Mrs. Blake is the writter of different novels and short stories that have been featured on the multiple best-of-year lists and have received many awards. Her stories were also popular.
“Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends”
“Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be queen”
Three dark crowns is a thriller fantasy series written by Kendare Blake on the year 2016. In evey generation, there is a set of triplets who are born in Fennbirn who have gifted powers. When they reach the right age, being a sixteen year old, they will do their duty to kill each other until one of them wins during the ascension year. When there is only one left standing, she will become the crowned queen of Fennbirn. There are three magic that are coveted by the three. Elementalists. They are said to be able to produce large and ferocious flames and can ignite a very strong lightning at just the snap of their fingers. Naturalists. They can control even the most dangerous animal alive and have the power to effloresce the most beautiful flowers. Poisoners. They have been winning the crown countless of times for they attacked very quietly in the most unexpected ways. They have the power to consume even the most pestilent poison without being hurt and can use them for punnishments. All of them will be separated and will be taken care in three different places: Rolanth, Wolf Spring and Indrid Down.
Although, in this genneration, the triplets seem to be different. It is only Mirabella, an elementalist, appears to be the only one who is gifted. On the other hand, Arsinoe, a naturalist, seems to be giftless. While Katherine, a poisoner, is very asthenic and also giftless. Mirabella is very pretty that the people already expect that many king consort will court her and she is the one who is favored to to own the throne. Though, what the people don’t know is that if she won, the priestess will control her and they will govern the council from the Aarons. But Mirabella loves her sister so much that made her reluctant in fighting them. Arsinoe always envy her friend Jules. For she can control a very strong familiar which is Camden, a mountain cat. Her family were known in having very strong familiars. Arsinoe doen’t have any familiar yet but others still believe that she will have the crown because she has Jules by her side. Katherine was being disciplined and trained by Nathalia Aaron, head of the black council and the matriarch of the Aaron family. Katherine has a friend snake which she secretly named as Sweetheart who is always coiled on her wrist. She always considered herself as a disgrace until Pietyr came into her life. Pietyr is the nephew of Nathalia who is her favorite among all her nephews and nieces. He became Katherine’s servant, her slave, her friend, her teacher, her armor and most of all, she fell inlove with him so as Pietyr to Katherine. Though they both know it was forbidden so Pietyr kept his feelings and continued to train her to court all the suitors she will meet. Even so, they still loved each other, silently. Until the Beltane Festival began when the quickening will happen. During this time, Mirabella, Katherine, and Arsinoe are all expected to do a performance to prove theirselves and to entertain people, especially the suitors. Katherine succeeded in doing the Gave Noir, also known as “black gut” so as Mirabella on her dance performance with fire. However, Arsinoe did not succeed. She lost control of the bear and uit go wild, killing many people. Because of fear, Katherine run until she reached the Breccia Domain, where the dead queens have been thrown after the ascension year. There, she met Pietyr like what they promised although the next thing Katherine knew was that Pietyr thrown her into the bottomless pit of Breccia Domain. After the quickening, Arsinoe has been poisoned so as Jules but what they have found out shocks them. Arsinoe is a poisoner and not a naturalist. On the other hand, Katherine returns to Greavesdrake manor and by the time Nathalia saw her, she knew Katherine changed. She became stronger than ever before because of the dead queens’ injustices and wishes that they poured unto her. She said “I want revenge. And then I want my crown”.
Kendare Blake always brings the fun to her readers. She’s good at featuring and she enjoys what she do. These things are important elements an author needs to give happiness not only to theirselves but also to their readers. Most oc her stories are violent and pitch-dark. In her three dark crowns series, violence is always shown. For example, Katherine’s birthday, where she eats poison and experience such pain due to her frail body. Because they think that she is a disgrace, no one helped her, they leaved her all alone. Another time is during and after the disembarking where the bear split open a priestess and caused so much mess, ruining the event. Lastly, when Pietyr thrown Katherine into the Breccia Domain where she was gnawned on the bones of the dead queens and by the time she fell, she received injuries. According to some article, the author said that she don’t believe in endings and those have been showed in the first and second book of the triplets. The way she end the story with a cliffhanger that will engage you to buy the next book is really amazing.
These stories having dark, cruel and bloodthristy plot are best for those who are intersted in suspense genre. Other than those, these books contain love, betrayal, lies and revenge.
Even so, having thase elements in your book, it is not suitable for children below 14 acconding to some source. Also, it is a book difficult to share with your siblings because of the three dark queens who kills those who goes on their way to stop them or hurt the ones they protect. But if you are an open minded person and you are really curious and interested in these, then you may do as you please but make sure enough to ask your parents first.
I find this book similar to Katerina Diamond’s novel the secret. Katerina is also known as the Queen of Crime for her psychological crime novels. Both Kendare Blake’s three dark sisters and the secret contains betrayal, murder, thriller, mystery, love and lies. But at some point they also differ. Three dark crowns is a thriller fantasy about the sisters fighting for the crown while the secret is a thriller fiction about crimes.
These series have a unique plot and a very interesting flow. It has a lot of never ending mysteries and never ending revelations too. By every chapter that you read, the content of it never fails you to be amazed and shocked. According to Mrs. Blake, ” wicked queens that you know may not be wicked after all. Sometimes, they are even the ones who can lead the people well in short, great rulers. At some points, giving too much mercy is not good. I remembered a time when I watched an anime. The king in that show is too much kind, merciful and also a coward. He hates wars and weapons that is why to avoid conflict, he gave some of his lands to the other countries as a gift, without even considering the people of those lands. They suffered a lot, they experienced shortage and many died due to starvation. People can be ruthless in their own ways too. Sometimes they just do these things not for themselves, but for the people they protect. Just like what the saying says in Filipino “lahat ng sobra, nakakasama”. In order to enjoy the series,your understanding about the situations will help. Also don’t be too judgemental cause it will lead you to nowhere.
I would likely recommend these series to those who are into suspense. These are very addicting and gives you a roller-coaster like feeling. According to Kirkus Reviews, “the opener to a pitch-black epic fantasy series. Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting”.
According to Ala booklist ” a exquisite world building and luminous detail, this is a high fantasy at it’s best. At this novel’s dark heart beats a story about sisterhood, the unbreakable bonds of family, and ties that bind enough to kill”.
Reading these series can strenghthen your love for your family, especially your siblings. It can teach you a lesson at the end; not all evil are completely evil and not all good are completely good. It shows one thing that is natural to humans, the will to fight just to save the ones that are dear to you from danger.
Some of the mysteries are not yet solve in the first book so in order to catch up, check out the book one and book two of it, the one dark throne and the two dark reigns.