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Title: Three Dark Crowns

Series: Three Dark Crowns, #1

Author(s): Kendare Blake

Synopsis: 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 hasto 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.

ratings 5

this review may contain spoilers, so beware

I’m going to start off by just saying that I ADORED this book and that I am glad I chose to buy it.

The story, as the title suggests, is pretty dark. Three sisters fighting to death (literally) for the crown. Although they all have some sort of ruling power, there still must be one crowned as THE queen.

And here comes unanswered question number 1:

Map of Fennbirn

What if the Goddess sends a set of triplet queens every generation so they can all rule their part of
the island?

That way they can all live! Imagine the happiness!

So, as told in the synopsis of the book, there are three sisters: Katharine, the poisoner, Arsinoe, the naturalist, and Mirabella, the elemental. Out of all three, Mirabella is by far the strongest. She is also the only one with her power developed (or is she??!?!?). I’d say Katharine follows in line, because although she gets sick from the poisons and has a lot of unhealed scars, she still managed to survive through all these years of poisoning. I’d say she has a little bit of power in her. She’s be dead by now if not, wouldn’t she? Then there’s Arsinoe, who is powerless. She has no familiar and can’t grow a single flower. Which made me question if she is, in fact, a naturalist.

Unanswered question #2:

How do they know what powers they truly have before using them?

“Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends

Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen”

Katharine was my favourite characters out of all. She is quiet, shy and obedient in the beginning, but she grows to be strong and confident. She is still very dependent on Natalia (the head of the foster family she lives with) and Pietyr (Natalia’s nephew), needing their help to prepare for the Beltane festival. She seems to become a little more independent after SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE BOOK, she seems changed, but I think it’s only just because of the pressure that is upon her. You know, when you have to kill your sisters and they have to kill you, it’s kinda stressing. (talking about exams huh)

Katharine has few to none friends. The only people she is closer to are Natalia and Pietyr, which, if you ask me, use her a little bit. They both love her, yes, and she loves them both (and I love all of them), but something is off in their relationships. That’s what I feel.

Katharine and Pietyr are still OTP.

Arsinoe fucked up. During the book, she was the only one with her mind on how to win without powers, how to impress at the Quickening and how to have people on her side, but she fucked up. She had a plan that didn’t go the right way, and now she is the first target of her sisters. Though I am 100% sure she will manage through it for how clever she is.

By the way… how do you pronounce Arsinoe? I say it like Ar-si-noh-ee and I don’t know if it’s right.

Let’s talk about Jules, Arsinoe’s friend, for a moment. She deserves better, okay? She just does. She is caring and would do anything for the people she loves. Just… ugh, I want her to be safe.

I wanted to hate Mirabella. I really did. But I couldn’t. She has the biggest chances of becoming queen, since she has a strong gift, but the only problem is that she doesn’t want to kill neither Katharine or Arsinoe. She loves them and would probably share her reign with them, if only she could. Aww, cute little cinnamon roll.


The characters didn’t have a spectacular development, but you can certainly see them growing and changing, adapting to what they go through. There is a lot of information to remember and also a lot of characters, but trust me, you don’t have to struggle with them. The writing is not out of this world, something great, but it’s quite good and easy to go through. I think I would have been able to finish this in maximum 2 days if I was on holiday.

I recommend this book to everyone out there who likes dark fantasy stories about queens, so if your’re into this kind of stuff, pick up this book!

Now, tell me: Would you rather be a poisoner, a naturalist or an elemental?

 Book trailer here