Book Series Review : Three Dark Crowns Series by Kendare Blake

This series.

I don’t even know where to start.

Basically, this series hold some special place inside my heart. First, because Three Dark Crowns is one of my few earliest book when I started reading outside my comfort zone genre *cough* thriller *cough*

But aside from Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne, I haven’t finished the rest of the sequels because I bought the first two books in Indonesia language and decided to wait for Indonesian publisher to published the rest. 

Because reading one series with two different language is confusing *duh*

But it has been years and there’s still no news about the publication in Indonesia. So, I made up my mind, bought English version, re-read the first two books in English and finished the rest of the books. 

And here it is!

A complete review of the series!


1. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 403 pages
Published : 20th September 2016

—Blurb—

When kingdom come, there will be one.

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.

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

— Mini Review —

Anyhow, this book is very memorable for me. I even write a review for this book way before this post. One of my earliest review when I first started the blog. Oh my god, the feels *and the shame* I can’t stop smiling and cringing whilst reading what I write back then.

It’s still available for you all to read in this blog. Feel free to make fun of it however you like (T▽T)

Anyhow, re-read review.

I remember loving the book and I’m still loving the book even now. The characters are easy to love with their very different personality from one another. Each sisters are unique both with their personality and their magic.

What I love next is there are always nerve-wrecking festivals to look forward to in the book. Festivals with promising battles between sisters. That’s what makes this book exciting for me. I have something to look forward to as long as I read. I’m dying for the outcome!

However, along the process towards each festivals, there are quite large time-span before the actual battles happened. In my opinion, I think this time-span both tells a lot to readers and tells nothing at the same time.

Because it focused on each sisters alternately, along with each of their troops rather than their preparation or improvement for the actual battles. So, chemistry growing but there’s not much to tell aside that.

But the plot is pretty complicated and due to that, it makes me eager to finish this series ASAP because first, it’s about sister killing sister and second, it’s about who rules in the end. 

And MASSIVE PLOT TWIST in the end ˙ ͜ʟ˙

I think that pretty sums it all.

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


2. One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 464 pages
Published : 19th September 2017

—Blurb—

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

“No matter how far I go, I’m still your person. We stand together now.”

— Mini Review —

This, however, is also a re-read. But I do not write any review of this book back then.

It’s so good to reunite with the characters again!

I love the characters in the first book, and I’m loving them more in this book because they’re getting more and more fascinating to read! So many things happened in the last cliff-hanger and in this book?

The queens killed it all.

Their characters grows so much from the book before and they show a whole new light, power and ambition in this book! 

The plot also develop into a gripping read for me. There are so many fascinating surprise that could changed the course of the book! 

By the end of this book, I couldn’t believe how much invested I am with the characters. And by that, I mean ALL of them.

“You cannot kill what is already dead.”


3. Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 464 pages
Published : 4th September 2018

—Blurb—

Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.

Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.

Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.

This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.

“You don’t threaten the life of a queen and live to tell the tale.” She flips the knife, catches it. “Taking the life of a queen… now that is another matter”

— Mini Review —

When I first read Three Dark Crowns, I think of it as a standalone. But then, it’s actually a duology. And I thought “Alright. I could go with it.” Because it’s my FIRST series EVER and it’s only two books!

By the time I finished One Dark Throne, I WAS SHOCKED because it’s been extend to four freaking books! To be honest, I disliked book extension and in the beginning when I receive this news, I disagree with the four books idea.

But I am so into this series and I couldn’t help but be excited to continue reading my babies journey! That, and also, the cliff-hanger in the book before. 

With this book, the journey continues in different vibe than earlier two books. It’s refreshing and fascinating. Along the way, new plot line is being hinted and introduced to readers that could made the series, by all means, way more than killing sisters and seizing throne.

This new plot line has a great potential and screaming something big is coming!  

“None of us are ever who we think we are.”


4. Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4) by Kendare Blake

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 452 pages
Published : 3rd September 2019

—Blurb—

After the grim confrontation with Queen Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, and it is up to Arsinoe to find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist lies heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Katharine’s reign remains intact—for now. When Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce, Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share. But as the two circle each other, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested. But the fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens. It always has.

“But just once, I would like to be given the benefit of belief rather than the expectation that I will fail.”

— Mini Review —

For this one, I am so excited to start because like FINALLY.

I’M REACHING THE END.

Anyhow, I’m having quite a time with this book. Because it’s practically slower than the rest of the books and it’s kind of draggy. It’s not a complicated finale and I need to read another 400 pages to reach the end.

I do not hate the book but I do not love the book either. I’m happy to read this book and I’m SUPER relieved when I’ve known the fates of my characters.

“But what use are regrets? We learn our lessons, and we do our best.”


THE COMPARISON

1. Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne

In this two books, the objectives of the story are introduced as clear as day. The question lingers on who might sit in the throne in the end. Therefore, there are a lot of sides to choose from. Both for the characters, who need to choose wisely their trusted aid and for the readers, who might choose one of her own most favourite queen from the three sisters.

Not to mention, there are the queen troops. And these troops could even get me nervous some time because there are a LOT of potential they might changed sides. You know, politics and stuff.

2. Two Dark Reigns and Five Dark Fates

I LOVE TWO DARK REIGNS PREMISES.

For Two Dark Reigns, it’s quite obvious as to what the objectives is and I’m so excited because it’s something new to add the richness and thickness to the plot. 

However, I do not understand what is the characters doing in Five Dark Fates. Personally, I found many unnecessary decision making for the last book.

