Series Review: Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

Today I’m reviewing the first two books in the Three Dark Crowns quartet by Kendare Blake.

Three Dark Crowns

This is a dark, brilliant fantasy, and I was obsessed with it from the start. A set of triplets is born every generation with a particular kind of magic; when they come of age they have to fight to the death for one of them to take the crown. It is told from the perspectives of the current triplets: Katharine the poisoner, Mirabella the elemental, and Arsinoe the naturalist. I instantly loved Katharine who opened the story, but I was surprised that my favourite queen changed depending on which perspective I was reading. I loved that Kendare’s writing made me switch allegiances so quickly. Each queen has their own issues and difficulties to face. Katharine’s Gave Noir feast both fascinated and repulsed me, moreso than the things Mirabella and Arsinoe had to face. Each sister has friends who are fiercely loyal to them; I couldn’t help but sympathise most for them – how hard it must be to know your friend is likely to die in a fight you cant help with. The build up to them meeting is intense and surrounded with pagentry. People seem to care more about the success of their queen than they do the queen herself. Mirabelle is the most emotional and her encounters with Arsinoe hurt my heart. The ending to this book was phenomenal and I went out to get the second book the moment I finished.

One Dark Throne

After the twist at the end of book one, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one; I needed answers. Katharine is back and she is pissed. I loved this; she is completely changed. The reason why is darker and more brilliant than I had imagined. I also loved seeing Arsinoe deal with the revelations at the end of book one. This book is so much darker than the first and I loved for it. The interactions between Mirabelle and Arsinoe are brilliant; they’re both very separated from Katharine in this one and I loved the changed dynamic in their sibling relationship. This book also has a brilliant sub plot with Arsinoe’s friend Jules and her mum Madrigal. I adore Jules and I am excited to see how this story progresses. There are some absolutely shocking twists in this book and another great ending. I love these queens and how they are doing absolutely nothing that is expected of them. I can’t wait to see how their story ends.

Have you read this series?

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