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Publisher's Summary

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

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 16, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

©2016 Kendare Blake (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    318
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    134
  • 3 Stars
    75
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    17
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story

Good writing ruined by poor performance

Any additional comments?

I think I would have enjoyed this story much more if I'd read it on paper.

I liked the concept: a nice mix of the macabre and ethereal, like an eerie fairy tale.

The narrator's performance was so wooden, though, that it was almost robotic.

Her voice reminded me of Siri. It made it VERY difficult to keep track of the storyline, especially because it changes perspective between the 3 sisters and the narrator reads all of their characters with EXACTLY THE SAME TONE.

Decent story, though. I'd recommend buying a hard copy over the audiobook any day.

If you found this review helpful, please indicate so!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Didn't like it, I Loved It

Bummed that it's another series,would love to just read a si for story, but with the twist and turns forwards the end- I admit I didn't want it to end. At first I thought I could predict the next action , but after 4 wrong ideas I figured " Okay it has totally peaked my interest.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good, but hard to follow at first

In the beginning, I had a hard time following what was going on and keeping all the characters straight. I wish the reader gave the characters different voices. I didn't feel the reader was giving enough emotion to the story. I did find myself getting more into the story as it went along, rooting for each of the girls. Looking forward to the next book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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awesome story!

the story was wonderful! I loved how the story progressed. was so disappointed to see it end. the performance was lacking, but good over all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

I was hesitant about this book because so many reviews I saw said it was boring until the end, but I didn't think so at all! I liked the world the story is set in, and the build up to the end had enough scheming and backstabbing to keep me guessing about what was going to happen. The ending was so good. The only thing I didn't like was that the narrator sometimes sounded like a robot. Can't wait for the next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Must read the ending will knock your socks off

I absolutely love this book from beginning to end I didn't want to stop. The ending will have you dying for the next book. It's a must read if you are like me I don't really find a book or series that I wanna keep reading non stop but this is my top of the list.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Such a good book!

I really enjoyed this book. it took me a little while to get used to the voice but after that it goes quite smoothly. the story is amazing I'm onto book 2

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I felt like I was watching a Turtle fall asleep...

This series has the potential to be epic, but Book One was rather slow. It has a great concept but the beginning was rough... The narrator doesn't do anything to help. Her tone is soothing and relaxing.... the bad thing is that is NOT! NOT! NOT! what this book needed. She almost put me to sleep. I can't remember one part of the book that she sounded excited. And its not all her fault. The book very slow so she just wasn't the best choice for this particular series. When you have a story with multiple story lines and hefty bag full of side characters, then the narrator has to be very skilled at giving you different voices for each character. Otherwise, you don't know what the hell is going on. And that is what happens with Three Dark Crowns. The narrator isn't bad. Just not a good choice for this particular series. This series probably needed a Kristine Hvam or Lorelei King.

The concept of the story is excellent. Triplets are born. All three are Queens with special powers. However, by time they turn 17 there can only be one Queen left. So between the ages of 16 and 17 the Queens must do whatever they can to kill the other two. Its sounds like a book I'll finish in one sitting while eating a pack of double stuffed Oreos. But... yes there is a but....The story is like a turtle taking its time.

The first 5 - 6 hours of the book goes back and forth between the sisters and their life styles. Which is good back ground for the first 30 minutes... after that I'm ready for some action. Instead, we get in depth looks into side character romances and boring descriptions of how un-powerful two of sisters are at this point. Two can't even access their power. So really the only one with any hint of action is the Elemental Queen.

As a seasoned fantasy reader, I wonder about the following:
1. Why haven't the Queens of the past rebelled against this method/idea of murdering each other?
2. Did the past Queens set this in motion? (No spoilers but things are amidst with the triplets powers)
3. Wouldn't it be better for the land if all three Queens lived?
4. Is this Goddess they serve the Goddess of this particular land or of the whole world?
5. What happens if one the Queens gets pregnant before she is killed?
6. What happens if there is more than 1 Queen after the accession year is over. (Maybe she covered this while I was dozing off)

I'm hurt by this book. I wanted it to be my next Throne of Glass series. And I know the author has already completed this series, but I would have liked it to go in the direction of the Queens uniting against the Black Counsel. They could have hid and moved around the land secretly taking out counsel members. They could have made a pact to pretend to kill each other while secretly planning to rid themselves of the priestess and the ones controlling them. I haven't started the other books yet, so if any of that happens then I wasn't spoiling only saying what I would get excited about.

I have high hopes for this novel. I'm hoping Book Two will pick up the pace now that all the introductions are complete.

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Slow confusing start but interesting

Started off slow and it was hard to figure out who everyone was at first but it picked up and was interesting. I will be listening to the second one as well.

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If you can get past the first 80%

This book was slow... like, really slow, for the first 80% of the book. It was a lot of world building and, at times, became somewhat tedious, but here's hoping that it's all out of the way and we won't have the bulk of the world building laid out for us.

I was ready to hate one queen... but it's really hard because while they're all supernatural and extra special, they're also flawed girls that have only been give a single option for their lives. Weak Katharine, 'powerless' Arsinoe and powerful Mirabella, all forced into the tiny box of what their lives will be, determined at the moment of their births.

The thing about this series is that it features some pretty powerful women. This is a world/island where the women are in control, the women are the seat of power and the men are there to serve their stories and further them along and not the other way around. There are a couple of great male characters in Billy and Peityr, I'm not so much a Joseph fan but he wasn't a horrible character and he does make some mistakes because he's a flawed person too, there are no Prince Charmings here.

This book, however, is not for the faint of heart. It's bloody and violent, the women in the story are fully realized and don't bow to the 'power' of a man. They're in control of their destinies (well, all but the queens) and sexuality and power, they're not bred to be wives and mothers (a point made by mainlander Billy). It is a feminist YA novel that I can get behind.