Kez Reviews Three Dark Crowns

Greetings readers!

Boy, oh boy are you in for a treat! I finally wrangled one of my sisters into getting their reviews done! If you didn’t know, my two sisters and I buddy read Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake and we will each have a review posted along with a spoiler-y discussion towards the end of June!

Watching Kez react to this book was one of the most hilarious things I have seen! Her anger, heartbreak and just pure rage had me rolling over and in tears of laughter! She is not one to hide her feelings!

So I bring her Spoiler Free review to you today! Enjoy reading it as much as I did 😉!

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)
via Goodreads

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every 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.


 

via giphy.com

This was me at the end of the book for lots and lots of reasons. Lord I needed help.

I have no clue where to start because my emotions are everywhere for this book but let’s start at the beginning shall we?

I was intrigued by the premise of the book. Three queens but only one winner; sounds awesome. I think I envisioned this going many different ways none of which came close to the actual story.

The beginning was slow paced (some might argue too slow) but I don’t fault Kendare Blake for it because well she had to give us the background story to three different protagonists and how they relate to one another. There was enough detail for us to build a connection with the characters and understand their decision making. The Beltane festival was also probably one of my favourite moments of the book (after figuring out what it meant) because it was the ultimate culmination of what we were waiting for: Poisons vs Elements vs Nature.

Would I have preferred a bit more action throughout,  I do love action. (Just not the action Ms. Blake chose… more on that later). 

So let’s meet the three queens.

Katharine: Oh Katy, Katy, Katy. I like you. I’m not like a super-fan but you’ve got me hooked. (Now you just gotta reel me in) I almost want to say she’s may favourite queen because by the end of the book there was so much mystery surrounding her; but I think I gotta give my crown to Arsinoe. Where does Katherine fit in now that we know about Arsinoe? How did she get out of that hole? Will she and Pietyr have a lovers quarrel? And REVENGE on who???!!??)

It was sad to read about her difficult upbringing due to the minimal amounts of affection and how she tried to stay strong. Yet, she’s resilient. I like that. I enjoyed her parts with Pietyr ( I love romance). Problem was she was kinda a flat character till the very end. I would’ve appreciated a little more spice.

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Arsinoe: This is me! And well, we kinda mesh, maybe. I like Arsinoe. I can’t lie when I say that I was a bit annoyed at how her moments were initially over shadowed by Jules but eventually you come to enjoy Jules and their friendship. Since this was my designated queen, I was always on Arsinoe’s side from beginning to end. My support for her never faded and I knew she would be kickass! She was headstrong (like me 😃) and so not shallow (oops not so like me 😝). It made me sad when she was so resolute about dying because she thought she had no chance but didn’t let it stop her from living her life.

I think my favourite part of this book was Arsinoe and Billy. ❤ I can’t give too much away because Rendz is a stickler about spoilers but I loved their banter and how it wasn’t full “I love you” proclamations but they built a relationship that was stronger than the other romantic relationships in the book. I cannot wait to read more about her after she made her final discovery which by the way I totally saw coming. (You need to read to find out what it is)

Mirabella: She can go to hell and burn. The end.

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via giphy.com

Okay fine. I liked her at the beginning. I appreciated how she still had some memories about her sisters and did not want to kill them. She was strong and also struggled with her role. OK.

BUT when she shoved her way into someone’s relationship (not cool); tampered with his head and despite knowing that he was in relationship still got naked with him. Well I wrote her off. I forgot about her whole story line after this. She is irrelevant to my life.

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Here is my main issue with this book. I feel like some secondary characters (cough cough, Joseph) and their roles/story plots overshadowed that of the queens, specifically Katharine and Arsinoe. You became more interested in those details and I feel like that took away from being able to fully get with the characters. I am not sure why Ms. Blake did not do this with Mirab*** because I would have been okay with it. (I still don’t like her). For some reason you always had to learn about the main protagonist via the secondary characters, which makes me hope the sequel is more voiced through the queen’s perspective.

Otherwise I loved the concept of magic, low magic and how it’s a matriarchal society. Go girl power! It was fun to read about everyone’s conniving plots to win and stop the others. It was a well written book and although the messy love triangle still irks at my brain and heart; I am obviously going to read the sequel to learn how it all concludes. That being said if the sequel goes south … well my second review will probably be very short.

