Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

tdcThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Published by HarperTeen on September 20, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 398 – hardcover, 416 – paperback & ebook

Format Read: eARC

Rating: 2 stars

Source: HarperCollins

BUY LINKS

goodreads amazon_button b and n


Blurb:

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 sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.


Review:

Many thanks to the publisher, HarperCollins, for providing me with an ARC of this book. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.

I know a lot of people have been looking forward to this book, myself being one of them, but I just- couldn’t. Three Dark Crowns had an interesting premise and lots of potential, but it unfortunately failed to live up to it. I would’ve thought that my dislike of this book was because of my reading slump (gosh darn it, school) if I hadn’t seen quite a few reviews complaining about it, too. I never DNF books, and yet I was VERY tempted to do so for this book. It was just.so.boring! While I was reading the book, I actually looked up a few spoiler free reviews to see if anyone struggled as much as I did. I found a few, but they said that it gets interesting near the very end (“with a mind-boggling plot twist!!1!” they said). So I skimmed to the last few pages, and read the “plot twist” and all I thought was Okay? That’s it?? I was just soo frustrated that I wasted all this time on this book.

My main issue with this book is that it’s just so tedious and boring. We have three main POVs from three triplet queens – each with her own unique power. Katharine is a poisoner, Arsinoe, a naturalist, and Mirabella, an elemental. They can’t get the throne merely by royal birth – no, they have to fight each other to the death in order to get it, and the last one standing becomes Queen until she produces triplets and so on. You’d think that with 3 main characters and 3 POVs I’d enjoy at least one of them, right? Wrong. I didn’t look forward to any of the POVs, and I literally didn’t care about any of the aforementioned characters. There’s Jules, Arsinoe’s best friend, though. I didn’t hate her as much as the other characters, but I just wish she was developed a bit more. She deserves so much better!

Since we’re on the topic of characters, let’s take a moment to talk about the love triangle. Yes, yes, I hear y’all groaning. I usually don’t despise love triangles as much as the rest of the book community seems to do, but this one, you guys, this one. I’m internally screaming in frustration just thinking about it. YOU HAD A PERFECTLY GOOD COUPLE, BUT NOO, YOU JUST HAD TO TURN IT INTO AN UGLY ASS INSTA-LOVE TRIANGLE. Add to that the fact that the love triangle includes cheating? Um, I’m out. I’m not going to post major spoilers, but if you typically dislike love triangles, then this definitely isn’t for you. Also, much like the rest of the book, the romance in this book was very dull. There was no spark between the characters and their love interests, and I frankly couldn’t care less about any of them.

Okay, so let’s talk about the actual plot of this book. The reason I haven’t talked about it earlier is as follows: it’s practically nonexistent for the first 80% of the book. Seriously, for a story about sisters having to kill each other for the throne, the action was seriously lacking. The pacing was slow, and the atmosphere was very quiet and restrained. This book was in desperate need of a healthy dose of bloodletting and politics. It may have picked up toward the very end, but that still doesn’t make up for the lack of plot in the first place.

In short, I don’t think Three Dark Crowns lived up to its hype. I tried to find something positive to add to this review, but I couldn’t, so that’s saying something. The three main characters were just there, serving no purpose whatsoever, and the pacing of this book was extremely tedious. Plus, the terribly executed love triangle certainly doesn’t get any bonus points in my book. It’s frustrating thinking about what this book could have been because the premise and cover are absolutely stunning. I may be the black sheep amongst the tons of reviews praising this book, but this just wasn’t for me.

Follow me on Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Twitter

2 fish

Advertisements

(Mini) Book Review: The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan

tls The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan

Published by HarperTeen on March 1, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 352 – hardcover & ebook

Format Read: eARC

Rating: 4 stars

Source: HarperCollins

BUY LINKS

goodreads amazon_button b and n


Blurb:

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season—the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

It happens every late August, but this year Middie’s boyfriend, Nate, is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America.

And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is…except for Nate’s best friend Lee.