Also, Two Dark Reigns and Five Dark Fates feels like a whole new different book compare to the books before. It’s fascinating to read, but what makes this book fun to read, is the fierceness to throne seizing sisters and I didn’t get any of that in these two books.

℘℘℘℘℘

It’s like Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne is a package of bloodthirsty sisters but Two Dark Reigns and Five Dark Fates is a package of.. I’m not even sure what.  


FEMALE LEADS

• Mirabella

The elemental gift sister. Also, according to rumour, the most gifted sister from the three. And the prettiest. She is also the most level-headed from the three sisters. I know, much for the perfection. Literally, life in unfair guys. 

• Arsinoe

The naturalist sister. You know, bloom a flower, grow a tree, made animals attached to you, feel connected to them. She’s said to be the weakest from the three which I highly agree, and the tomboyish sister. But she’s my favourite!

• Katharine

The poisoner sister. Believed to be powerful. I think this character changed and develop the most from book to book. Sweet and fierce. 

Also, to be notice:

• Jules

Arsinoe best friend. I highly appreciate her roles because she’s always there to support Arsinoe. The rest of the sisters also have their own friends and aid but I think none of them match Jules. Moreover, she’s also very gifted.

SUPPORTING MALE LEAD

• Pietyr

A poisoner. Support Katharine and does his best to protect her. Also, a smart man.

• Billy

A mainlander. Possessed no gift but try his best to adapt and later, will do anything he could for the sake of his loved ones. He’s my favourite male leads too!

Also to be noticed:

• Joseph

Popular for his looks and his involvement with Arsinoe, Jules and Billy as friends and foster brother. And much later, his involvement in reckless love triangle relationship.


ABOUT THE SERIES

THE ROMANCE

The most obvious element in a queen’s story. Power and romance. In this series, it’s difficult to rate only the romance.

Because for me, I favour highly some of the relationship but nevertheless, there are also relationship, I thought to be unhealthy and toxic. Some of them might warmth your soul and some others might burn you with rage *this, the last part, available for one certain guy in the book. I guarantee you.*

But overall, I fairly like it how the romance goes.

THE CHARACTERS

I enjoy the characters so much. Because they’re unique and some even are very twisted. Also, they’re very likeable. BUT the more I read, from book to book, I think they’re getting weirder and weirder. 

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think the more I read, the more morally grey the characters become. ALL OF THEM. I mean, I love them, but sometimes, it’s disturbing.

THE PLOT

Let me divide this into three different parts:

1. The Pace

Truthfully, it got me thinking hard to write this part. It’s a likeable pace, one that made me realized the story progress slowly but oddly, I am eager and excited to read and read. It’s that good.

The first three books are great. There are indeed some points I highly agree that the story seems to be dragging on forever, but it’s still a likeable read. However, with the last book, Five Dark Fates, the story drag on forever from the beginning until the very end of the book.

Personally, I think it’s better if the last two books, Two Dark Reigns and Five Dark Fates are to be combined into one book. 

2. The Story

The main story, seizing throne between three sisters, is what got me reading this book. It’s unique and I’m just curious to see how it ends. So, I highly admire the story.

However, in the last two books, things are getting different. It’s like reading two different stories in a series. But I truly love the new development of the story. It complicate matters and suddenly, this series is way more than sisters killing sisters for throne.

However, as good as the new story line delivered in Two Dark Reigns, I don’t think it’s being delivered well in Five Dark Fates. By the end of Five Dark Fates, I don’t see what’s the point of reading the first three books if things are going this way.

Personally, I think some major issues are not even a issue anymore in the last book and the solution for the issues are just so illogical.

3. The Easy Part

I think I have lost count how many times I’ve told you I love Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne. And now, I’m going to say it again. I love how things seems so complicated in those two books.

However, things changed in the last two books. Especially in Five Dark Fates. Because things are getting SO MUCH easier on the last book. 

Here’s my version of the dialogue between the lifetime-nemesis good guy, who excels in healing and the bad guy, who need to save her baby cousin. Of course there’s no scenario like this in the book but yeah. Pretty much close to the original.

Bad Guy : “Ha. I caught you now. Tell me the cure.”

Good Guy: “Never.”

Bad Guy: Desperately chewing gums to spit the cure

Good Guy: Watch in silence, sighing “That’s not how it works.”

Bad Guy: “So tell me.”

Good Guy: “Okay. Now you cut hair, mixed the herb, pour some cold water.”

Simple as that.

You ask, you get what you want.

There are so many easy solution in the book. And I’m also not a fan of killing characters to not complicate matters. I don’t see what’s the point of killing those characters because for me, it made me feel like everything I’ve read so far is useless and with everything going on, I’m not even sure what’s the point of this series anymore.

4. The Cliff-hanger

It’s always SO GOOD. I might even call Kendare Blake as the queen of 20% ending because all her four books in this series, things are ALWAYS getting way out of hand (in a good way) in the last 100 pages that makes me couldn’t stop reading because of the tension and the thrill!

Also, the cliff hanger is always SO CLIFF-HANGER.


Overall, I will NEVER EVER forget this series. They will always be memorable to me and moreover, it’s not a bad series. It’s a fun series to read and I even have my favourite couple here!

Arsinoe and Billy! I think their relationship is the healthiest and the most supportive from all. I don’t know why I was drawn to Arsinoe, but before I knew it, I love her already. And as the time grows, It’s not hard either to love Billy.

I’m so excited to finally finished this series and I do not regret reading it. It’s been a wonderful journey to read this series and I hope you are going to give it a try if you’ve set your eyes on the book!

Author: Celine

4 thoughts on “Book Series Review : Three Dark Crowns Series by Kendare Blake

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