Within Kendare Blake’s novel, 3 Dark Crowns, the magical island Fennbirn forces the triplet daughters of its queen to fight until one is victorious and claims the title of queen. However, when the story begins, there is a new generation of triplets, and things start to go awry.
For centuries the people of Fennbirn have relied on their goddess to select a queen to rule over them. The goddess ensures the current queen has triplet daughters, each of which has one of the five gifts of Fennbirn: Naturalist, Elementalist, Poisoner, War or Seer. Naturalist, Elementalist and Poisoner are the three most common gifts. The triplets must then grow up separately from each other until they become of age. Once they turn 16, they have exactly one year to kill the other two sisters and become queen.
In the newest set of triplets there are Katherine, Mirabella and Arsinoe. Katherine is a poisoner, Mirabella is an elementalist, and Arsinoe is a naturalist. The only problem is that Katherine and Arsinoe show no exceptional skills in their gifts, whereas Mirabella is so much stronger that the temple and its priestesses have already sided with Mirabella. The priestesses, and head priestess, were beside Mirabella her whole life helping her train and cheering her on. Many felt that Mirabella would be the future queen for sure. However, a strange series of events starts to unfold and Mirabella is unsure of her chances.
3 Dark Crowns is a very unique story in the fact that it has a combination of medieval times and fantastical elements. Even though the reader may not have a special gift, the characters are very personable and many can relate to their situations on some level.
While 3 Dark Crowns is very unique and well written, it has some downsides. First of all, it was extremely hard to get into and was almost dry at the beginning. Blake needed to spend more time developing the exposition than developing the plot. Even though the plot was overdeveloped, it was very hard to understand because it was extremely complex and there was constant switching of character perspective that made it hard to keep up with the story line. It was also difficult to picture the island because it was only referred to sporadically.
Overall, 3 Dark Crowns was a very good story because of its magic and action, but it was not always captivating. Once the story became more interesting, it was extremely hard to put down. If the reader has a copious amount of patience 3 Dark Crowns would be a good fit for them. 3 Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is definitely worth the read.