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book battle: three dark crowns


three dark crowns by kendare blake

2/5

to each queen, triplets are born. one impervious to poisons, one in tune with animals, and one who can control the elements. only one may be queen, and to do so, she must murder her sisters. for mirabella, katharine, and arsinoe, the fight to the death is almost here.


to quote myself as i was ranting to a friend about this: "you say DARK crowns but this was dusky at best"


ugh i've really been going back and forth on what to rate this one. (and honestly? when i typed up this review last night, i was going to give it 2.5 stars, but the more i thought about it the more annoyed i got so now we're down to 2) so much of this....was just so frustrating? i truly feel like it started in the wrong place. i really believed we were going to start pretty close to the actual sisters trying to kill each other thing, but then this book is essentially just a lead up to that? while i do understand some set up being needed (and personally love writing it) this was just WAY too much of it, especially since i Did Not care about a lot of the characters or plot points. i'm not sure WHAT made me so detached from all the characters, but boy did i not care about their fates. katharine especially, i have no clue who she is. i have some idea of mirabella and arsinoe's personalities, even if they're kind of flat, but katharine? after such a strong first chapter in her pov, it felt like we almost never got her pov and that which we did was not inciteful or interesting. at one point i noticed it had been over 70 pages since we had HER pov. she showed up in the background of a few scenes during those pages, but we learned so little about her. the fact that there are so many povs seems like it killed intrigue of the book, instead of making it fast paced and a tangled web of deception and dark acts. the romance? didn't care about any of it. literally felt like there was no reason to root for any of them. there was one scene with a "love interest" that i thought rocked, but you can tell by the quotations that i really did not read him as a love interest for that sister. they didn't have the chemistry, it was just a badass scene that occurred between two friends. and there was maybe one moment where my heart rate went above resting and i was worried about a character. that sounds severe but... i thought the opening chapter was really strong and interesting and after, the story just slowly slid to its ending i compared this book to riverdale, and not necessarily in a good way, because i do not like riverdale. (sorry riverdale fans) everything is given the same narrative weight and i know like half of the povs are teenagers, but your romantic problems are not equal to the quickening or whatever in emotional impact to me. unless you can prove to me that this romance is one that NEEDS to happen, that i need these characters to do everything in the unvierse to be together. which was not proven. i do not buy your romance. riverdale does the same re: Everything Is Treated The Same: it says a talent show and a murder investigation have the same narrative weight and i'm like no!!! they don't!! this book (and riverdale but lets move on from that comp) sets itself up as mature and dark with serious themes, but it never felt dark despite all the ~dark~ things happening. every once and a while i'd be like 'damn...y'all are 16?' and move on. i'm not going to pretend this universe, or kingdom especially, would create the same teenagers we have but why weren't the characters just 18? that's still ya, and then maybe it would even be a higher level of ya were maybe some actual dark things could h a p p e n!!!! this didn't feel dark and mature this just felt boring! i could pinpoint the emotional beats and i just did not feel them. i kept reading because i was interested in the world, though it was kind of unclear, and there were definitely some moments where the writing was really nice, but overall my emotional response to most of this book was nothing, until i hit the ending, swore, threw the book on the floor, and took a bath. mostly i'm mad because the ending did pique my curiosity and i'm extremely annoyed by that fact, since this entire book felt like a waste of my time. (the ending, if you were curious, is why this was an initially a 2.5 star book) i don't know if i'll read book two, but if i do my hopes will be very low, because this book did not deliver it all felt kind of pointless.


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