Book Review: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake

Hello!

I have seen this book on BookTube a lot in the last year or so. It is a very popular read among the fantasy lovers out there, but I have also seen some mixed reviews too. Some people think it’s too slow in parts and a little cliché. So, when I saw it on Prime Reading, I was sort of confused on whether or not I would give it a chance. Since it was free, I knew in my head that I could always return it and move on to the next, but the opening line pretty much washed away every inch of doubt in my mind. I will share it with you too.

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.

At the time I started reading this book, I was caught up in a troubling situation. I was reading another book in a totally different genre but I wasn’t feeling it anymore. As much as I was originally enjoying it, somehow I lost the will to continue with it. Once I found this, I was refreshed and back to reading again. However, within about four days later I went back to another book in the same genre, and I was SO worried that I would feel burnt out after reading a similar story, but so far I feel fine to keep going with it.


055c57b555c80ebe15494ad70ad84e24Every 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.

taken from Goodreads!

Okay, I want to start this by saying that I have never met a book–much less in the fantasy genre–with the most gorgeous names for their characters! I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce Arsinoe but I think I’m close and I feel that’s good enough for now! Anyways, I’ve always been really critical about the mixture of regal and unique names together, but I felt like everyone fit perfectly with each one! I adore them so much that I even started to add a few into my monthly favorites on my naming Instagram account!

Now that I have that out of the way, I can move on to the actual review and we have lots to talk about, but I will try to keep as many spoilers out of this post as I can. No promises though!

We start off meeting each Queen, first it is Queen Katharine. She is a poisoner and lives with the Arron family.  The family as a whole has enjoyed their blessings as they have seen a poisoner Queen on the throne three times. Katharine is a bit of an intervort in the beginning. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone especially her mentor Natalia Arron, who has been teaching her how to handle various posions both physically and mentally since she was a child. After her, we move on to Arisnoe. She is a naturalist and lives with the Milones. Her most trusted friend is Jullienne Milone or Jules for short and her familiar Camden, which is a mountain lion. We meet the two of them trying to channel Arisnoe’s gift to call on nature for everything. The girls are brave and of course stubborn, and they fill the story of adventures. And finally, our last is Mirabella. She is an elementist. She can control every element and has been in control with her abilities for a long time. Her popularity is so large that support for her sisters is only extended to their foster families and islanders.

I was a bit hesitant when I first started though. I was reminded back to when I read The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz a few years ago; it also had more than one point of view going on all at once but for that book, I wasn’t able to keep up with every character. However, for some reason I was able to stay focused on everybody’s stories for this, I was even seeing what was going on in my head. I could imagine Queen Katharine’s birthday with the fabulous Grav Noir, and Queen Arisnoe discovers Madrigal doing something she shouldn’t and the scene where Queen Mirabella finds Joseph and “warms” him up. Everything was very detailed so it wasn’t a big deal for me to form vivid images of everything going on and I absolutely loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to the end. There were certainly chapters that were slower than others, but I really loved seeing each character grow and how the whole thing worked in its own little way! I’m hoping to get back into this series around November, so it’ll be a nice fantastical birthday present for myself!

Have you read the first book, “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake yet? If you have, who was your favorite Queen? Besides the triplets, maybe tell me your favorite secondary character(s) too?

snowflake

 

Book Review: “The Ring And The Crown” by Melissa de la Cruz

17200974_1190394871070094_2385203544738160469_nBack in April, I got a chance to purchase a new book! I found it at Wal-Mart for about $8 and it was called “The Ring And The Crown” by the author Melissa de la Cruz. If she sounds familiar, she’s written the Blue Bloods and Witches Of East End series. I immediately recognized her name so my exceptions were already high to begin with, but it wasn’t long before this book wasn’t hitting that mark.

The book starts with Aewlyn and shows how much power she has and how she can control it since she’s been away to Avalon. The second character is Princess Marie-Victoria who is heir apparent to the Lily Throne, while her mother Queen Eleanor and her magical adviser Merlin (and Aewlyn’s father) at her side. Marie has been plagued with sickness throughout her life so she’s still quite frail but as heir she will do her duty to the people of London. However, she does not want to, plus she doesn’t even want to marry the Prussian Prince Leopold after he opened Pandora’s box to win the war – in an act to bring peace to both sides, these two will have to marry to secure the alliance.

However, there are more characters included into the story than besides these five people. You have Prince Wolf, who is Leo’s brother, Isabelle of Orleans, who was arranged to marry Leo as a child while her father was still alive to secure the family fortune and an American named Ronan who comes to the season searching for not only a husband but a title to help her secure her family name as well! And this is where the review turns a little sour. So if you haven’t read it yet, I don’t suggest you to continue reading this next section!

There are a lot of pros and cons to the story. I liked the outline of the ball, magic and the two main characters, but there were unfortunately too many cons in the story as well! The amount of characters and their roles with each other can be extremely confusing if you’re not careful. I think Isabelle could have been just a mistress to Leo and that’s it, but instead her story line is as big as Marie. And I felt Ronan and Wolf could have been a separate story altogether.

One of the biggest things with the plot that I had trouble wrapping my brain around was the time frame. It talks about London and the Prussian Empire but there is not a direct date and I know because it’s a fictionalized story it shouldn’t matter, but if you’re going to talk about King Henry VII in certain sections, you need to be more clear on where it is at that time for all of these characters. Melissa gives you more descriptions on the fashion and magic, but the most important part of the story is missing!

Despite the fact that I have written out this book review, I have not finished the book. I still know what chapter I left off on, but I cannot continue to read it. I actually gave it a 2 on the Goodreads rating. I know my mom will think I let the reviews I read about the book itself has helped in my judgement but all they did was help me realize that not all books deserve a full 5 stars and if I don’t think a book is up to par then I need to stop.

If you’ve read the book, what were your thoughts on it? Did you ever finish it?

snowflake

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