Title: One Dark Throne
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Wow. I think starting this review with that one word is a great start because this book was incredible. As soon as I finished Three Dark Crowns I dived straight into the sequel and I loved it so much more than the first (if that was even possible). The UK cover is, once again, better than the US and beautiful, with the sisters abilities wrapping around the sword.
The second instalment picks up where the first left off and Kendare Blake doesn’t keep us waiting. The action begins practically straight away. Compared to the first book, the pace is a lot quicker and not once did I feel like I was plodding through the chapters. The plot was so much darker than the first too, something that I was hoping for more of in the sequel. I got just what I wanted, with the sisters plotting each others’ demise and evil schemes falling into place. Katharine definitely shone in that department (but we always knew she was harsher than the other two from the first book alone).
In terms of character development, it was greatly improved with this book and I felt a connection with some that I didn’t care for in the first book. My favourite sister from the first book, Arsinoe, is still the one I relate to and love the most, and she definitely got her chance to shine. Mirabella grew on me, slightly redeeming herself for some of her actions in the first book, and I couldn’t help but root for her too. I even felt sorry for Katharine (which isn’t easy when she’s one of the most evil in the book). And in a story where two out of the three sisters has to die? It makes it very complicated when I care about two of them. I still couldn’t make my mind up about who I wanted to be Queen. In a perfect world none of them would die and they could live happily ever after with the people they love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that happy endings exist in Fennbirn.
The relationships between character were put to test throughout the book and the romantic ones in particular felt much more genuine this time round. My personal favourite has to be Arsinoe and Billy who had such a sweet friendship that was natural and made me smile when reading. I can’t not mention Jules, the kind of friend to Arsinoe that I would love to have for myself. She is strong, protective and her story definitely took a few turns along the way.
Having gotten used to the POV that Blake uses in the first book, I found it a lot easier to keep track of all the characters and the events taking place. It flowed so perfectly and there was no stopping with this book. The tension kept building, the story growing more complicated. There is violence, blood shed and so much emotion. Especially towards the end of the book. You can’t predict where this story will go and there were twists that I didn’t expect at all. I am beyond excited for the third one. I just hate that I have to wait until next year.
It is so hard to review this book without giving too much away and spoiling it, but it is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far. I am going to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.