Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns Series #1)

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns Series #1)

by Kendare Blake


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New York Times Bestseller * New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 * Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 * Kirkus Best Book of the Year

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour Three Dark Crowns, the first book in a dark and inventive fantasy series about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

Don't miss Five Dark Fates, the thrilling conclusion to the series, coming in September!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062385444
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Series: Three Dark Crowns Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 10,522
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kendare Blake holds an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a Cybils Awards finalist; Girl of Nightmares; Antigoddess; Mortal Gods; Ungodly; and the New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns series. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages, have been featured on multiple best-of-year lists, and have received many regional and librarian awards. Kendare lives and writes in Kent, Washington. Visit her online at

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Three Dark Crowns 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I overall found Three Dark Crowns to be an enjoyable read. Three sister queens, destined to fight to the death for the crown, go through preparations for the year in which they will meet their fate. Each faces their own unique struggles- Kat, the "poisoner" queen, is weak and sickly from years of ingesting poisons in an attempt to activate her gift, Arsinoe the "naturalist" struggles to connect with nature the way she is supposed to, and Mirabelle the "elemental" is tortured by the expectation that she will kill her sisters. The three of their stories are followed separately but eventually cross paths and intertwine. Lovers of fantasy and darker tales will love this book and the depth of the fantasy world and the society built in this novel. The magical "gifts" described in the book are intriguing and unique, and the characters are even more so. A major theme throughout the book is manipulation and the lengths to which people will go to gain power, and it was interesting to see how different characters experienced being manipulated or manipulation of others. My only complaints stem from the choppiness of the dialogue, which reads very formally and so isn't easy to hear in your head, so to speak. I personally was able to get used to it and enjoy the book anyway but I can see how that might be a turn off. I also could have done without some of the relationship drama, and think that the book could have better brought into play the dynamic between the sisters instead. At times, it was a little bit slow paced, but I found it was suspenseful enough to keep me reading. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed Three Dark Crowns and would recommend it to any fantasy lovers looking for a new series.
WitchyWriter 16 days ago
Okay, I can tell from book one that this series is going to subvert all kinds of expectations. The narrative style is unique, the plot is completely impossible to predict, the characters are complex and man do they get under your skin. It’s insidious, too. You don’t realize it’s happening until you’ve gotten to the end of book one and you have to immediately pick up book two! The POV chapters are a really good format for this book, because it spreads out the action and the secrets, so that you’re always continuing to read because you want to find out what happens next, or whose plans are going to go awry, or how character x is going to react to the bombshell that character y just dropped. Somehow, Blake ends up avoiding that pitfall of POV chapter structure, where readers start caring about one character more than the others, and keep wanting to skip ahead to that character’s POV chapters. I’ve never once felt the desire to skip ahead or get back to one character more than the others in this series, and I don’t know how Blake pulls it off, but it works out really, really well. Fans of YA political dramas and unique magic systems and fantasy mythology elements will enjoy this series. It’s complex and interesting and like nothing you’ve probably read before. So go get started!
TheBookNerdigan 19 days ago
The Blurb alone is what drew me to this book. I love young adult fantasy. So throw in a set of sisters who also happen to be triplets who must battle each other for the right to be named Queen is just right up my alley.  "Life or death" the sisters battle it out to see who comes out the victor. Being raised away from each other since birth, they know nothing about who the other sisters are except for their given power: Mirabella the elemental, who can use the elements of the earth to battle, Arisnoe, the naturalist who can control growth of plants and have a special bond with a familiar, and Katharine, the poisoner, who can consume any poison thing or touch anything poison and be unaffected.  The only problem is, Kathrine is affected by poisons, no matter all the years she has slowly been fed poison, it still makes her sick or gives her skin a reaction. And Arisone still can't make a simple flower grow and doesn't have a familiar.  Arsinoe takes to old magic to get a great bear to act as her familiar.  Trying to break each other and kill each other,  The night of their "show of talents", circumstances take place where one sister falls into a deep whole where no one in the towns dare to go near. All think she is dead and believe there are only two sisters now, but when the sister who fell suddenly returns and returns with a new personality and will power, she is set on becoming Queen even more so now than ever before. 
