Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Published: 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 403
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

Have you ever just been entranced by something you’ve read? I truly believe this happened to me with the book, Three Dark Crowns, written by Kendare Blake. It was the first book I’ve ever read by this wonderful female author of color, and I was so happy I dove in.

Three Dark Crowns is a young adult fantasy series that follows the stories of three young princesses Arsinoe, Katharine and Mirabella as they wade through their mysterious island’s unique royal hierarchy, for only one princess can be crowned queen, and she must kill her two sisters.

I loved the premise of this book. I find I do not truly know where the line must be drawn for where YA, NA and adult end or begin, because I feel this topic could normally be construed as too dark for a young audience, but I feel Blake did a wonderful job making it less so. These books felt more like character analyses, and I really enjoyed that! I was rooting for each princess to be as happy as they could be, even if that meant killing one another, which was totally conflicting and weird to feel, but also fun.

Sidenote: If I had to pick a favorite princess, it would be Arsinoe. She is what I would want to be if I were stuck on that island. If I were to pick a favorite character, I think it would be Jules. I love her storyline so much, and the things she goes through with her family and powers.

I also read this book with a critical eye, because it was the first one I’ve read in a long while that was written in third person present tense, and I loved it so much. Blake chose the right point of view and tense to fit this deep and dark story, and I was there for it the whole way. It was one of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much, because I loved how it was written and Blake showing us what was happening, rather than telling us what happened in a past tense, for example. It was perfect.

I guess the only thing I was not a fan of was really how it felt like the main arc of the story never really feels completed in this book. But, that would be why there are three more in the series, I suppose!

This book made me so excited to read the rest of the books, something I have noticed is quite hard to do with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading series and wrapping up the following books after the opener. But I have not felt this total excitement in such a long time with any book series, I was all over it!

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