Rating & Overall Thoughts
In both books, the story takes place on the island of Fennbirn. Fennbirn is a unique world because it is a small island set apart from the rest of the world (aka “the mainland”). The island is hidden from the mainlanders by a magical mist that isn’t ever discussed in the book, (I have a feeling it will become more important in the next two books...just a hunch.) and the people who live there are a part of long lines of families who have existed for generations. Since the entire world of these stories takes place on a fairly small island, we get to explore a majority of the land. We get to see the cities, the small towns, the forests, and even a few secret locations. *aggressive eyebrow wiggle*
Mythology & Government
The structure of Fennbirn’s society is one of my favorite parts of the book. Their world is a “queendom,” where a set of triplet queens is born every generation. Once the sisters turn sixteen, they attempt to kill each other for the crown. (Kind of brutal if you ask me...) The last sister alive takes the throne and rules over Fennbirn until she gives birth to the next set of triplets. Up until recently, I hadn’t read very many books centered on queens ruling, but more and more “queendom” books are emerging and being highlighted in the book world, which I think is fantastic. I am all about seeing strong and independent women in literature, and these books are no exception. All three of the queens and their mentors in this novel are capable women, and their contributions to their society are valuable to all of the characters.
Much of the government’s operation is centered around the island’s mythology. The people of Fennbirn believe that their Goddess’s will is at the core of everything. She is the one who brings the three queens into their world, and She is the being in control of what happens to the island’s residents. Her presence is prominent in the lives of our three queens and is referred to time and again throughout the series. I think this integration of mythology and government is the most fascinating civilization in a fantasy book that I have ever read. There are so many small details and pieces of information that Kendare Blake stitched together to make this book one of the best.
This series is set up in 3rd person limited and alternated every chapter between each queen. I really liked that the author chose to have different points of view without it being in the first person. I felt that the little bit of objectivity the 3rd person POV brings was vital for a cohesiveness throughout the book. If this book was told in 1st person, I think it would be hard for readers to separate the three different narrators every time it switched. I found it easier to keep all of the characters and settings straight with it being told in 3rd person; at the beginning of the first book, it was almost like we were getting three different stories in small sections. As readers, we got to see each queen’s emotions but didn’t have to commit to each girl’s full point of view.
I am so glad I decided to give this series a try. This dark fantasy had everything from magic, to romance, to action, and I couldn't be happier with it. It made me remember that trying out new stories usually turns out for the better. Arsinoe, Katherine, and Mirabella snagged my heart, and I can’t wait to read their next tale in September.
Have you read the Three Dark Crowns series, or are you planning to? Let me know in the comments your thoughts and what books I should read next!
Your self-proclaimed naturalist,
(PS - Did you like this format for a review? I’m thinking about trying out some different review strategies, so let me know what you would like to see next!)
'I want revenge.' She whispers, and her fingers trail bloody streaks down Natalia's arms.
― Kendare Blake, Three Dark Crowns
Ashton is a high school girl with a passion for books. She also participates in other activities such as sports and musical groups.