Date Read: September 9, 2018 – September 11, 2018
Series: Three Dark Crowns, #3
First Thoughts: I did predict the end of Three Dark Crowns but I had no clue what was going to happen in this book.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series!
And while Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Katharine all have their own scores to settle, they aren’t the only queens stirring things up on Fennbirn Island.
Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.
Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.
Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.
This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.
“Tragic, devastating, horrifying, enthralling.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Praise for ONE DARK THRONE
★ “Blake’s already pitch-dark tale shades even darker. Exquisitely restrained prose, deliberate pacing, paying off in a tumultuous climax that piles one shocking twist upon another. Achingly gorgeous and gruesomely fascinating.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This sequel to Three Dark Crowns loses none of that book’s momentum, powering toward a conclusion that leaves several doors open. With wonderfully drawn characters and a lethal, unpredictable plot, this follow-up will leave readers breathless as the queens’ fates unfold.” ―ALA Booklist
Praise for THREE DARK CROWNS
“New exciting heights with a driving plot. Dark indeed, and exploring themes of loyalty, this is a thrilling sequel with everything from action to romance to entice readers. A strong purchase for YA fantasy shelves.” ―School Library Journal
“Three Dark Crowns is a brutal and inventive fantasy that is as addictive as it is horrifying. I can’t begin to guess the fates of these three remarkable sister-queens, but I’m salivating like poisoners at a feast to find out what will happen next.” ―Marissa Meyer, New York Timesbestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles
“Full of mystery, intrigue, and deadly girls I wouldn’t dare cross, Fennbirn is a darkly magical world I’m both drawn to and frightened by. In short, this is a book I could linger in for months, with three girls I am rooting for with all my heart.” ―Megan Shepherd, New York Timesbestselling author of The Cage series
★ “With exquisite world building and luminous detail, this is high fantasy at its best. The magic is fierce and the plot intensely twisted, but at this novel’s dark heart beats a story about sisterhood, the unbreakable bonds of family, and ties that bind enough to kill.” ―Booklist (starred review)
★ “The opener to a pitch-black epic fantasy series. Blake has constructed an insular, matriarchal society from convincing intimate details, vivid, complicated characters, [and] sumptuous, poetic prose. Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting. ” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“I loved this book. Blake’s Three Dark Crowns is hypnotic, twisting, and beautiful…as satisfying as a drop of poison in an enemy’s cup.” ―April Genevieve Tucholke, author of Wink, Poppy, Midnight
“Readers will be riveted by Blake’s ingenious world-building, stunning developments of main and supporting characters, and spiraling tensions. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy action thrillers with strong female leads, such as Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ and Sarah J. Maas’s ‘Throne of Glass’ series.” ―School Library Journal
Thank you to Jean BookNerd Book Tours and the Publisher for providing me a copy to review.
So um wow.
If you would have told me the plot of this book after I had first read Three Dark Crowns, I would have laughed in your face because I wouldn’t have thought it was possible. BUT HERE WE ARE! Also, I would like to say that I just finished the book and I am writing directly after so I am sorry if this isn’t the most elegant review. My emotions are a bit all over the place.
So can we first please talk about the end of One Dark Throne. I LIKE WHAT!!! Mirabella and Arsinoe going to the mainland and like living there. I didn’t think it was possible. And Joseph dying. And Jules staying. EHHH. So many feels.
Okay, not that is out there. Two Dark Reigns.
What should I talk about first?
Let’s go with the title.
I do kind of understand what Blake was saying with the title as there The Blue Queen which Arsinoe has flashbacks about so her reign sort of runs parallel to Katharine’s. But here is my real question. WHAT IS BLAKE GOING TO DO FOR THE NEXT TITLE? She has Three Dark Crowns, and then One Dark Throne and those make sense as this was supposed to be a duology but then it was extended to a quartet which gives us Two Dark Reigns. What is next Four Dark Queens because there are technically now four Queens? Zero Dark Kingdoms? Completely skip the theme and go for something new????
Now, the characters!
This story has expanded so much since the first book. Secondary characters are now main characters and main characters don’t seem that big anymore. It is just a lot. Jules is Legion Blessed with War (I finally got a War gift!) and Naturalist which is so cool but there are downsides. Since Jules is so strong in both there is a fear that her gift will drive insane. Then there is Bree and Elizabeth and their character arcs have gone farther then I expected. I am really growing to love Mira and Arsinoe is Arsinoe. Kat is an interesting character because she has changed so much and truly she reminds me of Adalina from The Young Elites. They are both broken characters who have too much power and don’t know what to do with it but they want to do the right thing. And then there is Pietyr. He just creeps me out. He seems to love Kat so much but then again he did push her into the Breccia Domain so I was just waiting for him to stab her in the back. Literally.
Then there is the complete new characters of Daphne and the Blue Queen, Illiann and through them and Arsinoe’s flashbacks about them there was so much history of Fennbirn that was added.
Like I said. I had no clue what was going to happen. The synopsis that is included in this review wasn’t even the same synopsis that I had when I started the book so I had no idea about the Blue Queen, Mira and Arsinoe going back to Fennbirn, or all of Jule’s plot. Which is exactly the way I like it.
I loved the Blake opened the story with the Last War Queen who was the mother of The Blue Queen. It help to tie the story together and definitely gave a lot of appreciated back story to the Queens. It seems in each book Blake is growing this world more and more. We visited Bastian, the City of the War Gift, and Sunpool, the City of the Oracles. And for Rolanth and Indrid Down, though we were already familar with them Blake added more to the culture of Fennbirn.
There were definitely some shocking moments. *cough* Madrigal *cough* There was one moment when I actually had to put the book down because I was freaking out and I was having some flashbacks to Tower of Dawn (not ready!!!). I am slightly terrified for the next book. The Blue Queen did not bring welcomed news and I am interested to see where that will lead Kat, Arsinoe, Mira, and Jules.
Cover Image and Synopsis from GoodReads
THE OTHER TOUR STOPS
SEPTEMBER 11th TUESDAY Wishful Endings
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kendare Blake is the author of several novels and short stories, most of which you can find information about via the links above. Her work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry. She was born in July (for those of you doing book reports) in Seoul, South Korea, but doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, as she was packed off at a very early age to her adoptive parents in the United States. That might be just an excuse, though, as she is pretty bad at learning foreign languages. She enjoys the work of Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Linklater, and the late, great Michael Jackson, I mean, come on, he gave us Thriller.
She lives and writes in Kent, Washington, with her husband, their cat son Tyrion Cattister, red Doberman dog son Obi-Dog Kenobi, rottie mix dog daughter Agent Scully, and naked sphynx cat son Armpit McGee.
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