Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
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.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest (goodreads)
Oh Three Dark Crowns, I had such high hopes for you, why you gotta do me so wrong?
Plot: The story of three warring queens is enough to make everyone throw money at their nearest bookstore in order to get their hands on it. But it's nothing but a pretty face/cover/summary without much plot. Nothing really happens in Three Dark Crowns, we get to know our three queens who were raised separately as well as the political climate of their magical island. My biggest problem with this novel is that it's plainly written without any emotion behind it. I was never thrilled, scared, or relieved during this novel. I just read it, set it down, and promptly forgot about it.
Characters: The Poison Queen, The Naturalist Queen, and the Elemental Queen all have powers over their elements and must prove their worth. The only perspective I cared about was Katharine, the Poison Queen, because of the dark rule that her court led. The other two were bland and even played secondary to other characters (looking at your Arisnoe).
Worldbuildling: The world is...odd. There is an island off the coast of the mainland where people have magic. This is weird to the mainland people because they don't have magic. Why do some people have magic and others don't? We'll never know. What do these worlds look like? Well, they live on the island so they eat a lot of crab. That's all you need to know. The worldbuilding in The Dark Crowns was a missed opportunity.
Short N Sweet: Three Dark Crowns was a let down in every sense of the word.