Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake #TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and 23207027each 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. –

I’m such a fan of this author – Anna Dressed in Blood?  Perfection.  Really anxious for the movie.  When I saw this book on Edelweiss, I had to have it.

I’ve seen numerous YA books revolving around young queens – why they don’t want to rule, why they do, they just discovered they’re next in line for the crown and didn’t know they were of royal descent, etc.  Sometimes there’s an attractive/evil king involved that adds some conflict to the story or they’re forced into the job to keep the peace between countries.  But Three Dark Crowns is unlike anything else I’ve seen out there.  It’s a dark, fantastic world where each triplet is raised and groomed to be queen – after she kills her other sisters.

Each sister has her own distinct personality, strengths and weaknesses, and the environments and circumstances in which they’re raised are just as dissimilar, but they go about their daily lives, all the while knowing what’s expected of them when they turn 16.  Secrets, betrayals, heartache, power struggles, love interests – they’re all here, along with surprises and twists, but be warned this book primarily sets up the world-building and introduces us to the sisters and their struggles, leaving the reader with a hint at the battles to come in this mesmerizing series.

The good new is that this book immediately hooked me – the bad news is I have a while to wait for the sequel.  Highly recommend to Blake devotees, as well as fantasy fans looking for something original.  Three Dark Crowns is scheduled for publication September 20, 2016.

Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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