Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday #Review - One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Three Dark Crowns # 2
Format: E-Book, 464 pages
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult \ Fantasy \ Epic

Picking up where the New York Times bestselling fantasy novel Three Dark Crowns left off, One Dark Throne continues with higher stakes, jaw-dropping reveals, and an ending readers will never see coming.
With the queens’ sixteenth birthday celebration on the horizon and the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them, the sisters must reassess their strategic paths to the throne in light of what has happened.
Katharine, once the weak and feeble queen, is curiously stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering she’s not a naturalist, must figure out how to use her potentially life-threatening secret before it winds up killing her. And even though Mirabella’s powers are as strong as ever, the incessant attacks on her and her people have left her questioning if being crowned is worth it if everyone in her wake dies.
But time is running out, and the triplets aren’t the only ones in Fennbirn scheming about what’s to come. Friends and foes alike who stand to benefit from the victory are trying to force the hands of the sisters, pushing them toward a shocking outcome that defies history, confounds nature, and forever changes everyone involved.

One Dark Throne is the second installment in author Kendare Blake's Three Dark Crowns series. This is a series that takes place on the fictional island of Fennbirn. There are three separate factions: Poisoners, Elementals, & Naturalists. 
Three queens. One crown. Simple, right? No, not really. Each of the three queens have their own special powers. Two of the three queens are keeping secrets from their own people. If you think the first book was a wild ride, you haven't seen anything yet. Things only get more twisted in One Dark Throne!

This story picks up about a month after the ending of Three Dark Crowns. The Ascension year is in full swing. The object now is for only one queen to remain alive at the end of the year. But, why wait for a year to kill your own flesh and blood and collect the crown? Why not go full out and eliminate the competition so that you can focus on who is going to be your consort? So, let's start with Queen Katharine of the poisoners. Katharine is not the same person that we met in Three Dark Crowns. She somehow managed to crawl her way out of Breccia Domain after being shoved in by someone she thought she could trust.

She also blames her sisters for her failings as the weakest sister of the three. But, that is no longer the case. Katherine aka Katharine the Undead is more powerful, more vengeful, and more dangerous than ever before. As the youngest of the three sisters, Katharine has never been taken seriously. By the time this story is over, I think everyone will be shocked at the turn of events that Blake unleashes. Katharine went from one of my most favorite characters, because she wasn't taken seriously, and was faced with horrors from the time she was fostered, to probably my third or fourth because of her actions in this book.  

Arsinoe, aka Bear Queen, is the Queen of the naturalists, but she carries a heavy secret. A secret so shocking that if it ever came out, she would find herself hunted down by her own people. Arsinoe isn't in the killing mood. She doesn't want to be the only Queen standing. In fact, she tries to make her older sister Mirabella understand that she would stand behind her attempt at winning the crown. Arsinoe has two very supportive people behind her. Jules and Joseph. I would dare say that Jules should have probably been one of the main characters of this book. Don't believe me? You haven't read the first book then. 

Mirabella is the oldest sister of the three, and presumably the most powerful because of her elemental powers. But, she really has her eyes opened after she discovers that everything she thought she saw at the Quickening, was perhaps more to it than she realized. Can she find a way to get past the goals and desires of the Priestesses, or will she quiver and fall to the more powerful Katharine. Now, it is up to her to stand up against her own sister Katharine who has become someone nobody recognizes. If she wins, she becomes Queen. I actually loved the fact that Mirabella and Arsinoe form a sort of alliance. I also am glad that the Joseph issue has been resolved. 

One Dark Thrown is a stunning story in many ways. Stunning that the series was supposed to be a duology and now it's a 4 book series. Stunning how the author really twists things and left this reader angry at how things ended in this story. Stunning to realize that it's possible that things could change even more with the realization of just how powerful Jules really is, and the introduction of a new power to the story. One Dark Thrown is definitely more twisted and action packed than it's predecessor. One Dark Throne is once again written in the third-person, present tense form. One of my favorite parts of this story was Arsinoe & Billy's relationship. Even though he is a pawn in a much larger game, he never waivers in his love for her. 

Just think, now we have to wait until 2019 to find out what really happens to Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella. 

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