One Dark Throne

One Dark Throne - Kendare Blake I picked this one up immediately after I finished Three Dark Crowns and it did not disappoint. It really is so much better than the first book- it's darker and expounds on the character relationships from the first book. (Warning: Spoilers for the first book)

I'm sad to say that I still didn't care for Katherine. I get that she went through a lot, etc. but she felt "too chosen one" for me. Mirabella never gave me that vibe and Arsinoe certainly never did but the entire time I was reading from her POV, I got this feeling she would be the queen and she just bored me somehow. She herself is okay, I suppose, but her arcs involving a love triangle and her being "darker" kinda felt forced and over-the-top. Also, she was the only one of the sisters who I felt like didn't care for the other two in some capacity.

I adored Arsinoe and Mirabella. They were shown to care for each other and I can really see how it was affecting their struggle for the crown. They're supposed to kill each other but they can't bring themselves to do so because of sentimentality and their own memories. As someone with two younger sisters I love and want to protect, Mirabella really resonated with me.

As with the first book, I enjoyed Arsinoe's arc best. I liked seeing her grow and accept her true abilities. I did wish she used it more though- I felt like it was a wasted opportunity. It served her well enough as a defense but she wasn't really shown using it in offense while her sisters were using their abilities. I did love her relationships with her friends Jules, Joseph, and her growing romance with Billy. I thought it was pretty natural and realistic and I looked forward to their chapters more.

I didn't look forward to Mirabella's chapters as much, but I still enjoyed them. Mirabella was practically "the chosen one" in the book, the one nearly everyone thought would be queen, and seeing her struggle both in having to kill her sisters and in having to struggle to win the crown she previously thought was certain to be hers was great to read.

There are twists in this book, both those that I saw coming and those that I didn't. I wish I saw more about what happened to Katherine during the last book and how she changed and I also hoped for more politics. Unfortunately, the politics here remain too little for my taste and my search for a YA Fantasy with a lot of politicking continues.

Still, I love Kendare Blake's writing. It's dark, fast-paced, descriptive and sucks you into the world. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and it's been such a long time I felt excited about an upcoming release.