Review: Three Dark Crowns (#1) by Kendare Blake

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
pub 9/20/16 by HarperTeen
Received e-ARC via Edelweiss
Plot • The best part of the book was probably the concept and plot overall. In a nutshell, it's like Hunger Games but with your sisters (triplets, to be precise). In every generation, a set of female triplets are born with different powers that include being a poisoner (can withstand the worst poisons unscathed), an elemental and a naturalist (can communicate with nature and animals). And there are people within the kingdom that belong to each of these "powers" and each are rooting for "their" Queen to win. It's very much a fight to the death and every girl is being manipulated or pulled in some way.

Characters • The main characters are the sisters: Mirabella (elemental), Katharine (poisoner) and Arsinoe (naturalist). I'm just gonna say it now but I didn't like either Katharine or Arsinoe. They both struggle with being able to manifest their powers and while I understand that makes them more hardened and desperate, at no point did I ever truly connect to their plights. On the other hand, I easily began rooting for Mirabella right away. But even in her case, I didn't feel as though I knew her enough. There are plenty of secondary characters too such as the people mentoring the 3 would-be Queens, love interests and friends. None made an impact on me aside from Arisonoe's friend Kate.

Writing • While I was intrigued by the plot, I wasn't impressed by the execution or the writing of it. The characters needed a lot more development and the pacing overall was a bit uneven.

Overall feelings • I really wanted to love this book because it's written by Kendare Blake, who I became a fan of after reading Anna Dressed in Blood but unfortunately, it just wasn't for me.

Which power would you want? • I think I would want Arsinoe's powers. Probably because it's the least violent, most practical and I might actually start having a better chance of keeping my houseplants alive.


  1. "I might actually start having a better chance of keeping my houseplants alive" - This made me laugh, and is also true of me! I kill a lot of plants. Ahem. Anyway, we felt so similarly about this story! So much potential, and yet it didn't quite manifest into what I wanted it to be :(

  2. This sounds like a fascinating book, though! I almost want to read it, even though you didn't enjoy it, just to understand the concept more. Do you feel like Kendare Blake revealed through the writing who will eventually come out the winner?

  3. It's really funny reading your review because I actually intensely disliked Mirabella! She spent so much of the novel trying to avoid conflict be well-liked that she just wound up causing a ton of trouble for everyone! I think Katharine was probably my favorite of the triplets. While the story was slow to start up I found the writing so tense and so well-plotted that it won me over in the end. I am already excited for book two--unfortunate since book one just came out!


with love,