Teen Take: Three Dark Crowns

Teen Take: Three Dark Crowns

March 6, 2017
Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is a dark, haunting book that left me on the edge of my seat, while also making me want to put the book down and leave my seat altogether at times. The story takes place on an island, Fennbirn, where there are three groups of people possessing magical powers. There are the naturalists who can grow flowers in their sleep and befriend animals with a single word. There are also elementals who can control storms and conjure fire. Last are the poisoners who can eat and drink the deadliest poisons, an ability just a little unimpressive next to the other two. The magic and tradition of the island makes it so that every generation, the reigning queen has triplets, three girls who each possess one power. This time, it is no different with Mirabella powerfully showing off her elemental abilities, Arisnoe supposedly being a naturalist, and Katharine with the ability to drink a gallon of poison and walk away with nothing but an empty glass. But things are not as light as they may seem. There can only be one queen on the island of Fennbirn, and on the night the girls turn sixteen, the fight is on to see who can gain the crown. The problem? The losers of this fight will die while the winner is queen. The goal of each girl is to kill her triplet so she can become the monarch. Too dark yet? It gets darker throughout the book.

The novel involves a very slow start that can be hard to get into. It zapped me right into the middle of the plot without giving much background knowledge. It was a little confusing, and not very compelling. However, a little over halfway through, things begin to pick up. There are multiple romantic subplots for the girls, along with different little strings to bind the girls together, even though they are being kept in different parts of the island for their own safety. The writing in the novel was fairly descriptive, easy enough for me to picture everyone and everything.

The main aspect of the book that stood out to me, however, was just how average it was. I had heard some hype about the book, but after I read it, I found really how much hype it was. Some people might enjoy it, but as for me, the characters were never really stunning, and the writing was lackluster. The plot dragged on and never got anywhere, leaving room for a second book I think I could write in my head and not truly have to buy. The novel was a typical young adult book with teenagers, love, murder, etcetera, etcetera. It had its fair share of subtly predictable plot twists and characters so annoying and frustrating that it would be better if the author had just erased them from the final draft.

I don’t despise Three Dark Crowns, but it was just a mediocre book if you’re looking for a story to read over the weekend. The cover is phenomenal, though, if nothing else seems to be going for it. There is also the fact that Fox has gained the movie rights, so it will most likely be brought to the big screen. You may want to consider trying it, for that reason alone. I would say “read it” if you don’t have anything else to read. Between a slow plot, exasperating characters, and the darkness that surrounds it all, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is only a good book if you’re okay with an average story. That’s why I give this tale of royal treachery five out of ten crowns.

Jordan Mundy

I live in Asheville and go to a local high school. I was chosen to be a member of the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps during middle school, and adore reading and writing of any type: creative writing, poetry, and of course, journalism. I also like acting, singing, and public speaking. You can usually find me doing any of the things stated above, or hanging in my Eno!

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