Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

The first in a series of 5 books!

Themes: YA fantasy, magic

The synopsis

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.

The review

I have heard so much good about this book that I could not wait to read it!

Where do I start? In this book, we are following three sisters that are training in order to become queens. The issue: only one of them can have the title and this means that she has to kill her sisters. The introduction of the world and its politics was really well-done thanks to the multiple POVs. First, I logically thought that I would follow the plot through the narration of the three sisters but even if each chapter begins with a sister, the narration then shifts to her friends, the ones that raised her… Thus, the worldbuilding is quite complex but not hard to understand since it was introduced like a story. All these narrations also show how much these young queens are just pawns used by the ones around them.

And I liked following these 3 queens who have 3 distinct personalities and magical abilities. It was interesting to see that the one who is the most powerful is also the kindest and least interested in the throne. I enjoyed following the evolution of Katherine from the weak poisonness to a seductive queen-to-be while I hated Arsinoe. This one was the most immature of the three and created tricky situations she then blamed on Mirabella… But I have to say that her behaviour was coherent with her character.

In brief: I truly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series! It is full of interesting characters, has a great atmosphere, and the plot twist at the end left me wondering how the story will evolve and how the girls will change the mechanism of the world (if it is changing it).

My rating: 5/5

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