To every generation of the island of Fennbirn, triplet queens are born. All three are equal heirs to the throne, and all three possess powerful magical abilities. But becoming the only queen of Fennbirn involves more than simply being born to it. On their sixteenth birthday, the sisters begin fighting to the death for the throne. The last one standing gets the kingdom.
I love high-stakes, murderously dark fantasy, and Kendare Blake delivered. The world that she built was incredibly vivid (which is quite a feat when switching back and forth between three different points of view). The characters she created were complex and incredibly flawed. The politics of Fennbirn were fascinating. And the magic had rules (I love me some good magic rules).
My only issue – the only thing that kept this from being a five-star book – was the plot twist. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good plot twist. I just hate it when I call the plot twist 50 pages into the story. I distinctly remember asking myself, “Wait, why has no one considered this possibility?” And then the plot twist came and I was like, “Ah, yes, exactly what I was considering at page 50.” It was one of those things where if I was doing a read-along, and I had mentioned my question, it would have ruined the book for everyone who was doing the read-along with me. I like feeling smart when I’m reading a story, but this was too easy to call.
That being said, I loved that I developed an attachment to each of the sisters. I find that in these stories where characters are headed for death, or are required to kill each other, I tend to pick my favourites, or at least start rooting for one over the others. But I found myself rooting for whichever sister’s chapter I was reading at that moment. Arsinoe, Katherine, and Mirabella were all so different and fascinating, and I didn’t want to have to watch any of them die. I found the political system so unfair, and I was rooting for revolution the entire story – I got invested.
Three Dark Crowns is an excellent addition to the YA Fantasy canon, and I cannot wait to get my hands on One Dark Throne.