Conclusion: 3.5 out 5 crowns 

And Joseph the following gif is for you 😈

via giphy.com

 


Well, wasn’t that entertaining. I hope you all enjoyed Kez’s review. Please feel free to comment any thoughts, agreements or disagreements! (Kez: Um…no disagreements!) I’ll let her know so she can write back to you.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for Maz’s review tomorrow! She has some more opinions to add! And don’t forget that we will be having a spoiler-y discussion post going up at the end of June!!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz (and Kez!)
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May Wrap Up/Haul and June TBR

Greetings readers!

May was one heck of a month, both in terms of reading and real-life. A lot of things happened this month, including a lot of reading do I am very happy with the amount of books I’ve read!

In terms of blogging, I got a fair amount of posts in there is still one thing that I am setting up, but it probably won’t get published until the summer! This summer is going to hopefully include a lot of blogging because I plan on reading A LOT.

In May I read:

Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi

This was a stunning novella and the perfect prequel to The Star-Touched Queen. If you want more from Maya and Amar you should definitely give this a read. My Full Review.

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

This was a fun and dramatic contemporary set in the Bronx. If your are looking for another book to diversify your shelves I would recommend this! My Full Review.

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson

This was a creepy and fun story filled with re-tellings in forms you may not have read before.  My Full Review.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I buddy read this with my sisters! It was an intense dark fantasy with some great action, twists and suspense! My review is up and you can look forward to reviews from Kez and Maz soon! My Full Review.

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye

A long awaited sequel to The Crown’s Game which I read last year and loved! I haven’t posted my review yet but you can look forward to that soon!

Four full books and one novella in total, I would call that a successful month!

May Haul

Now I was planning to spend some big bucks on May but that didn’t happen! Instead I went on a NetGalley binge!

I was approved four requests this month:

Quincey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson

The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr

Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko

The Ninth Circle, Book One: Fire by C.A. Harland

I also got supremely lucky and I won a signed copy of Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh!

Then I went to the library and picked up The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye!

No money spent BUT heads up its only a few days into June and I’ve already bought three books!

June TBR

This is is going to be a very slow month in terms of blogging and reading! I will be sporadic in my posts and interactions with you all so try not to miss (or forget) me.

This month I’ll be reading: 

The Kingdom of Oceana
via Goodreads

Bentwhistle in A Threat From The Past by Paul Cude

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Hearts Are Like Balloons by Candace Robinson

Three is a small goal, hopefully I can make it to all three!!

 

 

 

 


Alright that is it for me! I have a busy month up ahead but I still look forward to posting (and reading) as much as I can! Let me know what was your favourite book from last month. Your favourite buy/borrow from last month. And your most anticipated read of this month!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Three Dark Crowns Review

Greetings readers!

This is the fourth book I read in May…I’m falling behind on reviews! Life has become busier and while I get reading done, finding time to write is hard! Still I have this done for you all and more coming on the way! Enjoy!

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)
via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every 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.

I should have read this novel a long time ago! I have had it since October and only until this month did I finally pick it up! It has gotten some mixed reviews but overall I enjoyed it! It was the dark fantasy I was expecting but something was missing. Read on for more!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Arsinoe: She was ultimately my favourite queen of the three. She was fierce, funny and gave no Fs. Yes she was “weak” in the sense that she had no power to use and everybody in her Naturalist city hated her for that fact, but I loved that she lived through it anyways. She found a way to strong without magic. She had bite and snark and I just totally loved her!

Katherine: (aka ME) She is my adorable cinnamon role that I need to protect and love! Kat had a suckish life. Like her life sucked! She had it rough. She was also weak but she had been trained anyways, having to consume poison after poison. Constantly getting sick and suffering the effects, in other words…her life sucked! Yet I found her quite charming and as we got to know her she became stronger! I wish that she had been explored further because her story got cut because of other characters that lived in her city. Still I loved her and cannot wait to see her get her vengeance because let me tell you her LIFE SUCKED TO THE END!

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JULES: MY PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL WHO SUFFERED SO MUCH. OH MY GOD! IF I THOUGHT KAT’S LIFE SUCKED, READING HERS WAS THE ULTIMATE TORTURE! This girl could never catch a break. Never. She was not a queen, but as a Beltane Begot (a person born on the same day as the queens) she is special. She is powerful. I loved her relationship with her familiar, Camden. A mountain cat! So cool. I also loved her friendship with Arsinoe, especially when they went through their rough times! Jules was loyal, fierce, caring and brave! She deserves all the happiness in the world!!!!! GOSH KENDARE CAN SHE JUST BE HAPPY FOR ONCE!

