Book Review: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Book: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Published September 2018 by HarperTeen|464 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Three Dark Crowns #3

Genre: YA Fantasy

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series! And while Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Katharine all have their own scores to settle, they aren’t the only queens stirring things up on Fennbirn Island.

Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.

Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn. 

Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.

This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure about it at all.  And while I liked it, it was also my least favorite book in the series so far.

Like the first two books in the series, it took a while to get used to all of the narrators.  There were a few, and we followed Jules, Katherine, Arsinoe and Mirabella as we see what happens after Katherine is crowned Queen.  I don’t know why I always have a hard time with getting used to the narrators but it seems like I really struggled with that in this book.  Considering everything going on, it makes sense, but it still would have been nice to have it more clear when we’re switching perspectives.

I wasn’t sure about this book going into it because the 2nd book was pretty resolved.  It seems like this series was maybe originally intended to be a duology, but a few more books were added…and while I finished the 2nd book feeling like there was more to the story, it also felt like a really good ending to the series.  I was nervous this book wouldn’t have the same magic that the other books did.

It did, to a point, and I’m glad we learned more about Fennbirn and the mist…and even the Blue Queen.  I wanted to know more about that, and how it will come into play (assuming it does at all, and I admit that it could be wishful thinking on my part).

Katherine’s interesting, and she is trying to do the right thing, but I kind of wanted her to embrace what happened to her.  There were points where I felt like it focused too much on that- it would have been cool to see her embrace it, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for her.  Unless Blake decides to surprise us, but I don’t think that’s what will happen for her.

I didn’t particularly care for the visions of Daphne and the Blue Queen.  While it was interesting, I think maybe I wasn’t happy with how it was done.  At least we get more backstory on Fennbirn, though it would have been nice to get that for the Mainlands as well.  With the expansion we see of this world, I wanted more on everything, not the main setting we’ve had for the series.

Still, I’m curious to see how it will all end, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book.

3 stars.  I like the world, but I wanted more world building for some parts of the world, and less for other parts.

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