Friday, September 23, 2016

ARC Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Series:     Three Dark Crowns #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 20, 2016
Publisher:HarperTeen
Length:416 pages
Source:Edelweiss

I was really intrigued by the blurb for this book as I love a good dark fantasy. The premise of the story is that three sisters (triplets) are born queens. Once they are born, it is the end of their queen mother's reign. The girls are raised together at the Black Cottage for a short time, but are all separated at six years old according to their magical powers. One is a poisoner and is immune to poison. One is a naturalist and can make things grow and have animals as familiars. And the other is an elemental, who controls the elements of earth, air, wind and fire. Katherine is being raised by the poisoners; Arsinoe is being raised by the naturalists; and Mirabella is being raised by the elementals. To become the next queen, one of the girls must murder her sisters and take the throne.

Sounds good and dark, right? Unfortunately it didn't work for me. The first problem for me was that it was hard to follow. The story is told from alternating points of view - mainly from the queens themselves. But sometimes from their entourage members. Each chapter is being told from a different camp. It ended up being too many people to follow and keep straight with each chapter, and I was so worried about who was who that I never really formed a connection to any one character.

The pacing was really slow and without a character connection, the story also seemed to drag. I felt like I was reading and reading and never getting anywhere. Finally at around 40%, I stopped reading to go and read some reviews to see if it was going to get better. I saw lots of people having the same problem, but they also said the ending was great. So I skipped ahead to 80%. What I found there, I had already kind of predicted in the first part of the book. So I wasn't knocked off my feet, nor did it interest met enough to go back and read the other 40% that I skipped.

DNF 40%-80%. Normally I don't write reviews for books that I don't finish, but I felt like I spent so much time with this one that it warranted a review.