Memphis Reads – Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Staff Book Reviews

Melissa reviews THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake (HarperTeen, 2016)

What happens when the glorious war of sisterly rivalry becomes a matter of life or death? When the right to reign supreme is eclipsed by the ever-consuming desire to win at all costs? Kendare Blake answers both questions in this novel, by giving readers a glimpse into the minds and hearts of the eponymous crowns’ bearers.

The island of Fennbirn bears witness to the birth of a set of triplets every generation. Each sister, all of them queens, has a magical gift that marks her as a worthy candidate for the title of Queen Crowned. In Rolanth, the elemental temple, Mirabella appears to be the most promising candidate with her ability to summon lightning, fire and windstorms…but she cannot escape the persistent dreams of a long-forgotten childhood, nor can she ignore her own reluctance to kill her sisters. In the naturalist city of Wolf Spring, Arsinoe is shadowed by her feelings of inadequacy regarding her late-blooming powers–to the point that she is willing to resort to some less-favorable means to further her chance at victory. And lastly, there is the poisoner city of Indrid Down. Within it resides the powerful Arron family, responsible for grooming Katharine, who is the youngest of the triplets…and also the most physically and emotionally unstable due to her poisoner’s gift.

With the festival of Beltane rapidly approaching, all three sisters have nothing to lose and everything to gain from becoming the Queen Crowned. Will Mirabella find a way to overcome both her hesitance the visions plaguing her mind? Can Arsinoe, the underdog, unlock her true potential and become the dark horse of this battle? Fragile Katharine’s support from the Arrons can only go so far–but will it be enough to secure her victory?

As the tagline says, “When kingdom come, there will be one.”

Melissa W., Staff