By Cynthia Ayala
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born. Each queen is are all equal heirs to the throne, and each have their own coveted type of magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental; Katherine is a poisoner while Arsinoe is a naturalist. And when they turn sixteen the battle for the crown begins and only one can be left standing. But each harbors a secret that could spell their doom and even while the last queen is not the strongest, she may be the darkest one with the darkest heart.
Published on September 20, 2016 by HarperTeen, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is the first in her new Three Dark Crowns series, a young adult fantasy series about the bond of sisters who are destined to kill one another.
This is such a strong novel that follows three equally strong and well written characters. Each of them are amazing in their own way and they all work together so well. Each girl has their own inner conflict and together, they make a mesmerizing and addicting read. As stated, each girl has their own issues, but they are also defined in such distinct ways and look very different as well. The way the world shifts around them and the way they navigate through this perilous world define their characters and through those small definitions the story moves forward. That’s not to say that the story is character driven, because, for the most part, it’s not. But there is something unique about each of these characters that makes for good reading. Blake knew what she was doing when she took charge of this world, of these characters. She owned the story, she owned the characters and gave each of them such believable flaws, believable circumstances that would otherwise be unbelievable. Some characters are more defined than others, even some secondary characters, but the reader gets to know them, gets to know their world and wat is at risk for them. It’s a strange world, but the world building and the way all the characters’ function in the realm of fantasy make it a believable one.
Then there is that functionality of the fantasy in this realm. It’s something unique to the table because while elementals and naturalists are all very common in the realm of fantasy, the concept of the poisoner is unique. Sure there are poisoners in science fiction, fantasy, and general fiction, but the way that Blake decided to construct the characters traits, dripping them with all these facets of the fantasy, make it a truly unique concept. This is something new and that just makes the novel even more delicious. Something truly unique exists here and that is something that needs to be appreciated.
Over all, this was a well-developed novel that held together very well. It was tension driven by plot and strong characters alike and the writing, the prose, is wonderful. Three Dark Crowns is a very dark novel that follows three very different girls playing their own “game of thrones”. It simply is a must read. (★★★★★| A+)