Review: One Dark Throne

One Dark Throne

Title: One Dark Throne

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Year: 2017

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.

Review: Three Dark Crowns

 

Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Year: 2016

I’m going to start this review off by pointing out just how amazing and beautiful the UK covers are. Part of me really wants to collect all three, but when I had a choice I went with the Naturalist cover (which worked out quite well because I think she is my favourite of the sisters).

Before I bought Three Dark Crowns I had heard so many great things about this book, it seemed that everyone was talking about it. I have to admit that the synopsis grabbed my attention and it seemed like my cup of tea. Of course, this set my expectations very high and we all know that can be a dangerous thing sometimes. I had absolutely no reason to worry because I loved this book! I can’t remember the last time I read a book in less than 5 days (life can get very busy at times).

Personally I love reading books that tell the story from multiple points of view and for this story it definitely worked (how else could we find out about all three sisters). As seen on the blurb, we all know that the sisters have different abilities. One a Naturalist (Arsinoe), able to bloom flowers and control animals, one an Elemental (Mirabella), with the ability to control fire and create storms, and the last sister a Poisoner (Katharine), being able to ingest the strongest of poisons and live. But, out of the three sisters only one can become Queen and the others will die.

Each sister is so different from the other and I definitely disliked some more than the others (Katharine, I’m looking at you). We get to find out about how they were brought up by the people around them, having been separated at the age of 6, and it was interesting to see how that had moulded them. I have to admit; this book gave me a bit of a complex. I wanted to feel sorry for certain characters, but then they would give me a reason to dislike them and at times I wasn’t sure which sister I really wanted to become Queen. I felt sorry for the way some of the sisters were treated and the struggles that they had to go through. Especially 2 in particular.

Of course, with the different points of view taking us through the story, we encounter a lot of characters (maybe too many if I’m being honest as some didn’t feel necessary). The way Blake built the world that the sisters lived in was beautiful and deadly, and so well written that I could vividly picture it all. I was completely immersed in their world and I couldn’t get enough.

But, no book can be perfect and something that slightly annoyed me were the romantic relationships. If you read this book you will realise the one that really irked me (I’m still reeling) because I am a little fed up of love triangles now and I wanted one of the characters to get her happy ending. And it seemed a little unrealistic in places, but overall, I wasn’t reading the book for the romantic aspects, I was reading it for the sisters and how they would overcome the fact that they have to kill each other to become the most powerful.

I have to say that the ending was a surprise and made me pick up the second instalment, One Dark Throne, straight away (so expect a review on that very soon). Overall, this book captured my attention and didn’t let me go. While it started off a little slow, it was definitely worth sticking out a few dull chapters to reach the ending. I cannot wait to find out what will become of the sisters now and who will come out on top.

I’m going to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.