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So... basically almost all the world building was done in book one, and this one is almost pure action. It's Ascension Year and the queens are trying to kill each other, because apparently that's what sisters do here. It hasn't been explained exactly why the goddess needs one sister to kill the other two, but it's basically just how it is here.
It's easier to pick a queen as a villain in this book as Katharine has gone completely off the deep end after her boyfriend/love pushed her into a pit in an attempt to kill her a 'more human' way. She pulls a complete 180 in her personality and goes full on pyscho on... basically everyone.
Mirabella and Arsinoe have an epic little team up along with Jules - who it turns out is a bit more powerful than we thought.
This book is one murder attempt after another, and there's even more blood as people are shot, poisoned, stabbed and just generally murdered (either successfully or not). There's some horror elements in here (because that Breccia Domain thing...) as well, so this one is even less for the faint at heart.
I definitely recommend this one, especially if you soldiered through the rather slow part (the first 80%) of the first book, this one is your reward.
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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.