Book Review

Book Review: Two Dark Reigns (One Dark Throne #3) by Kendare Blake

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Release Date: September 4th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.

Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.

Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.

This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.

OKAY.

That’s how I felt the entire time I was reading this book. I was hoping after really enjoying book two that this was going to keep going on an uphill trajectory. Instead I’m left a little confused and a little like, should I even bother with the finale?

One of my main issues was the addition of more characters. I thought it was unnecessary in the way it was done (through dreams/visions) and took up a lot of page time. It did have a point at least and made sense to understand part of the island. But since these characters haven’t really been discussed and the flashback method not really used until now it was bothersome.

Somehow I still found myself listening [most of the time]. There’s something about the writing style that has been really good as an audio book. While enjoyable to listen to, the middle book syndrome of nothing really happening was clearly present until the last 50 pages of the book. There was a lot of ho-humming, running around and nonsense political meetings until FINALLY I got some sort of battle scene/skirmish ensued. I was actually hoping for more drama.

The queens did grow and I can actually see some character changes from them going through these trials and having to deal with the magic of the island. It has made them easier to cheer for and curious as to where their fate lies. Everything is dark and even kinda creepy. The mystery of the island is AT LAST unwinding.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses and not even there love scenes
  • Violence: swords, poison, physical, magic, ship wrecks, deadly mist
  • Trigger warning: brief sexual assault (unwanted touching)

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Book Review

Book Review: One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake

Rating: ☆☆☆1/2
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: September 19th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

THIS WAS BETTER.

After the mostly disaster of Three Dark Crowns, I somehow convinced myself I wanted to see if book two actually got better (like a lot of my friends had mentioned). They were right, this was at least, better.

I thought the drama and stakes gained a couple of levels that kept me interested throughout the book. The writing is quick and fast paced with a continual flow of things happening.

Having a wicked character really helped too. Katharine hit a monstrous streak that I was here for. Sometimes it’s nice actually seeing some darkness from a book with dark in the title. I found it pretty creepy what had ended up happening to her to cause such a darkness and am curious how that will continual to fuel her decisions.

Arsinoe and Mirabella are fine. I like them and like that all of the queens have stand-out personalities. It would be a bummer if they all sounded and acted the same. There story line was infinitely different and now I have been dragged into wanting to see how book three and four play out. I kind of wish that one of the queens actually did die (maybe that’s coming?) because I feel like the character deaths that did happen weren’t earth-shattering. Honestly, I wasn’t even upset with the deaths.

The romances played a big part of the plot line still. While I felt I got more out of them because this was book two, it was still missing a lot of background information. I know very little about the suitors and I have been having a hard time connecting with any of these characters.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, a few fade to black with no detail
  • Violence: physical, animal attacks, poison, someone is choked to death

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Book Review

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 403 pages
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. 

THIS SURVIVED A NEAR DNF.

I had to ask my Bookstagram friends if this was worth it to keep going. They did say the first book isn’t *great* but does get better, then the rest of the series picks up so I thought, okay…well I’ll finish it then.

I’m satisfied I did. It was nothing spectacular, but the premise is interesting.

MY BIGGEST ISSUE Y’ALL? The amount of unanswered questions you’re left with. No I’m serious. I have a list of at least 10:

  • Why do the Queens have to kill each other?
  • Who are seriously half these people?
  • Anyone have a background story? No? Oh okay.
  • What’s the Quickening?
  • What is Beltane?
  • Why does the Queen leave her triplets?
  • Why triplets?
  • Why is the island hidden?
  • What’s the deal with the mainland suitors?
  • We only met one…okay then.
  • Random book boyfriends with no background? That tracks.
  • What’s the Disembarking?
  • Why is the island only sometimes visible?
  • Where did the Queen even go?
  • Why are they split up?
  • How does this magic system even work?
  • Why can’t they leave the island ever?

SEE? I’m seriously annoyed at how much I don’t know. The world-building is minuscule. It’s poorly constructed and I beg of the second book to get it together should I pick it up anytime soon.

While that was an issue I did enjoy how quick of a read it is. The writing is set up to where it takes out the flowery flourish paragraphs that I personally don’t need a ton of and keeps us involved in the story and dialogue. It did get better at about the halfway point, so there’s that.

But also, I hate Joseph. And I hate when cheating is used as a plot device. I can’t stand it in books and this was enraging to me. I didn’t like how Joseph went about his business and I don’t see the point of him sleeping with [redacted]. UGH. Clearly I’m still upset about it.

I like the differences in the Queen’s thoughts and mannerisms. They are unique individuals and don’t read as the same person. The magic system could use a thorough explanation. This almost read more like a prequel novel than anything else, because not much happened until the last 50 pages. We mostly got to know the Queens and see them trying to use their powers.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, a fade to black, no detail, love scene
  • Violence: animal attacks, poison, elemental magic, physical
  • Trigger warnings: cheating

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles With Numbers in Them

Y’all this is a hard topic! But hey, HAPPY TOP TEN TUESDAY.

These definitely aren’t all books I’ve read. I put in bold at the beginning of each blurb about the book about how I feel towards it. Whether it’s a book I’ve read, or on my TBR, or I might never pick up but hey, it has a number in it. It is what it is!

And I also am going in sequential order of numbers 1-10. Because I was looking for extra difficulty in my life haha.

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

READ: This was such a cute series! BUT ONLY THE FIRST THREE BOOKS. Don’t even get me started on the rampage of books four and five.


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

CHILDHOOD FAVORITE: Who hasn’t read a Dr. Seuss book at least once in your life?! Always a great classic.


Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

TO BE READ: This is on a tentative TBR of mine. I own the last book, so it’s making me consider picking this up…should I?


The First Four Years (Little House #9) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

CHILDHOOD FAVORITE: Ohhh this series! One of my favorite childhood reads! Love them forever.


The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

MAYBE EVENTUALLY: This book BLEW UP when it became a movie and I have neither read or seen either version. Probably should remedy that, I’ve heard good things! At least about the first book.


Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

READ: LOVE THIS DUOLOGY. Read it. That is all.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Tayllr Jenkins Reid

MAYBE ON MY TBR: I have seen people LOVING this, my mood hasn’t hit me yet to pick it up though. Eventually…maybe…


1984 by George Orwell

READ: A classic I’ve read…and not loved. This book really creeped me out, especially reading in high school. We basically live in a version of this now. Also, I’m counting this because there is an EIGHT in the title.


November 9 by Colleen Hoover

READ: Oh, what CoHo book DIDN’T I love? The answer: NONE. Still one of my favorites of hers!!


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

READ: A whimsical read that was occasionally slow. Enjoyed it overall though!

I did it! Took me way longer than I am willing to admit. What about you? Do you have a favorite book with a number in the title? Lets talk in the comments!

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