Anonymous 10 months ago
It’s full of mystery, intrigue, and deadly girls I wouldn’t dare to face off, Fennbirn is a darkly magical world I’m both drawn to and frightened by. Three Dark Crowns loses none of the book’s momentum, powering toward a conclusion that leaves several open doors. It’s only the first book in the series, I already feel drawn to the characters and it’s lethal, unpredictable plot(especially throughout the ending of the book). I do admit it was slow and kinda boring in the beginning BUT it gets way better once the character are introduced, also, I just found the whole concept to be so intriguing that I had to stick with it. Readers will be riveted by Blake’s ingenious world-building, stunning developments of main and supporting characters, and spiraling tensions. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I found this series, great story with many twists and turns. Sometimes stories can take too long and drag out the outcomes; however, this book will answer lots of questions along the way. This book defintely kept my attention!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible! The set up for this series is so clever: three sister queens with different talents that must fight to the death for the throne. The book introduces us to loads of characters right off the bat: the three queens (Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella) as well as their entourage of guardians/friends. So there were quite a few names to keep track of. At the very beginning of the story, it was a little tricky and I found myself flipping back a few pages to remember who was who, but these characters all quickly developed personalities and were all so unique that I was soon able to differentiate between them all. I think that was one of my favorite things about this book. The characters were all so dynamic and very much their own person with their own thoughts and feelings and goals. I also adored the range of settings this story took place in. Each of the queens lives in a different area of Fennbirn that was so different from each other and had its own atmosphere due to the types of people (either poisoner, elemental, or naturalist) living in the area. It was all so beautiful. This book was rife with political tension. There are so many moving pieces among the characters, all with different agendas and motives, and it makes for such a captivating tale. The shifting points of view with each chapter meant we got to spend quite a bit of time in each queen’s head, which was such an amazing experience. When the book started out, I for some reason assumed we would be with only one queen so we would have one protagonist to root for, but this was so much better than my expectations. I fell in love with each queen and their friends, and I don’t want to see any of them fail. The story ends with the beginning of the Ascension Year, which is the year the three queens have to kill two of their sisters to take the throne. This book was amazing, and kept me captivated for the entire time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elegant and gothic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So in love with the book series, I want to have more!
J-Shari More than 1 year ago
3 sisters....One crown. On the island of Fennbirn there are a set of triplets born to each generation. All three queens have an equal right to the crown. Each queen possesses their own magic. Mirabella, Katharine, and Arisnoe. Mirabella is an elemental who has the ability to conjure up the worst storms and call fire. Katharine is a poisoner who can ingest the most lethal poison with no consequence. And then there is Arisnoe. She is a naturalist who is supposed to have the ability to make things bloom and control what they call her familiar which is an animal. To take the crown the sisters have to fight to the death. And on their sixteenth birthday the fight starts. I went into this knowing that there was going to be a character death I would dread. But that is NOT what happened. The ending of this book just set the tone for the rest of the series and I am still NOT okay!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written, and you will fall in love with these characters!
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I’m so excited about this series! I wish I hadn’t waited so long to start it, but I’m glad that I can read the next two books right away. I found the story a little confusing at first because there were so many characters! Each Queen lives with a different guardian family, and they each specialize in a different power, so it was hard to keep track of them. Also, there were some names that looked similar, such as Luca and Luke. This slowed down my reading at first, but once I figured everyone out, it was so good! The narrative switched between each of the three Queens. I loved reading about each of them, but then I wanted to keep reading their stories when it switched to the next girl. The final chapters were so fast paced. They were each just a few pages long so I flew through them. I have to admit that I guessed the ending correctly. I was glad that I was right, and now I can’t wait to read the next book!
