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
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.
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.
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.
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