Friday, October 26, 2018

Review: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

Title: One Dark Throne
Series: Three Dark Crowns #2
Written by: Kendare Blake
Published: September 19, 2017 by HarperTeen 

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

I am so glad I took the time to marathon this series because this book was amazing. I enjoyed the first book in the series but I got a copy of this one at ALA last year but for some reason I never got to reading it. And I really wish I had because this book was a fantastic dark fantasy.

I am such a plot driven reader and this was definitely a plot-filled read. This book picks up where the last one left off and I have to be honest, I wish I had given myself a bit of a refresher. I remembered the basics but not specifics about what happened to each queen. But very quickly into the book it managed to hook me and get me invested in the story. It's definitely very heavy on the political intrigue as the queens plot for control and how they are going to kill one another. There was a lot of moments throughout the books where I was nervous about what was going to happen and it seriously built to a thrilling conclusion, which honestly is what I ask for in a YA fantasy.

I also really loved the world of this book. In Three Dark Crowns I wanted more of the magic. I wanted to see it in action and I wanted to learn more about the magical system. I feel like I got that in this book. Kendare Blake has managed to craft a fascinating and creative world that is full of magic. I think a lot of that was aided by some of the reveals at the end of Three Dark Crowns. Like I really liked seeing Arsinoe explore her powers and experiment with low magic. Katherine also had some interesting magical moments as well that are more tied to the history of the island. But my favorite character exploring their magic was Jules. Seeing her develop her power was great.

Which is a good segue to talk about the characters. Because Jules is seriously my favorite character. She's as fiercely loyal as she is fierce. She's this badass magic user who cares more about helping her friend than she does in helping herself. She's so easy to like and she's probably the one I would want to be queen. However, with each page I became more and more connected to each of the other queens. I usually don't like books that switch perspectives but this book does a good job with it. It helps to get in the head of each character and makes it easy to root for them. Katherine is pretty odious but she's so sympathetic that you want her to stop being other people's pawn. Arsinoe is easy to want to succeed because she is the underdog but has a power people don't even realize. Mirabella is the one who you won't think you would like because she has been told the crown is basically hers for so long. But through this book she has really good development and becomes her own fierce and strong person with her own wants ans needs. It's so hard to have a book where the three main characters are competing and you like them all, but that is what this book is.

However, I also had problems with the characters. Not problems so much as frustrations. This is one of those fantasy reads with a massive cast of characters. There are so many secondary characters in this book and it was a little annoying. I had the hardest time keeping them straight. Not only could I not remember which family was associated with which queen, but within each family there were two or four people who I couldn't separate in my mind. Sometimes it took me out of the books as I was trying to remember who Cait Milone was and whether or not I should care who Genevieve Arron or Peityr were and what they had done. It's hard enough to keep the queens straight I didn't need more characters to figure out.

But all in all, this was a really amazing series. it was full of adventure and a thrilling plot, a world full of magic and political intrigue, and complex characters who you rooted for even when they were in contrast with the needs of others.

I give One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. I would definitely suggest reading this series if you have not had the chance. It is a great dark fantasy that is getting better and better. If you are like me and waited to read the sequel to Three Dark Crowns then read this book.

Have you read One Dark Throne? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and Happy READING!

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