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Billy: He is a secondary character but I found him adorable and quirky. He is SO passionate and funny, especially when he is around Arsinoe. His loyalty to Arsinoe was so precious and I loved that they have a friendship……even though I secretly hope it becomes more……

As for Mirabella, I don’t hate her…I was just never particularly too concerned with her or her story line. I found her quite petty actually and there are some things I just might never forgive her for even if she didn’t know certain other things!

Setting: Having the map really helped organize the three different power houses. It was interesting how Fennbirn worked and how each city had different traditions to celebrate the queens and Beltane. It gave off the dark mood perfectly. It was never sunny in this world to me, everything was always dark and gloomy, much like the lives of the characters!

Magic system: I thought it was really cool. The Poisoners were obviously my favourite! Hello, you cannot die after consuming poison! The other two powers, elemental and naturalist were cool. They were almost too similar but as the book went on I understood the differences and the techniques that each power system used.

The Beltane Plot: Okay so I’ll be honest it took me a while to figure out what Beltane was and then I read the summary again and realized that it is the day the Queen is chosen. Am I right? Anyways it was super interesting and super dark. It is literally the day one sister is chosen and two others are put on the chopping block. The Beltane happened rather quickly and soooooooooooooooooo many things happened. So many! It had the action, the magic and the suspense that the beginning of the book lacked.

The Short Chapters: I LOVE SHORT CHAPTERS. THAT IS WHEN THINGS START GETTING INTENSE! IT JUST MAKES THE PAGE FLIPPING EVEN MORE FUN! AND LET ME TELL YOU THESE SHORT CHAPTERS WERE KILLER!

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What I Disliked

Who are these Warrior people, I didn’t get it?: Okay so maybe I understand it now, after careful reflection of the story, but as I was reading it, I just had no clue who they were and what their purpose was! I felt like they were just thrown into the story for fun. Perhaps in the next one they will have a grander reason to be present.

Slow and Confusing Beginning: So many people were introduced, it was all too much to take in at once. There are the three major queens and they each have three or four side characters! I was confusing people many times and since the chapter headers are locations rather than names I had to take the time to figure out where we were and who was there!

Side Character Over-Shadowing: I’m sure you’ll hear more about this from my sisters, but the side characters especially in Katherine’s and Arsinoe’s stories almost take over their voices. Arsinoe gets her spotlight eventually, but I feel like Katherine was pushed back by Natalie so I never really got the chance to see good development from Kat which makes me sad because she is my queen!

It Didn’t Blow Me Away: Don’t get me wrong it was great story..it just didn’t knock off my socks. It was mellow in some areas and I was able to predict the end twist from the beginning of the story which made the ending very anti-climatic! I mean I was happy that I was right *yay theories*….but I also wanted to be wrong. XD There was a lot of information thrown in this novel but not enough time from the queens themselves. 

Doesn’t take away from the story but…:

DEAR KENDARE,
CAN JOSEPH SAUNDRIN PLEASE FALL OF A CLIFF AND INTO A BLACK HOLE IN THE SEQUEL. YOU SEEMED TO HAVE CUT THAT PART OUT OF THIS ONE!
THANK YOU,
~ RENDZ

I hate that guy and Madrigal.

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Overall it was a good book. Not exactly the mind-blowing fantasy with three queens I was hoping it would be but I did enjoy it a lot. It had me raging for quite a while, so that it always a good sign! It was definitely dark, I’ll tell you that. A lot of death. A lot of betrayal. A lot of suffering!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars ( Not a love 4 stars, but a good 4 stars! In other words I need to update my rating system so I don’t confuse myself!)

Recommend: It’s summer! Do you want something dark, cold, and magical? Then try this! 😉

So this is MY review. There will be reviews coming from my sisters in the near future once I wrangle them! If you missed the announcement I’m reading this book with my sisters! Rendz, Kez and Maz Read Three Dark Crowns is going to be three reviews (mine included) and a spoiler-y discussion post in June! If you have read the book, stay tuned for that post!

That’s all for now, let me know what the darkest book you have ever read is! Or the happiest! I’m good with either!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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