Middie and Lee have never gotten along. She’s always known that she was destined for great things, and Lee acts like he’s never cared about anything a day in his life. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more.


Review:

Thank you HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Leaving Season has got to be one of the quickest reads ever. I was bored at school and decided to just feel the book out by reading the first page, but 50 pages later, I was surprised to find that I was still goin’ strong! I couldn’t concentrate for the rest of the day at school because all I could think was: “I have to get home and finish this.” When I did get home, I ignored my homework and responsibilities just to finish this book — in less than 5 hours! If my review doesn’t convince you to read this, then the above anecdote should give you an idea of just how amazing this book was.

There was one thing, however, that may have prevented me from giving this a full rating — it was predictable. I knew what was going to happen and I’m pretty sure everyone who’s read this has, too; the ” plot twist” wasn’t much of a surprise, to be honest, and you’ll definitely see it coming from a mile off. Aside from that, I found this to be a really cute, fast read. You get sucked into the story really quickly and won’t even notice the pages flying by! The writing style definitely contributed to that. It was easy to follow along and I really enjoyed it.

This is the perfect book to get you out of a reading slump. Even the slowest of readers could finish this in record time because boy did the pages fly by! There isn’t much to say about this without spoiling the book, hence the extremely brief review, so I’d just like to beg you to get this book. Funny dialogue, easy-to-follow writing style, awesome characters, and dynamic relationships — they’re what make this such a page-turner!

Follow me on Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Twitter

Rating: 4 fish

4 fish

Book Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

s amd v Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Published by HarperTeen on January 19, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Format Read: ARC

Pages: 384 – hardcover & ebook

Source: HarperCollins International

BUY LINKS

goodreads amazon_button b and n

 


 

 

Blurb:

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.


Review:

*Many thanks to HC International for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected the opinions stated below.*

I was honestly so excited to jump into this book. I’ve heard every one of my blogging friends talk about Sword and Verse at least once, so when I got an uncorrected proof from HarperCollins, I was over the roof! The premise really excited me and the pretty eye-catching cover did help, too!

ALMOST everything about this book was exactly what I wanted to read about. I felt like the main character, Raisa, was really genuine and she really resonated with me in comparison to other fantasy heroines. I absolutely adored ALL the characters in this book – well –  not all exactly… but… Jera! Kiti! Mati! Don’t even try to get me started on Mati. I loved him from the first page. He was so well-written and I found myself craving scenes that included him.

Speaking of Mati, this leads me to my next point – the romance. Frankly, it was probably the only part of the book that let me down. Yes, it was instalove. Deep sighs, people. I admit it was cute, but I didn’t really feel all that invested in the relationship, which sucks because half the book’s plot hinges on Mati and Raisa’s hidden romance or whatever. I also get pretty sick of the fantasy trope in which the main character is either the long-lost queen/princess of a mighty kingdom or in love with said mighty kingdom’s king. Thankfully, the former hasn’t come in to play yet, but the latter is definitely a repeated utterance in this book.

My absolute favorite thing about this book is the world building. The reason fantasy is one of my favorite genres is because it never ceases to amaze me how an author could create a world out of nothing then flesh it all out in the reader’s mind. Sword and Verse is the embodiment of an extremely fleshed out world. Everything was just so – I hate to say this – on point! The language, the descriptions, the names… I could almost believe they were real! I rarely ever actually get into fantasy books the way I did with Sword and Verse. Bravo!

One more thing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m also pretty sure this book had a hidden message. Only the middle and upper classes of society receive proper education. Poorer people aren’t provided with an education and thus aren’t able to read. It’s actually sad how the Qilarite and Arnathian social hierarchy is closer and more similar to real life than fantasy…

All this just makes me love the book even more! I can totally understand the hype about it! The romance is what made it lose points so the actual rating of this is 3.5 fish, but there’s no such thing as half a fish! (Hilarious, I know.)

Overall, the story’s mind blowing world-building, dimensional characters, and engaging plot make for a heck of a roller coaster with this book!

Rating: 4 fish

4 fish