Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Every generation a set of female triplets is born to the Queen. As children they are taken and fostered out to three families to perfect there “gifts.” In this generation Mirabella is an elemental, Katharine a poisoner and Arsinoe a naturalist. These three sisters then get a year to do all they can to kill each other and the last one standing gets to be Queen.
I did not realize upon starting it that this was the beginning of another series and I have to say the thought didn’t exactly thrill me. Since this is book one there’s a whole lot of politicking, world-building, character introduction and ground to cover and not a lot of trying to kill each other.
The book starts off slow and throws a lot of names at you. The poisoners have been in charge of the winning Queens for generations and they don’t want to give up that hold. Meanwhile the Priestesses of the temple have themselves a contender for the first time. There’s definitely some Game of Thrones style politicking and backstabbing here.
It also has a love story on the side that got on my nerves. My reading of it went something like this:
Guy: I’ve loved you forever! We belong together! I can’t wait for our first time to be together!
(Sleeps with another woman several times.)
Guy: I’m so sorry! I don’t know… Please, forgive me. You’re the only one I’ve ever loved.
Girl: Well, maybe…
(Guy does it again. This time seemingly just because the other woman is there.)
Guy: Damn it!
Yeah, not my cup of tea and I’m hoping the brewing love triangle gets dropped fast. There was also a character in peril at the end that I think should have died. Not because I didn’t like them but because, at that point, we needed a death and some consequences.
If it sounds like I’m picking at the book I did wind up enjoying it. I mean I don’t feel like the story is all the way there but darn it, there was enough intrigue and twistiness at the end I’ll definitely be checking out book two. At least one twist was pretty good but then I couldn’t help but think, “Wouldn’t that have happened to them before?”
Three Dark Crowns definitely caught me and piqued my interest despite a slow start and some problems. It was overall a good read but this is one where I think it’s really going to depend one what comes next in the series.
Recommend: In the end, yes. But this is also one where I could have easily waited for reviews on the second book to see where it goes before diving in.