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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is the perfect book to snuggle up with a blanket, a large beverage and a block of cheese. For stamina obviously, I mean if you want to throw in a little cardio before you start reading, that’s probably a solid choice, because you’ll be couched once you begin. This book draws you in from the first chapter and holds you fiercely until the end.
It’s a dark YA fantasy set on an island surrounded by mist, draped in magic and doused in impossible choices. The poem on the cover deliciously describes it best:
“Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends
Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen”
Yeah, I just drooled a little. This book is soo savory I’m debating rereading it. Like right now, because it’s that good. Plus the second book in the series One Dark Throne releases in September and I’m chomping for it like that weird zombie scientist from World War Z. You know the one.
The book begins on the day of the triplets’ sixteenth birthday, the year that one of them will ascend the crown but not until after she kills her other two sisters in a competition of magical prowess. Three sisters each with a different magical gift:
I want all three sisters to live.
Each chapter alternates between a different sister and you grow to love all three. Seriously, I can’t pick which one I truly love best. Kat is sickly weak but determined to win and make her community proud. Mira is crazy talented but compassionate, which plays on her sanity when faced with killing her sisters. And then there’s Arsinoe, sweet hopeless Arsinoe, the girl can’t catch a break. You want them all to win or, at very least, you don’t want any of them to die. As the competition nears you deeply feel for each sister in her plight to stay alive.
I’m blown away by the stratagems the different communities devise.
The winning queen will determine which community, Poisoners, Elementals or Naturalists, will hold the most seats on the governing Council. As the sisters prepare for the fight, the three communities plot various intrigues to ensure the success of their corresponding queens. It’s completely messed up…in all the best ways.
And then the end. Always the end.
I’m a sucker for a great ending and this book has it. Even though it’s the first book in a series, it ends with crazy twists and surprises that you just want to shout, “Yes!” when it finishes. Seriously, soo good, like a buttery pain au chocolat.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is available in hardback, paperback and digital and you can Pre-order One Dark Throne now. And if you’re into it, there is a prequel novella The Young Queens about the sisters before they were separated.
Which do you prefer: finding out about a series at the beginning like this or when all the books in the series are out? Let me know in the comments.
I actually can’t decide. Binging a whole series can be completely satisfying but sometimes I start to smell from the lack of showers. And although it is torturous to wait a whole year for the next book, I love discovering a new series like this and hooking all my friends.
Brooke is a determined writer, mom and Shadowhunter junkie. Her favorite smells are a bookstore and a chocolate croissant (preferably together). A rabid reader, she often falls asleep with a book on her face. You can follow her Middle Grade and Young Adult book recommendations on Instagram @yamgish.
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