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review 2017-10-09 20:21
One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake

This is a fast paced, blood soaked, twisty turny rollercoaster Love story that builds up to a high octane scream yet ends with a slow, limping whimper. This book has love stories of all kinds...Love of Family (both blood and adopted), Friends, Power, Abilities, Home and Romantical Insta free amore to boot.

The writing felt clinical, like it was merely reporting the facts which ultimately kept me from getting immersed or connecting with the characters and their ordeals. The writing was raw and the pacing fast but never felt rushed as a result. The characters were beautifully crafted and the world was one that I really enjoyed visiting but would HATE to stay in. We all (not so secretly) have our favorite sister and I adore reading everyone's reviews to see the rationale behind their choices. For me I always loved Mirabella and recently found myself enjoying Arsinoe more and more. Yes Mirabella is believed to be the strongest, the most beautiful and a pampered, spoiled (man stealing) lump. She may be some of that but she is also: extremely capable of inflicting serious bodily harm yet refuses to direct that against the sisters she not only remembers but loves..truly loves.

 

Ok, bring on book #3. I'm (not so) patiently waiting.

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review 2017-09-30 14:36
#64 - Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake

It was weird. I loved this book; it was really macabre and gloomy. I was not expecting that at all but it was a great surprise.

 

Three Dark Crowns is the story of triplets Queens, one poisoner, one elemental and one naturalist. They live apart until they turn sixteen, when each Queen will have to kill her sisters to become the one true Queen (and then have triplets as well.)

 

The idea of this book was really unique and I love this strange Island full of magic. The story begins when the triplets are almost sixteen and you do not know anything about this world. I love that we discover the world bit by bit but I think it would have been better to just have a little more context at the beginning , I felt a bit lost.

 

I love all the characters and all the Queens are really different while being similar as well. Queen Katharine was definitely my favourite! The other characters were nice but really clichés, but in a good way.

 

As for the pacing, what a race! It was really easy to read and I did not want to put it down, I think I could have read it in one sitting if I had had the time at the moment.

 

The sequel is already out and I can’t wait to put my hands on it, the ending left me hanging…

 

I definitely recommend this book is you are in the mood for something different.

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review 2017-09-06 20:57
Three Dark Crowns
Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss.]

This is the story of an island on which, every generation, three potential queens are born: one with the power to poison and resist toxins, the other to command elements, the third to befriend animals and make plants grow. On the 16th birthday, then begins the year during which they have to fight, and only one of them will survive. ‘Fight’ meaning, of course, that the winner can only become so by killing the other queens, a.k.a as her own sisters.

Sounds like a gruesome premise, and obviously this got my attention, especially since two of the queens are complete underdogs, and presented as such from the start (the poisoner isn’t very good at resisting poisons in general, and the naturalist one can’t even make a bud flower, least of all call her own familiar). It’d be too easy for them to just get offed quickly, though, so I expected political manoeuvers and other intrigue moves. Which I got, at least partially, as the poisoners aim at discreetly making their queen look more seducing in order to garner support (get people to like you best, and they’re more likely to try and protect you from the other queens), and the elementalists hatch a plan of their own, with the poisoners in turn trying to divert it...

Too bad the story developed so slowly, and in a way that didn’t even allow to develop the queens’ characters that much. Well, to be fair—it’s not uninteresting, it’s just that, all things considered, the setting was ripe for much, much more intrigue (or to get more quickly to the beginning of the Ascension Year). So 80% of the book read like a prologue. On top of this, a couple of things rubbed me the wrong way; unfortunately, they were things that took up quite some space:

- The style. Sometimes I can do with third person present tense; other times, it just feels weird, and keeps throwing me out of the story. This was one of those times. (I’m really not convinced by that narrative style in anything longer than 20-30 pages, to be honest. Still waiting for a story to fully convince me.)

- The romance: Katharine’s... all right, there was a political edge to her getting lessons in seduction, and once you can seduce, I’m not surprised to see romance ensue with someone at some point. But Jules’s took too much from ‘Arsinoe time’. Not that I didn’t like Jules herself, only the guy takes up screen time instead of letting us see the Jules/Arsinoe relationship, which could’ve really shone as a strong friendship, and... let’s be honest, he’s nothing special, the triangle (of course there’s a triangle) is nothing special, and all the fuss didn’t make much sense to me. Colour me callous. Get out, Joseph. You’re an appalling boor.

This said, I was expecting a twist at the end, and there was one, and for once it wasn’t the one I was expecting. So there’s that, and I still want to read the next book to see how the actual Ascension Year is going to unfold (hopefully with more intrigue and less half-baked romance).

On the positive side:

- The characters weren’t too clever nor developed, but I quite appreciated that they weren’t all black-hearted, and certainly not from the beginning. As much as I bemoan the lack of intrigue-action, this kind of story wouldn’t be interesting at all if the characters supposed to kill each other could do so with a flick of a hand without even arching an eyebrow. Mirabella is sweet, and the one who’s least blinded by hate. Arsinoe is very much no-nonsense, knowing she’s very likely to be the first to die, yet not spending her time woe-is-me’ing herself. Katharine is scrawny and weakened by her training, but she doesn’t cry over it, and keeps doing her best and putting her willpower into it. They’re not perfect, oh no; nevertheless, they each have a likeable side.

