November 10, 2018

I Have Been Betrayed | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns

By Kendare Blake
Three Dark Crowns #1
Published on September 20, 2016
398 Pages
Young Adult, Fantasy

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 don't get upset when a book surprises me (in fact, I love it when there is a well-planned twist or cliffhanger) but I hate when a book lies to me. Unfortunately, the synopsis for Three Dark Crowns is rather misleading, implying events and focuses in the novel that are never fulfilled. 

I am not saying that the story was bad, just that I felt betrayed by the beginning of the book and the summary. 

The synopsis is also fairly misleading, as it has an emphasis on the three princesses that is not carried throughout the book. In addition, it also makes it seem like the competition occurs in this book, but you have to wait at least for the second book. I loved learning about the characters and the world, but there was very little competition compared to what the synopsis promised. In the arc of a competition story, this is the exposition, with only a tiny snippet of the action. 

According to the synopsis, this is supposed to be a book about three sisters, following their perspectives on a competition for the crown. However, the POVs extend beyond the princesses themselves and focus too much on the secondary characters for my liking. 

I know more about Arsinoe's best friend, Jules, than the princess herself. Even though I love Jules, she hijacked Arsinoe's story both in the magical and romantic way. Billy and Arsinoe were overshadowed by the seemingly perfect romance of Jules and Joseph, with the extensive commentary on their relationship problems a bit much. 

In addition, I didn't like the whole controversy with Joseph (which is all I am going to say to avoid spoilers, despite the fact that it makes me want to scream). 

I didn't like Mirabella as much as I think the novel wanted me to. Everyone else loved her and it seemed like she was supposed to be my favorite, but it just back-fired. Her bragging about her powers and her constant insistence that she is not a special snowflake just made me dislike her. Claiming that you aren't a special snowflake is the one true indicator that you are the specialest of snowflakes.

My favorite sister was far and away Katherine. She had the most change, especially with the ending. Her characterization was the most developed of the sisters and her personality was the most interesting (even if a little scary).

Characters aside, I loved the the political intrigue on the island and the tensions with the mainland. The world-building within the island kingdom was solid, with a nice balance of information and mystery for later on in the series. Each faction of the island had its own traditions, goals, and culture, that each shone in the world-building.

In the end, if you are looking for an intense battle for a throne then you have to be willing to be patient. The world-building and characterization was more the star of the show instead of action. Three Dark Crowns is a promising start to a series, but it did not deliver on the promises of intense competition. I would also warn that the focus is not only on the three sisters with secondary characters vying for the spotlight, some more successfully than others.

Let's Talk!

Do you feel like a synopsis has ever lied to you? Do you like being surprised by a synopsis or would you rather be told straight-up what you are getting into? Have you read Three Dark Crowns? If so, do you agree with me? Who is your favorite sister? 

This is my Review of the Month for the October review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info  Click the link to add your own review and see other blogger's best reviews of the month!

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