Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: You May or May Not Faint from Shocking Twists

3 stars, BOOKS, REVIEWS / Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Three Dark Crowns Kendare Blake Aimee Always Review

Three Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake

first book in the Three Dark Crowns series
published September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen
young adult | fantasy

My rating:


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.


Kendare Blake's my go-to author for vivid descriptions, intimidating plotlines, and shocking surprises. She delivered all three of those in Three Dark Crowns, but the pacing and romance were so off that I couldn't fall in love with the book in the way I wanted to.


1. The writing was so easy to get into.

Kendare Blake has a way of writing novels in a way that feels dark, but is still very casual and easy to read. She has these gorgeous descriptions that aren't boring to read at all–they made the story so much richer, and more exciting to imagine.

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2. There was a complex world with some interesting politics and backstories! Plus twists!

I mean, c'mon guys, you've read the synopsis, right? How kick-ass can that backstory get? We have three queens who are destined to kill each other, so there was bound to be some intense world-building to explain everything–and for me, Blake definitely succeeded in this aspect. She also manages to insert about three million crazy twists at the end of the book.

3. Each of the three queens had different stories and difficulties.

Coming up with THREE different main characters in a book is tough, but Three Dark Crowns managed to give each queen their own story, their own personalities, and their own beliefs. Of course, I have a favorite and a least favorite, but I appreciated the characterization nonetheless.


1. The story could have been so much more evil and exciting.

Like I said earlier: HAVE YOU READ THAT SYNOPSIS? There's a promise of so much evil and darkness in the plot, and while the atmosphere felt that way, the actual story lacked the evilness that could have been. We were thrust too much into getting to know the queens that there wasn't enough time to add a dark bang here and there. I think the twists at the end made up for it, though.

2. The pacing was so weird.

Well, weird may be too strong of a word. More of inconsistentMost of the time, things went on at an incredibly slow pace. In the end of the book, suddenly, *whoosh* things are going faster.


I DO NOT GET IT AND I NEVER WILL. Too. Many. Confusing. Romance. Subplots. 

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If you're okay with reading a slower fantasy book, and if you love a good backstory and some crazy twists, I say go for it!

Have you read this book yet? If not, do you want to?! Let me know in the comments!

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47 Replies to “Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: You May or May Not Faint from Shocking Twists”

  1. As interesting as this sounds too many descriptions turn me off. I've gotten accustomed to authors letting me imagine vague rooms too much to want to know what's in a specific corner of this particular room that the character will visit maybe twice in the whole story to want to map out every square inch of it. Also, romance subplots? As in plural for each character? I already feel like that's too much. I've read a few books that ended up doing that and I had to keep a list so I had an idea of what was happening with all the love interests throughout the story! Great review but it doesn't sound like this novel would be for me C:
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  2. Oh no, the bloody romance. I like romance in books but when you've got a three book series, there's no reason why romances can't be slow burning. The lack of evilness is disappointing too. I love flawed and evil characters, they're always written with much more depth than the hero. Still looking forward to cracking this one open but with lowered expectations. Brilliant review Aimz and glad you were still able to enjoy it <3
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  3. Ahh I do agree with this! I mean, I liked it but I also felt disappointing because three DARK crowns, c'mon now. Give me more darkness.😂(I'm a terrible person I do realise ah hahah *awkward silence*) I also really liked Katharaine the best so the other POVs were a bit tedious, also why so many POVs?! I think the 3 girls would've done.😂

    BUT THAT WILD ENDING OMG. I do wish for the sequel!

  4. I actually have this book but I haven't read it yet. I haven't read anything written by Blake at all before, and I am curious to try it. I really really love world building, and you make it sound like the world building in this one is done so well which has me excited to try it. It's a shame about the romance being kind of horrible, because I can't STAND bad or unnecessary romances. So I'm kind of torn at the moment 😛

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