- Surprisingly, I liked Billy, too. You’d think ‘obvious love interest’, but he was definitely more the good, loyal friend than the charming suitor, and this worked much, much better for me. Also, his (kind of) ballsy move at the Disembarking.

Conclusion: 2 stars. I really liked the last 20%, but I wish more time had been spent on the actual intrigue, with more blood and twists there, and less on the romance.

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review 2017-09-04 23:22
Three Dark Crowns ( a review i thought i wrote a while back)
Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake

I read this a while ago, I thought I had reviewed it. I even remember writing the review. I had this as an arc, maybe it was when booklikes was not being user friendly.

 

This is young adult fantasy. It has some pretty dark themes. You have three sisters, triplets, each a potential queen. In order to determine which will rule there is a battle of skills. Each sister has a gift: elemantal, poisoner, naturalist. The girls are raised separate from each other and are strictly trained at their skill. Some sisters are excelling, others not so much.

 

This is told from tyre different POVs, it can get a bit confusing at times. This does start a bit slow and the first half is tedious at times. You basically get three indroductions, one for each sister. The second half gets much better. We a have a love triangle of sorts, but this not a sappy one by any means. In the end there is a big twist revealed, I had a suspicion as to it happening a few chapters in, but it took me by surprise regardless.

 

I found myself rooting for the underdog and feel that by the end of the book she stands a decent chance. I will continue this series, mostly because I want to see if the author will give us a Happily ever after, or let this finish darkly. The writing is average at first but it does get better.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-06 10:25
June 2017 — A Wrap-Up

 

 

 

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I dunno how she does it but I never come away from an Agatha Christie novel without enjoying it to the fullest! This one wasn’t an exception even when it was full of racist and sexist characters. I am also happy that I read this one finally and so close to the release of the new movie too!

A favorite funny quote from the book is mentioned below. It shows the circuitutitous way Poirot thinks:

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It was interesting to see the term, pukka sahib, being used in the book. Even though the person who used it, Colonel Arbuthnot, meant it in a different way i.e. the first meaning in the picture below. Poirot got down to the real meaning really quickly i.e. the second meaning of the word:

 

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Picture

 

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I was worried that the sequel won’t suck me in as the first book had managed to do. I worried for naught; this book was as much fun and scary as the previous one. One thing that I both love and hate about this book is that Cas doesn’t sound like a teenage boy all the time. In places, he uses such poetic words about Anna. I also loved the gory decriptions that the author uses for when Anna shows up to show Cas how she is suffering.  This part from the book showcases both the gore and the poetic prose:

 

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Cas’s humor is another thing that I have alays had fun reading. Check out this example:

 

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There are two ways you could look at this series. You can consider the elements typical to most PNR novels and label it as one. Or, you could look at the humor and the cool references to tv shows and movies and love the series for its wittiness. I chose the latter, which is why I enjoyed reading these books! Here are my favorite parts from the last (so far) book:

 

 
 
Since the guy is known as the Lord of the Ravens, the excerpt below becomes funnier while seeming legit:
 

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The October Faction series is based on a family of monster hunters. The parents who have now retired did their best to hide their past from their kids. However, old enemies kept making that difficult. What I love about this series is how dark and gory it is. The artist doesn’t picture perfect characters and their flaws make them feel more real to me!

 

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While I am equally grossed out and intrigued by the television series, the novel itself had failed to make an impression on me. The graphic novels seem to be going down the same windpipe. The only positive thing I have to say about them is that they stay true to the book. Surprisingly, as I had expected, the art isn’t to die for. It could be that the tv series and its amazing cast has me spoiled. I mean, look at the graphic novel version of Mr. Wednesday!

 

 

 

Saga’s art is so beautiful that it hurts. This series draws you in and forces you to care for its characters! I am also including the covers of two of the single issues. Feast your eyes on their beauty:

 

 

 

 

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Ender’s Image

 

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Some of my favorites quotes:

 

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This quote paints an accurate picture of sustainable methods and their importance in everything that we do! Hunting animals to extinction, deforestation to the point of clearing forests after forests…Only this time, we will all be paying the price!

 

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I loved how “human” Jane was without being a human being. In this quote, her sarcasm comes out beautifully, which is probably as human as it gets!

 

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This elitist attitude has always been the source of our troubles and led to colonialism destroying the national identities of many a people. These words were said by Jane who starts to seem more and more deeply insightful by the minute.

 

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I have mixed feelings about this one. The story seems to make Ender seem like an omniscient deity at times. He might be good at reading people but no one is that good!

 

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This quote is from a part of the book where one of the kids rebelliously pees on Ender when he wouldn’t free the kid. This is how he responds to the incident; it shows how humor is threaded through an otherwise serious book.

 

Look at the exampe below, as well. It talks about religious leaders belonging to a branch of religion that is separate from the religion of the state. Gems such as this one were interspersed throughout the story and made me chuckle every time.

 

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This quote highlights how different two groups of people can be in their beliefs about death and everything else. Leaf-Eater’s people were planted after they died and turned into trees; benefitting the living even after death.

 

For wrap-ups of the previous months, go here.

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