Book Review – One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

Though I wasn’t overly impressed with much of Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns, the ending had a twist compelling enough for me to want to continue with the series. In the second book, One Dark Throne, I found more of the opposite to be true. Far stronger in narrative, this novel ended with the obvious intent of continuing the series (and I’ve seen that there are more books planned), but it wrapped up the open threads satisfactorily enough that I feel no need to read more.

The three queens, Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine have officially started their battle for the throne. Gentle Mirabella seems to have accepted that she will need to fight and kill her sisters after all but when Arsinoe too seems reluctant to attack, it throws the island’s centuries-old traditions into doubt and the powerful foster families that have upheld those traditions into a scramble. Katharine is altered following her mysterious disappearance and return. She is more reckless and more blood-thirsty than she had been, her determination to best her sisters going beyond a drive to survive. Continue reading

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Book Review – Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

As is often the case—especially with fantasy—it was the premise that caught my attention and made me want to read Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns (okay, the cover too; young adult fiction really has some of the most alluring cover design). Actually reading the novel was an unexpected rollercoaster that definitely requires additional explanation, but I ultimately enjoyed the story and characters enough to be looking forward to the novel’s upcoming sequel… however nervous I am about the way that narrative will be presented.

It is the will of the Goddess that Fennbirn’s queen always gives birth to triplets and that those three girls are then raised by prominent families of the separate magical factions on the island, each according to the talent gifted her by the Goddess at birth. When the young queens reach the age of sixteen they begin a fight to the death with the last one alive claiming Fennbirn’s throne with her queen consort from the mainland at her side until the next trio of queens is born. The beginning of the Ascension year is approaching and the three queens—Katharine, a poisoner, Mirabella, an elemental, and Arsinoe, a naturalist—are preparing to fight for the throne and their lives. Despite the dominance of the poisoner queens over the last century, Katharine’s gift hasn’t strengthened as much as the Arrons would like. Rumor has it Mirabella is more powerful than any queen in recent decades and the Temple’s priestesses are already backing her. Only Arsinoe’s friends hold out any hope that her gift will show itself in time for her to put up any kind of fight against her sisters. Continue reading