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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ARC Review: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062385461/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=onderherose-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0062385461&linkId=826f97c8d5d0f6baf496243dea98d7c4
Please Note:  I received an advance reader's copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  Also, I have linked the book cover to Amazon.  If you buy the book through this link, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
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.
  


Review:
Since I was such an enthusiastic fan of Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake, I was thrilled to be able to read the next installment of the series, One Dark Throne.  I had high expectations for this book, and they were exceeded!

What I Liked:
Characters:
The three queens, Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Katharine, each are complex personalities.  As I read, I found myself switching back and forth between who I wanted to survive.  There is no one queen who is morally superior to the others.  That is not a bad thing.  It just shows how most people are not completely good, or evil.  Katharine, in particular, at first seems absolutely awful.  But as it is revealed that something is controlling her, I couldn't hate her completely.

The supporters of each queen are equally interesting characters.  Joseph and Jules situation is challenging, as Jules tries to forgive Joseph for  his betrayal in book one.  But their staunch loyalty to Arsinoe made me feel that she could become a very successful leader for the island.  Luca is the chief priestess who supports Mirabella.  While she is a mother-figure to Mirabella, she is also a shrewd politician.  Those competing interests are tested as deals are made behind the queens back to consolidate power.  And Katharine's supporters, Natalia and Pietyr, are at turns protective, and scheming to ensure their own interests.

Story:
The story itself is complex, as the reader follows three different story lines.  Katharine returns from the brink of death a very changed person.  She seems fearless, and ruthless.  But why has she changed?  Given her erratic behavior, would she be able to rule effectively?  Mirabella and Arsinoe both have qualms about killing their sisters in order to become the one queen.  

I think the big takeaway from this book is seeing how all three queens are being manipulated by the ruling families and institutions of the island.  Who really benefits from this circus of death?  Isn't this all a distraction for the masses to focus on rather than the fact that a handful of people are profiting from the island's riches?  Can there be a better way to rule the island?

What I was Mixed About:
Katharine:
I had very mixed feelings about Katharine.  She is extremely cruel and a psychopath, taking pleasure in killing.  If the author hadn't explained the true motivation for her sudden personality change, I would have wanted to throw the book down.  But I do think she is redeemed (slightly), by some revelations at the end of the book.

What I Didn't Like:
Lack of a Recap:
This is definitely a series that one must start at the beginning to understand the action.  I would even go so far as to say that you should re-read the first book or you will find yourself thumbing through Three Dark Crowns to quickly recap who is who.  At times I was lost.


                                                               
 

Rating: 

Release Date:  September 19th, 2017

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Publisher:  HarperTeen

Page Length:  464 Pages

Source:  Edelweiss

Format:  ARC E-book

Recommendation:  If you are a fan of the first book, you will not want to put this book down.  A very exciting addition to this series.
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1 comment :

  1. Great review and I totally agree. I even jotted down a few notes after reading Three Dark Crowns, and I was still kinda lost! Lots going on. And same here w/ Katharine- boy did SHE change, but at least we got a glimpse as to why.

    I also agree the takeaway here is the scheming by the powerbrokers behind the scenes. It should be fun to see the sisters hopefully come together and take them down!

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