Ever since I read Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, I’ve been desperately waiting for this sequel to come out. I got my hands on it as soon as I could, and I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed it!
It’s really hard to talk about this book without majorly spoiling the first. Trust me when I say that you do not want to be spoiled for the first book. If you have not read it, please click out of this review and come back when you have at least read the first installment. I have a brief, spoiler-free review up on GoodReads for One Dark Throne, so you can check that out here if you’re still curious.
Synposis: 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 was super excited to pick up this book after finishing the first. After THAT ENDING, I needed to know what was going to happen next. Thankfully, One Dark Throne picks up exactly where the previous book left off and you’re immediately thrust into the action.
One of the best things that this book has going for it, is it’s action packed plot! While I personally was not bothered by the slow pace of the first book, I know it was a complaint of many others. This book does not have a slow beginning and hits the ground running with action. I was completely captivated by it and found it very hard to put down. Things just kept happening and I needed to know what happened next. I really liked the way that it moved, and I am difficult to please when it comes to pacing.
Another one of my favorite parts was the romance between Arisnoe and Billy. I may be a little biased because Arisnoe is my favorite queen and I love reading her chapters, but I really like the way that this romance was developed. After the cuteness that we got in the first book, it was nice to see the couple struggle as the Ascension Year became a real thing. I had all of the feels, ranging from anxiety attacks to warm fuzzy feelings. Basically, just all of the feels all of the time.
While I was really captivated by this book and enjoyed reading it, there were a couple of issues I had with it. Probably the biggest one for me was the character development. I think that we saw growth in the Queens, but it was not executed well and because of that some of the big things that happened were less impactful.
I think I noticed it with Katherine’s character the most, because she was all over the place. Granted, due to some plot points, it made sense for her to be that way. However, because her character development was not executed as well as it could have been, it was hard to get a grasp on her character. Some of her big moments fell flat for me because of it.
The only other issue I had was with the plot. My favorite aspect of the previous book was how complex the plot was and how it kept me on my toes the entire time. I found this book’s plot to be a bit more predictable. It was easier to figure out where things were headed and I wanted there to be more twists. There were some things that happened that completely surprised me, but none that impacted me the way that the first book did.
All things considered, this was a pretty solid sequel. While I think I enjoyed Three Dark Crowns more, I had a blast reading this book. I find this world to be so interesting and I’m obsessed with the characters. I cannot wait to see where things go next, because I still have so many questions! I will get into a few of them in the discussion section below. I loved reading this and wish the next book was coming out sooner.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Please do not continue reading unless you have read the book.
You have been warned.
Alright, so there are a few things that we need to talk about. Hopefully, if you’re reading this you have read One Dark Throne because we’re about to get into some major spoilers.
First, let’s talk deaths. One of the things that surprised me was the death of Natalia. Totally did not see that coming, and was sad about it. She was my favorite of the poisoners, and it’ll be interesting to see how things change with Kathryn crowned as Queen, and Genieve in charge of the council.
Joseph’s death was a bit more predictable. I think what surprised me the most about his death was the fact that I shed a few tears for him. He has never been a favorite character of mine. In all honesty, I go back and forth on whether I actually like him or not. His death was still sad, since their whole friend group was so close to getting their “happy ending.” Also, I cry whenever there is a friend death. Those manage to get me every time.
Moving on to a more interesting discussion point, what the hell is Kathryn? After learning that Arisnoe was a poisoner at the end of the first book, I was sure that we would definitively learn what she was. I’ve pretty much assumed that she is a Naturalist, since we learned about Arisnoe. Mostly, because there was a line in Three Dark Crowns about how she trained Sweetie and seemed to have a familiar like relationship with the snake. However, this was not explored at all in the book as Kathryn gains power from the dead queens that have possessed her. Also it is not officially confirmed when we learn that the previous Queen, Arisnoe, Mirabella, and Kathryn’s mother, purposefully switched the babies. There is a strong possibility that Kathryn could be giftless as well or something else. I would love to hear everyone’s opinions on this, because I maybe missed something. I also want to learn the reasoning behind the swap, maybe we will get to see their mother in the next book?
The tail end of this book only left me wanting to know more. For one, I want to learn more about the War gift that Jules has, and more about the people with this gift. Also, now that Arisnoe and Mirabella have escaped to the mainland, I’m curious to see what that looks like. From what it sounds like, the mainland is a patriarchal society so I’m really hoping there’s lots of comparison between the two different societies. Hopefully, we get to learn about what exactly happens to the Queens after they raise the triplets and leave the Island. The mystery behind that lingers and I just need to know, because it is suspicious af.
Those are all of my thoughts on One Dark Throne. I’d love to hear yours! Did you love it, hate it, or have mixed feelings? I would love to hear all of your thoughts. Especially with your theories on Kathryn! I’m interested to see what kind of Queen she is going to make in the next book. Let’s chat in the comment section down below.