Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake Something I love about YA Fantasy is how fast-paced and easy they are to read. It makes for the perfect go-to after something that's longer and long-winded due to the tighter character focus and faster pacing. I read Three Dark Crowns and the sequel One Dark Throne in a single day and loved them both.

Three Dark Crowns is perhaps the dark YA Fantasy I've been craving. A story about three sisters having to kill each other for a crown? Sign me up! (Side note: I have two younger sisters and no, I would never want to kill them for a crown no matter how annoying they can get.) The setting is pretty dark and vivid, and kind of depressing too. I love how it started and how it ended.

I do have one gripe about the setting. It feels very European for something set on a mystical island separated from the mainland. I felt like more could have been done to emphasize how different it is but it wasn't there. They talked about looking like a mainlander without telling us what a mainlander looked like. Anyway, that's just a minor gripe.

The sisters themselves were the highlight. I loved how different they were and not once did I feel that they're same-y or that they sound and read the same. Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katherine were definitely the stars of the show although the first two I liked more than Katherine. I just didn't connect with Katherine as well and I didn't particularly care for her romance either. Well to be fair, I didn't care about Mirabella's romance either. The only one I liked was Arsinoe's.

The magic is very interesting because it's very much soft magic system. Rules aren't exactly explained except that they were given by their Goddess. There are bits about the island's history and culture which I found to be interesting but could have been explained better and I did wish was expounded upon more. Except for the quirks which were the hook of the book, it felt too European for me.

There are some politicking involved but I can't help but wish there was more. The sisters felt like pawns, instead of queens. I honestly expected more about the politics and I wished they were taught that more instead of simply killing. It felt like a wasted opportunity.

Overall, it remained enjoyable. It's a nice, quick read and while I've definitely read darker books, it's a nice change of pace from the usual YA Fantasy I've gotten used to.