entertaining and unique <33

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ah I know! After seeing your review and how much you loved it, I really thought I would too!
      Yeah agreed. I also thought they seemed quite forced.
      So glad you loved the book overall, though! <33

      Delete
  4. Awesome review! Even though you didn't like some aspects of the book, I'm glad you enjoyed it overall :) I can't wait for the sequel!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      Yeah, overall it was decent :)
      Glad you loved it! And yes, I'm planning to read the sequel too!

      Delete
  5. So sorry you didn't enjoy this book as much. I know the feeling. You wanted it to be great but it ended up not as good as you had expected. I hope your next read will be better. :-D

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    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Yeah so true! *high five*
      Thank you!
      Have a lovely weekend :)

      Delete
  6. Aww, a shame this didn't live up to your expectations. Better luck next time!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful review, Amy! Ahh I've been hearing so many negative things about this book, hopefully I'll have better luck with it! >.<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thank you, Kyra!
      Ah I know :( Well, I hope you love it!

      Delete
  8. AMY!!! Stop not loving the books I love, K??????? :( I'm sad this one wasn't better for you - I really, really enjoyed it and loved the vastness of it! It's definitely my sort of book.

    I have to agree with you on the romances though - M&J were AWFUL and I'm reserving judgement on the rest. I can't wait for the next book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. URGH I KNOW RIGHT I HAVE A PROBLEM!
      But I am SO glad you loved it!! Haha ;) We can disagree and still be friends, right?! Well....
      But you're right - it was your kind of book, I guess, and unfortunately not mine :(

      Yeah M&J were definitely an awful couple!
      I'll be reading the next book too, so hopefully I'll like it :)

      Delete
  9. I might still give it a try, I like slow-burning plots if they lead up to something great. Nice review, Amy!

    Ronnie @ Paradise Found

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    Replies
    1. If you like that, then I think you will definitely enjoy this book! Give it a try :)
      Thanks!

      Delete
  10. I recently added this to the top of my reading list. Dang. This book had so much potential, but this isn't the first review that said it was boring. Great review! I may still give it a shot, but it's definitely not on the top of my tbr pile anymore.
    Morrighan @ Elysian Fields Reviews<3

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    Replies
    1. So true; and it's always such a disappointment when potential is wasted:(
      Thank you! It definitely had some good parts, so maybe you'll still enjoy it :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. Great review! I had a lot of the same thoughts about the book. The book was kind of slow; there was too much setting up the story and not enough action. And at the same time, the world-building was a bit lacking. But - the ending really made me excited for the next book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!
      Very true. But I'm sorry you didn't like it either :(
      Yes me too! And I hope we both enjoy it more than the first!

      Delete
  12. I agree, I didn't really connect to any of the romances in this book. Although I did enjoy the story, the ending especially. It's made me really curious to pick up the next book! Still not sure which queen I'm voting for though...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah the romances were disappointing :(
      Yes that's true! That ending really made a good case for the sequel!
      Yeah, I'm torn too. Probably going with Arsinoe for now...

      Delete

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