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One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 19, 2017
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★ “Blake’s already pitch-dark tale shades even darker. Exquisitely restrained prose, deliberate pacing, paying off in a tumultuous climax that piles one shocking twist upon another. Achingly gorgeous and gruesomely fascinating.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“This sequel to Three Dark Crowns loses none of that book’s momentum, powering toward a conclusion that leaves several doors open. With wonderfully drawn characters and a lethal, unpredictable plot, this follow-up will leave readers breathless as the queens’ fates unfold.” (ALA Booklist)
“New exciting heights with a driving plot. Dark indeed, and exploring themes of loyalty, this is a thrilling sequel with everything from action to romance to entice readers. A strong purchase for YA fantasy shelves.” (School Library Journal)
“Riveting. This book hits the ground running and keeps you guessing with each unpredictable twist.” (Brightly.com)
PRAISE FOR THREE DARK CROWNS: “Three Dark Crowns is a brutal and inventive fantasy that is as addictive as it is horrifying. I can’t begin to guess the fates of these three remarkable sister-queens, but I’m salivating like poisoners at a feast to find out what will happen next.” (Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles)
“Full of mystery, intrigue, and deadly girls I wouldn’t dare cross, Fennbirn is a darkly magical world I’m both drawn to and frightened by. In short, this is a book I could linger in for months, with three girls I am rooting for with all my heart.” (Megan Shepherd, New York Times bestselling author of The Cage series (on THREE DARK CROWNS))
“With exquisite world building and luminous detail, this is high fantasy at its best. The magic is fierce and the plot intensely twisted, but at this novel’s dark heart beats a story about sisterhood, the unbreakable bonds of family, and ties that bind enough to kill.” (Booklist (starred review))
“The opener to a pitch-black epic fantasy series. Blake has constructed an insular, matriarchal society from convincing intimate details, vivid, complicated characters, [and] sumptuous, poetic prose. Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting. ” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) (on THREE DARK CROWNS))
“I loved this book. Blake’s THREE DARK CROWNS is hypnotic, twisting, and beautiful...as satisfying as a drop of poison in an enemy’s cup.” (April Genevieve Tucholke, author of Wink, Poppy, Midnight)
“Readers will be riveted by Blake’s ingenious world-building, stunning developments of main and supporting characters, and spiraling tensions. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy action thrillers with strong female leads, such as Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ and Sarah J. Maas’s ‘Throne of Glass’ series.” (School Library Journal)
“Blake is a sure hand with complicated and intricate plots, and if that’s not enough to make readers stick around for the next installment, the cliffhanger ending certainly will.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Blake establishes myriad side plots and relationships, builds complex characters, and leaves plenty of compelling avenues to explore in future books.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
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, needs to figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, the elemental sister thought to be the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks 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 confront the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.
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While I really enjoyed how it maintained the entertainment value, fast pace, and plot twists through from Three Dark Crowns, fundamentally, there were some issues. Comparing to my feelings for Three Dark Crowns, which I gave a whopping 4.5 stars, I don't feeling that the stakes are as evenly weighed between the three queens, taking the thrill of the competition out of it. I daresay this was one of my least favorite parts of this book.
"Once, I was a mouse," she says, and strips off her glove. She reaches into the cage to stroke the rodent's tiny bald haunches. "But I am not anymore."
If you've read Three Dark Crowns, you know Katherine's position as that portion of the story concluded. If you want to see a character who changes a lot throughout a series, keep your eyes on this gal. I have a feeling that things are only going to get more crazy with her.
Despite my overall feelings of dislike towards her now (I believe I was backing her in the first book), I felt that she was finally on a fair level to compete with her sisters and not be annihilated. Those "undead" qualities are powerful ones, indeed.
Speaking of my dislike for her--I don't know if I love, or heavily dislike the strategy that Blake is playing with. SPOILER: Making Katherine the main antagonist puts her in an interesting position with the rest of the plot, not to mention her sisters as well. I'm not forgetting, Ms. Blake, that there's a lot more going on under the radar, so I'm not going to give up on her, yet!
"Arsinoe grew up believing that she would die. She just didn't count on having so much to live for. Jules and Joseph and the Milones." He smiles slightly. "Me. But what good is knowing any of this? This is the way of the island, isn't it? The natural order. So what does it change?"
Oh, Arsinoe. Throughout Three Dark Crowns, I felt that the main spotlight had mainly been on her. The underdog in almost every area when compared to her sisters, she's naturally the character to take pity on. Her character follows suite in One Dark Throne. Even though her "secret" was discovered, she still doesn't really do much with it.
"Mirabella's throat tightens. Her eyes sting. But she is a queen. A broken heart must not show."
In all honesty, Mirabella disappointed me. While I appreciate her sentimentality towards her sisters, her lack of gusto just makes her character depressingly underwhelming. She has the strongest abilities out of all three of her sisters, yet...we rarely witness her using those powers. Perhaps she's a character with gobs of depth and purpose that haven't been uncovered yet, but I'm hoping she'll have more to bring to the table as this series goes on. However, I believe that she also receives less page-time than Katharine and Arsinoe, so perhaps she's been underwhelming because her overall presence is lacking.
