Three Dark Queens by Kendare Blake


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.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.


Three Dark Crowns was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On one hand you have a great

I was a bit I do like you but I don’t all through to the middle of the book

premise that kept me reading even when it was slow, 3 queen sisters separated when they were young to live and be raised in completely different environments.

On the other hand there were to many secondary characters I just wasn’t that interested in and fantasy should be lush and full of epic world building and instead I felt like there were only the bare bones of a world to learn about.

All in all I really enjoyed this book even though I had some issues with the characters and world.

Mirabella:The Elemental Queen

Raised by the saints to be powerful, graceful, strong, and god fearing she lived a cushy life if not a bit to contained. She was subject to any great abuse other than over baring priestesses and had a soft nature that I wasn’t expecting. When I learnt Mirabella was the strongest I figured she’d be the cut throat that was all set to win, instead I got a “nice” girl who didn’t want to kill her sisters as she has been raised to do. This was a little disappointing and had me looking at Mirabella as a princess instead of a bad ass elemental witch queen.

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Katherine: The Poisoner queen

I think I liked Katherine’s descriptions the best, a Gothic home, full of black dressing royals that turn their nose up at food that’s not poisoned? I was done for that. Also I was picturing Katherine as Wednesday Adams and I love Wednesday so the image in my head was perfect. Katherine has been abused most of her life, sometimes for her own good. Like being poisoned constantly to try make her more tolerant and other times being un fairly beaten and poked at because she is weak and not the Poisoner queen everyone was hoping for.

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Arisnoe: The Naturalist Queen

Ari was a favourite for me, ugly, dirty, shawn off hair, there are no pretty dresses for Ari who lives with the other naturalists, growing their own fruit and food and controlling animals. Ari is a tomboy that was never treated with the respect that is usually shown to queens. The town has always known her to be weak with her gift and treated her as a mere peer or bullying her for not being what they hoped for.

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This book is split into Mirabella, Katherine, and Arisnoes life and all those around them. Having multiple casts of secondary characters made them all start to blur in my mind and I was having a hard time in the beginning trying to remember who everyone was and what they’re doing.

The thing that really got to me during this book was the lack of word building, yes it’s there but I want more from my fantasy. While some scenes were well done I felt there were more that was a bit lacking.

While I do like the queens I don’t love any of them, I do really like them more at the end of the book and think I will grow to love more than one in the next as they come into their own and start taking action in their lives. All the queens lacked the determination to win, not one of them was outwardly pure evil and I just wanted someone to stir the pot and kill someone or at least not try to run away.

The ending of the book really saved this for me, I finally got the imagery I wanted, the character development and a great set up for book two.

I will definitely be continuing this series and can see the next book hopefully becoming a favourite and not having such a slow start and beginning.

If you want to know some spoiler thoughts check out my goodreads review

4/5 Stars!

Have you read this? What did you think? There are a lot of mixed reviews for this book and I can understand both the good and the bad

The ending is what really saved this book for me. What did you think? Are you on the love or hate side? Did the ending make you want to read the next book?

16 thoughts on “Three Dark Queens by Kendare Blake

  1. Glad you enjoyed this a little more than I did!!! I pretty much agree with everything you said. There were too many characters and despite how much was going on nothing really happened? I’m really curious to see how the sequel is though!! Great review, Casey 💖!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was one of my biggest things, they didn’t do anything, thinking back the only scenes I really liked were at the end, the fire dancing and bear etc…but everything else, was just filler.

      I have faith in the next book though so hopefully things start to pick up and the queens can kill each other or band together.
      Thank you Lauren!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t read this book yet myself but it is on my to-read list. I’ve seen a few mixed reviews which I’ll admit have put me off a little. I expected there to be more action in the beginning as the three sisters started to face each other and it doesn’t sound like that was delivered in this book. Also all the secondary characters and the lacklustre world building you described are things I’m not going to be a fan of either. But still it sounds like the ending picks up a little (a lot of people seem more positive about the idea of the second book) so hopefully I’ll get around to it sooner rather than later!
    Great review as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t going to pick it up either because of the reviews and I felt like it wouldn’t be for me but a friend of mine enjoyed it and lent me a copy. I did enjoy it but it’s nothing special, the ending sets up the next book really well though so I’m excited to see how the next book develops.

      The writing is easy to read and it is a quick read though so hopefully you don’t hate it too much XD I enjoyed it more then I thought I would. I also kinda enjoy reading books that are really split on reviews to see what side I will land on 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had it on my to-read list because I loved Kendare Blake’s other series and I thought I’d still give it a try. I’m hoping going in with slightly lower expectations mean I’ll enjoy it a little more you know? Seems like that may have been the case for you.
        Hopefully yeah, and I try and avoid the really negative reviews. I can be swayed too much by them. Honestly now I tend to avoid most reviews for books I’m really excited for! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah man, I’m so excited to read this. I suspect this will be a book that I accidentally read all in one go. I feel like I know what you mean with it being the bare bones (she says without having read it) – the premise of the book sounds like it could be something that is a huuuuge book, but it’s quite small really. Hopefully I enjoy it!


  4. I love this review– your breakdown of the triplets really helps me understand what you enjoyed and what you didn’t without giving too much away. I will certainly be reading this myself, but I’m going to wait until the hype dies down a bit. Well done!


  5. I liked your review! Personally my favourite characters were Jules and Arisnoe! If the entire book was just about them, I would’ve liked it wayyyy better. Also, Joseph just about ruined the book for me. . . But I agree, the ending was it’s saving grace, I for one will be reading the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked Jules, seriously if there was someone who could be queen at the start of the book I was thinking it was her, she’s so powerful! The ending saved it, Joesph just makes me raged he’s so stupid I want to hit him with a book and make him leave Jules alone and stop playing with her feelings!

      I can’t wait for the next one I can see so many ways the story can go and I’m interested in how it’s all going to turn out 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was really looking forward to this book being released and I finally picked it up the other month but I am still yet to read it. Your review is making me want to pick it up right now to see how I like it but must finish the books for uni first. Ah the dilemma.
    I think I will probably have the same issues as you for the secondary characters though, I usually am not a fan if there are too many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are SO many secondary characters and families to remember 0.0 I don’t mind to many secondary character as long as their all really well done and fleshed out but these ones just mushed together for me DX I did enjoy the ending though and think the next book will be fantastic!

      I wouldn’t rush to much if I was you because the longer you wait the less you’ll have to wait for the next book because the ending seriously killed me and I need the next asap XD I hope you enjoy it when you read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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