ARC Review: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

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.”

One Dark Throne By Kendare Blake
Publication Date: September 19, 2017 (HarperTeen)
Pages: 464
Started Reading: August 17, 2017
Finished Reading: August 28, 2017
GenreYoung Adult, Fantasy, Sequel

What Wren Reads (5)

★★.5/5

What Wren Reads (4)

Ok, guys, this is going to be a very rambly review, I can tell.

I was VERY excited to get a copy of this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, Three Dark Crowns, but by the end of it, I was really curious to see what would happen in this book (the sequel) as it seemed like the first was setting up a really great story line that I would love.

Basically, as you can tell by my rating, I didn’t enjoy this very much. I’m usually the kind of person to have an opinion of a book that’s pretty on par with the Goodreads reviews, but I was shocked to see this book getting pretty much entirely 4 or 5-star reviews so far. That’s not to say that of course people have different opinions are I totally see how they could have liked this, but I just could not get into it for the life of me.

Let me get into why:

First of all, I mentioned this in my review of Three Dark Crowns but I feel like it got even worse in One Dark Throne, (Just gonna say ODT from now on) there are SO MANY characters. Like, a lot. I could not keep any of them straight and because of the number of characters, the personalities of the three queens were just completely melted into the mix of side characters and they lost all the characteristics specific to each queen. It probably wasn’t a great sign that I was reading book 2 and was still having trouble distinguishing between the 3 queens, whenever I saw something asking which queen was my favourite, I could never answer because I couldn’t remember any specific defining characteristics of each queen.

Secondly, I feel like the rules and timeline of the whole process of 2 of the queens needing to die was never explained. It felt like there were to be specific events that would be organized in order to give the queens opportunity to fight, but yet they could also do it at any time? Katherine could randomly try to poison someone by sending something poisoned to one of them but they also organized a “hunt” that seemed like everyone just knew it was planned for the sake of one of the queens to strike. The whole thing was very confusing and I wish there were some rules that were explained. It seemed weird that they were expected to kill each other at public events but also it was okay for one of them to do it secretly such as sending a poisoned piece of clothing to kill someone as they were changing? I was lost.

Another thing I noticed while reading was the length. This was a pretty long book and it could have easily been cut down. A lot of parts dragged on and on and I wish the point was reached quicker. The length could have also been cut down if it weren’t for the copious amounts of side character stories that felt random and unrelated. I really didn’t need to know so much about each and every character unless it was to be relevant to the story at some point, and a lot of the time that didn’t feel the case.

I spoke about this on twitter a bit but I didn’t understand how the queens were expected to kill each other yet they were kept together as children long enough for them to develop close relationships and fond memories with each other. It doesn’t make so much sense to do this if the whole point was for them to all eventually want to kill each other? I find it hard to believe that they have never had the issue of the siblings/queens not wanting to kill each other before because they had a sense of family and it’s pretty safe to say that sisters won’t want to kill each other.

All in all, I was disappointed. The plan to extend this series to 4 books is just going to drag along the ‘suspense’ of the novel, and this suspense seems to come from things the synopsis of both the books so far has discussed, yet never happens. I don’t see myself reading the next books in this series.

Read this review on goodreads here!

-wren

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