Because her presence has become almost equal to the three queens' characters, I need to mention Jules. In my opinion, she almost takes center stage in this book. While she's always been a "sidekick" character to Arsinoe, we all know that she is the one who pulls the weight on the naturalists side. The character twists with her were so interesting, and I'm curious to see what will happen with her.
Just a quick little tidbit on this guy: Joseph is the flattest, dumbest character I have come across yet. I'd still like to kick him in the shin. I am so glad that...well, I will just leave it at that....
This book has left me with a lot of unanswered questions. I know I cannot be overly critical here, as there are still two more books set to be released in this series. I'm hoping that I will get some sort of closure with some of those questions in the end. However, I feel that some of them, I will not due to the sequence in which they took place.
#1 How did Arsinoe suddenly have the ability to control the bear, when the previous time, it was Jules controlling him? Not to mention, the last time Jules couldn't even control him and he went haywire. It didn't make any sense how this manifested.
#2 I don't believe that Pietyr's reasoning for what he did to Katharine is believable. Maybe he's sincere. But I think using love as an excuse is, well, CRAZY.
#3 I feel like there is a lot of unnecessary killing to tie up loose ends, rather than finding creative ways of having those characters exit stage left. An example was with Arsinoe's poisoned dagger that just so happened to be on the ground, that someone picked up and cut the food with, leading to two suitors' deaths. First of all, HYGIENE, peeps! If you are picking up knifes off the ground and immediately cutting your food with it...we need to have a chat. Second, I've never used a dagger to cut my PB&J sandwiches (they definitely weren't eating that). To each his own, right?
I was very glad to see that the writing style was constant, and the story still switched between the three queens' perspectives. It makes for an interesting take on the plot, and allows it to be more circumstantially-driven, as well as character-driven.
I am really looking forward to how this series will continue on. Sometimes when you read a series, not all of the books maintain their "awesome," because they are bridging over to the next main event. While I still liked One Dark Throne, I'm looking forward for more in the books to come.
Vulgarity: None that I recall.
Sexual content: Kissing. There is one scene that happens between two characters
Violence: Quite a bit. Again, these queen sisters are trying to kill each other for the throne, so...
A big thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!
This book had me seriously not wanting to put it down till I was finished but I forced myself to set it down or I would have finished it in one day. I wish I could have made it last longer then two days but it just kept me in its grasp just like the mist around Fennbirn island.
In this book all three of the sisters have changed from the sweet innocent kids they were in book one. They have to kill each other till only one remains and wins the crown. In Three Dark Crowns, book one, Kendare Blake makes it hard to choose a favorite between the three sisters but in this book it gets easier in my opinion.
There will be two more books in this series not including the novella that is coming out later this year. I can't wait to see how the Queen rules over her island and the people still alive in it.
Thank you Kendare Blake for gracing us with another amazing book in this series and we can not wait for more!
“I wonder what it all means.”
“Maybe that a great queen is coming.”
One Dark Throne was even better than Three Dark Crowns in so many ways. It was brutal, fantastic, and exactly what I wanted out of a sequel. Katharine was such an awesome adversary, I loved it! I still think Arsinoe is my favorite though. I can’t really explain why, but I’m drawn to her character the most.
Now that the Ascension Year has begun, war between the sisters has come, whether behind the scenes or face-to-face. With the High Priestess and Natalia Arron pulling the strings to get the sisters together, death is inevitable. But who will fall?
“All queens are sacred,” the priestess says again in her infuriating, even voice.
Katharine would like to ride he white robes into the dirt. Grind them into the mud until they are stained dark red and brown. But the caravan approaches in hoofbeats and jangling harnesses, trunks and wheels rattling. So instead she smiles a smile of bared teeth.
“Yes,” she says. “All queens are sacred. Even those you threw into the pit.”
Katharine sure made one hell of a comeback in ODT. She was absolutely cruel and I really enjoyed reading her chapters because I didn’t know what she was going to do next. Throwing a suitor like Nicolas into the mix was a nice addition to the story because he was the perfect amount of terrible to encourage her dastardly ways!
Mirabella still bores me a little. You’d think an elemental would be more exciting. She acts all brave like she’s about whoop some butt, but she’s almost all talk.
“I may be the weakest, but I am a queen, through and through. All the way down to my dead blood and bones.”
“Katharine, stop this now.” Mirabella’s voice is pitiful. And she shudders when Katharine leans close.
Arsinoe is fabulous as always, and totally my favorite of the sisters. She’s a badass and she’s not afraid to jump into a fight, but she’s also good and would rather protect than kill, even if it means sacrificing herself to do so.
All in all, One Dark Throne was a fantastic sequel and I am so ready for the next book.