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
Three girls, three queens, one throne. Two have to die for one to take over the throne and reign on the island. But which one will be strong enough to murder her sisters. The poisoners are sure that their Queen Katharine will keep them on their counsel seats, as it has been for the last 100 years. The temple priestesses wants Queen Mirabella, the Elementalist, to end the years of the poisoners and bring back the way of the Goddess. And then there is Queen Arsinoe, the Naturalist, waiting for her gift to finally show. This story did more than fulfill my expectations. I had heard so much good about it, that I was a little skeptical if it can live up to the hype. But, boy, this was truly amazing and I loved all the Queens, hated Luca and Rho and the poisoners, had high hopes for Joseph and Pietyr and Billy. On to the next book asap and for everyone, who hasn’t read “Three Dark Crowns” it, you won’t regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written. Captivating.
Courtney_Elena More than 1 year ago
Original Review: Rating: 2.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book, unfortunately, I just didn't care for it. I went in beyond excited to read this, the synopsis sounds amazing and I was buddy-reading it with close friends, but it, unfortunately, was just a let down for me. Initially, I thought that I would be getting a story full of action and suspense instead it was more about world building and setting the stage for action later in the series. This made the pacing of the book feel painfully slow, I don't think that it really picked up till about halfway through the book. Even after picking up, I still don't think that I was ever fully as engrossed as I hoped I would be. While I will admit my expectations did play a large role in my feelings of this book, it was not my only reason for disliking the book. I really was not a fan of the writing style of this book. The book was constantly switching from one point of view to another, sometimes even switching between people while still in the same chapter. This made the book very confusing at times, and difficult to understand whose point of view I was reading. I was also annoyed that we got a lot of Kathrine and Mirabella's points of view but very little of Arsionoe's. For me at least, this made it very hard to connect with Arsinoe as a character. I feel that I would have liked the book more if she had found a way to tell the story only from the Queen's points of view. Lastly was the world, while it was beautiful and fantastical, it was just too much and was very confusing at times. The author would often reference historical events of the world and would sometimes explain and sometimes leave the reader hanging. The world is just so intricate it seems like historical preface or appendix to give the reader some context. I was also left confused because the author references the real historical event of Cleopatra VII ( the one we all know as Cleopatra) having her sister Arsinoe murdered, which made me wonder if this world was somehow connected to ours or if this was simply an easter egg. All in all, the book itself was not horrible, but I probably would not have finished it if it were not for the fact that I was buddy reading. That being said, due to the ending, which was probably the best aspect of the book, and the fact that a friend, whose opinion I trust, has raved about the sequel, I will probably try to continue with the series. With any luck, the rest of the series will make up for the slow start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I can’t wait to read the next one! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh the ending!!!! I LOVE the kind of ending this book has. I'm so glad that I read it now instead of right when it came out because I just hopped straight onto Amazon and have book 2 coming on Thursday, so I don't have to wait too long for the next installment. Trust me, you will want to read book 2 immediately!
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Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
This was one story I really enjoyed. Unique with three strong main characters, each with her own charms and shortcomings, I was hooked from the start. Just when I would start rooting for one sister to win and become the next Queen Crowned, my sympathies would shift to one of the others. With stakes already high, knowing that only one sister can be queen but also that her sisters who lose the crown will also lose their lives kept the suspense and tension high right to the end of the book. This is a really unique tale full of twists and just when you think there will be a resolution, you end up finishing the book craving for what will come next. Good thing there is One Dark Throne for you start on as soon as you're finished!
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that it was a bit difficult for me to get into the story, I think it was a combinations of the narrations and the different PoV’s and all the character’s names but once I was a little bit more familiar with it all I started to enjoy the book (even if sometimes I didn’t know who was who).
MomBo1 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My all time favorite series. Great plot that keeps readers hooked. I Read it in a span of 48 hours.