One Dark Throne
By: Kendare Blake
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Genre: High Fantasy, YA
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.
The first section of this review will be spoiler free.
Kendare Blake is great at creating a dark and enticing story that is full of creepy characters, witty dialogue and immersive relationships. Unfortunately this book fell short for me, it didn’t’t quite live up to the caliber I have come to expect from her books. The first book in this series (Three Dark Crowns) really delivered, it spun a dark story about a kingdom where three sisters (triplets) are born and must kill each other until only one remains, and she will be crowned the new queen. **slight spoilers for Three Dark Crowns ahead** After the cliffhanger with Queen Katherine in the first book I was dying to read the sequel, and was then forced to wait until almost the last chapter to find out what really happened to her! I found that this book took some time to find its footing, after about halfway through the story picked up its pace and I was pulled in once more. I felt that the character development of Mirabella and Arsinoe was put on the back burner a bit in favour of the action sequences. That would have been fine if the action had managed to pull in a bit more emotion, but overall I was just left feeling a little underwhelmed.
I hope this is just the typical sequel slump and that the third book will come back stronger than ever! I am still very engaged with this story and I did love the bonds that were formed between the characters in this books, as well as the twist at the end of the story, it did leave me wanting more. The bottom line is that my expectations were high for this book and as such it under performed in my opinion.
So if you have read the first book you know that at the end, Katherine was thrown into the Breccia Domain (a deep trench in the middle of the island) by her boyfriend Pietyr. We find out in this one he did it because he thought the elementalists were going to cut her into pieces and make her suffer, so he thought this would be a better way to die I guess (wow doesn’t he sound like a real winner…). Then things didn’t really go according to plan because the Katherine that crawled out of that pit was not the sweet, shy girl that fell in. Apparently (as is sort of explained at the end of the book), the spirits of the killed queens who were thrown down there possessed Katherine, filling her up with their hunger for power, and ensuring that she would sit on the throne. This kind of drover her mad, she started eating poison all the time, acting out and becoming a cruel and vindictive person. In the end it worked, she sits on the throne as Arsinoe and Mirabella have banded together and left the island. Katherine it seems, bit of more than she could chew, as the poison in her body killed her king consort, making it impossible for her to bear the triplets. I guess we will have to wait and see what this means for the third book!