Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Me on Three Dark Crowns

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins imprint)

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.

Three Dark Crowns is dark and deadly, a series of fiendish plots layered upon themselves in the guise of a battle to the death to select a new queen to rule the land.

Each of the three queens is different, each has a personality that makes them stand out. Makes them unpredictable. Mirabella is skilled, impossibly talented in terms of elemental magic, but she has a soft heart. She remembers her sisters, remembers caring for them, and can't see herself killing them. Katharine is a wonderful poisoner, highly adept at crafting and mixing poisons, but she's small, frail. Seen as weak. But appearances can be deceiving. Arsinoe is a naturalist, said to have the ability to make flowers bloom and animals heed her call. But can she? Each queen has a secret, has a flaw, has a worry. And each must stay alert if they want to survive.

As much as this is about the three queens, about their gifts and their upcoming battles to the death, it's about those around them. Those who've raised them, taught and trained them. Those who've planned and plotted for years. Those who would do anything and kill anyone in order to ensure that their queen survived. As much as kings and queens are made because of the circumstance of their birth, they're made by the will of those who desire power but would prefer to not being in the firing line of the enemy.

I was very excited to read this, I've enjoyed all of Kendare Blake's previous books. This is definitely different, more of an epic fantasy kind of book as opposed to something set in the modern day. As I read it, I realized it wasn't quite the book I'd expected. It looked more at the side characters than I'd expected, and the different personalities of Mirabella, Katharine, and Arsinoe weren't what I expected, but I still enjoyed this. It's going to be a long battle, this fight to the death, this fight for a crown. Considering the ending, I can't wait to see how everything plays out in the next book. Did that really happen?!?

(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)

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