Friday, November 2, 2018

Review: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Title: Two Dark Reigns
Series: Three Dark Crowns #3
Written by: Kendare Blake
Published: September 4, 2018 by HarperTeen

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series! And while Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Katharine all have their own scores to settle, they aren’t the only queens stirring things up on Fennbirn Island.
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.

This series keeps getting better and better. I had read the first book when it came out two years ago but I kind of wanted to wait until the series was complete until I finished it. But I am so glad I didn't wait all that long and that I took the time to get caught up because this book was such a great dark fantasy perfect for this time year.

You all know me, I need a strong plot to enjoy a book and the plot here was really fantastic. The stakes in the series have always been incredibly high and with the way that the last book ended I kind of worried that wouldn't be the case here but Kendare put me at ease pretty quickly into the book. This was a book full of surprises, action, and plenty of magic. The rebellion angle added even more depth and action to the story. There are a lot of angles and plot lines to this book and I wasn't sure that would all connect but in the end they did. They connected in a big way that had me on the edge of my seat totally enthralled. And that ending! Damn, Kendare. You are amazing and terrible with these cliffhangers. I can't believe I have to wait a whole year for the next book.

But the plot of this book was probably so good because it was tied to the world, which I really love. First and foremost you have the political intrigue. The overarching plot of this series has always been about the battle for the crown and the scheming and plotting didn't end in this book. I really enjoy the direction it is all going in too, the rebellion of the people against the crown and the old ways is a great thing to explore and this book did it so well. Although that might be because I wholeheartedly support Jules. She has always been my favorite character. But seriously, this book does a great job of drawing you in with its world.

The amazing world of this series goes beyond that too. It is such a fascinating  setting and Kendare does a great job of drawing you in with the magic and history of Fennbirn. It's honestly everything that I love about fantasy. First there is a cool magical system that is kind of elemental but more complicated than that. In this book we learned even more about the magic of the island as the book explored some of the queens from history. We also were taken beyond the island and saw what happens to the characters magic on the mainland. I love how the world is expanding and we are learning more about it over time.

However, one of the reasons I keep reading this series is the characters. In the first book, I have to be honest, all the characters kind of blended together. Even the queens seemed so similar to me. But after three books they are all so different and complex. All the characters have had such great development throughout the series. Each of them is exploring the idea of power and whether or not it is good for them or for others if they have the power, and I mean this in the sense of both magic and control of people and the island. It made for great character development and I am loving getting to see each of them respond so differently. But my favorite is still Jules. I am completely Team Jules and seeing her become the reluctant leader of the rebellion is everything I hoped it would be and more.

Seriosuly, this was a really amazing read. I am thoroughly enjoying this series. It has a thrilling plot full of action and surprises, a world of magic and political intrigue, and complex characters with great development. I seriously need the final book in the series. I know it will wreck me though! I am deeply invested in it now.

I give Two Dark Reign by Kendare Blake 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a fan of YA fantasies and like them more on the dark side then this is definitely the series for you. It feeling more and more like a classic sword and sorcery and I am really loving it.

Have you read Two Dark Reigns? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. I do love YA fantasies that are more on the dark side so I definitely wanna read this book at some point. I hope I'll love the books as much as you do.