Author: Kendare Blake
Released: September 20th 2016
Warnings: Animal death, self-injury
I’ve been meaning to read Three Dark Crowns for longer than I’d like to admit. But I finally made time for it, and I have to say that I wish I had read this novel sooner. On the bright side, there are more novels and novellas in this series already out, so I don’t have to wait for ages for the sequels…
At the time that I read Three Dark Crowns, there were actually three novellas out that precede it, chronologically that is. I opted to read everything in the order it was published though. If anybody has read the full series and would suggest something different, please let me know before I continue on to the second novel.
Three Dark Crowns is an oddly accurate title for this novel. It’s dark and full of foreshadowing. It’s perfect for lovers of darker fantasy. It has a touch of epic quality to it as well.
The novel tells a tale of three queens. Each queen has a different ability; elemental, nature, or poison. Only one of those queens will be allowed to live and rule. That’s how it’s always been. Their mother, the previous queen whom they’ve never met, had been a triplet. And so had her mother. So on and so forth. It’s a barbaric way of deciding who will rule, but it certainly makes for an interesting novel.
The biggest feature the novel has to brag about though, in my opinion, is the human nature it speaks of. All of the characters are humans first, characters and queens second. It’s quite brilliant, actually. It made the situations they were in feel more real.
Warnings: There is a decent amount of animal death and self-injury in this novel. The naturalists love their abilities to hunt, so some of the hunting comes up from time to time. There is also a scene involving a bear, which you can probably guess at. And there are some unfortunate scenes involving pets and their untimely endings. Along with all of that, one character does self-harm. It is for the sake of spellcasting, but it is also fairly detailed. So consider yourself warned.
Three Dark Crowns wasn’t quite what I expected, but I have to say that I loved what was given instead. I was enchanted with this novel, from start to finish. I may have to confess that I was cranky at a few points when I had to put the novel down and act like a human. It was quite frustrating to have to walk away instead of seeing what was next.
The plot for this novel was interesting, though like I said above, pretty brutal. It’s paradoxical to me, that these people would worship their queens so, while also being okay with (if not actively encouraging) two of their queens to die. But I didn’t grow up with that belief, so I suppose that’s just my bias showing.
The struggle of two of the queens was particularly interesting. I had so many theories about what was truly going on there. I won’t list any of those theories, because one of them actually ends up being a spoiler. But I did love that there was so much to think about and debate about with it.
I adored all of the attention put into making the three sister queens unique. All of them felt human, though I’ll confess that I also had my favorites. Ironically my favorite character in this book wasn’t even one of the queens. But I’m okay with that. It just shows how much attention was given to the other characters as well.
I know that there are three move novels, plus three novellas left for me to read. I honestly don’t doubt the ability for this series to be stretched so much. There’s still so much they could do with it, and that’s just considering the characters already introduced. It could go even further if they introduced others (which I imagine the novellas will have to do). I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next though, I have some questions I would very much like answered.