Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication year: 2016
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 398
Series: Book 1 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: Three sisters must kill each other to gain the crown.

I kept going back and forth on writing a review for this book. I feel like I've fallen into a reading slump where I keep picking books that have a good premise, but end up not being that great. I really like the dark premise of Kendare Blake's book; three sisters who must eventually kill each other to gain the crown. This is clearly not a book about family love, but I thought it would be fun to read about what crazy lengths these sisters will go through to earn the crown. Sadly, I almost DNF'd this book pretty quickly as this book has a very slow burn. Nothing really happens for the first 75% of the book. Things slowly start to pick up towards the end and some questionable things are done, but it takes so long to get to anything good that it's hard to really get into the story. I also had a big problem with "romance." A lot of the romances in the story weren't really fleshed out and felt really fake. Especially the one between Mirabella and Joseph. I don't understand how they could get that intimate and fall in love after 5 minutes of knowing each other. I'm all for women empowerment and being sexually open, but their "love story" unfolded too fast and wasn't necessarily. Even though Maribella is the town favorite, that is really the only thing going on for her so it felt like the romance was just thrown in there to give her something for the reader to talk about (and it worked).
There are also a lot of characters in this story, which can be a good thing, but sometimes that means that not every character is flushed out. I was under the impression that this story was supposed to be about the three main sisters; Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katherine but in the end I felt like I knew the most about Jules. She isn't even in the running for queen even though it's clear that she should be. With the emphasis on Jules' storyline it made it hard to really understand who to root for.
I will say I did like the underworkings of the kingdom. There were so many shady relationships and plans going on that I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I feel like in a lot of tales that are set in this time period have a lot of background noise in that there is always some council member or family member trying scheme and weasel their way through the story. It's very Game of Thrones in that regard.
If you like slower books about queens, I would recommend this.

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