One of the first buddyreviews we did on this channel was for One Dark Throne, the sequel to Three Dark Crowns. We both love this series so it’s no surprise we were looking forward to the third book in the series, Two Dark Reigns ever since. Unfortunately we had some problems with our preorders so it took a while before we got to it. But now we’ve both read this wonderful YA fantasy and want to tell you all about it today! There will be some minor spoilers for the first two books, simply because we wouldn’t be able to say anything about it otherwise. So if you haven’t read the previous books, you might want to stay clear of this review.
Candyce: I love that this cover fits the other two so well! They are just so stunning and I think they fit the books perfectly. It’s also a lot of fun when these covers are revealed that you can try and guess what they mean for the story.
Isabelle: I adore this cover so so much. All of the covers for this series have been so gorgeous and fit the story so well. You get the dark and twisty feeling from it and it’s just simply wonderful. And it’s not just the cover, but I love the title as well. All three titles so far have been amazing and I’m already guessing what the last one could possibly be. I’ll admit I’m a bit obsessed haha.
Candyce: I always find it harder to write reviews for second and third books in a series, because it’s so easy to spoil for people who haven’t read yet. Basically Two Dark Reigns starts off right after the ending of One Dark Throne.
The crown may have been taken by Katharine, but the story nowhere near ends there. Two Dark Reigns is so much darker than the first two. I loved it! It’s really creepy and I really think it was the perfect fit for this time of year. I loved that once again we follow all the sisters and their POV. Even other characters get that at times. That makes this whole world so interesting, because we get to know what’s happening all over the place.
Two Dark Reigns had me constantly wanting more (I read slower than normal, because I didn’t want it to end, haha). And the last 100 pages were so suspenseful that I couldn’t put the book down. The characters are well developed, the storyline is strong and this author keeps us guessing until the end. I still don’t know what will happen in the last book.
If you want a book filled with action, drama, uprising, spirits, magic, dangerous mist and a little bit of romance, this book is for you! This sounds so vague, but I don’t want to spoil, haha. All I know is that Kendare Blake is an amazing writer. The fate of the sisters hasn’t been decided yet, so what will happen next?
Isabelle: So this series was originally going to be a duology and from the acknowledgments I gathered that the ending of the second book was going to be the ending for that duology. For me personally that would be very unsatisfying and I’m so glad we’re getting a four-book-series. But it also explains a bit how I feel about Two Dark Reigns. Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne were basically one story arc, about which Queen would end up with the crown. And I feel like Two Dark Reigns started a new story arc, even though we have the same characters and the story continues right were One Dark Throne left off. This book feels like it’s setting up for an epic conclusion.
And let me be clear, that’s not a bad thing at all, I truly think the last book will be amazing and I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen. But for me, this book was probably the slowest out of the three, even though everyone else found the first book quite slow. I didn’t think that at all, while Two Dark Reigns was a bit on the slower side for me. And I believe that’s mostly due to the build up that’s going on. I don’t think this book could’ve been skipped as it’s very important and there’s a lot of reveals. And while I said it was slow, it was also pretty eventful. Do I still make sense? Haha.
There is absolutely no way anyone could’ve predicted were this story was going. I loved the flashbacks we got, I would also recommend reading the novella’s, they’re amazing. The flashbacks give a new dimension to the story and got me coming up with a bunch of theories, some of which turned out to be correct! Like Candyce said, the last 100 pages of this book were a whirlwind of twists. I did expect it a bit after last time, not everyone makes it out alive and you’ll probably be shocked to learn who doesn’t live to see the last book. Kendare Blake just keeps on surprising us and I can’t wait for the last book.
Candyce: I may be a weird one in this sense, but I loved the animals, haha. Camden and Braddock are two of my favorite characters. I love that there are familiars in this series.
Since Three Dark Crowns, I have had my favorite Queen and that didn’t change with this book. I have to say that I kind of understand all of them a bit more. Growing up the way the did and learning what they did, the sisters don’t know any better. The world as they know it is changing and they are finding their way.
Arsinoe can be a bit annoying at times, haha. I get she wants what’s best for her sister and friends, but she needs to learn that accepting help isn’t the end of the world. I think some things may have gone a lot easier if she had opened her mouth sooner. With how things ended, I’m curious to see how she will continue in the last book.
Mirabella is the strong one out the sisters. I kind of see her as a protector. She thinks she needs to protect Arsinoe and will do anything to keep her safe. Her gift is strong and I have to say she grew on me in this book. But just like Arsinoe could’ve asked for more help, I feel that Mirabella could’ve given Arsinoe a bit more credit at times.
Katharine has always been an interesting one, if not a bit mean (but what do you want with how she was raised with the poisoners?). Being Queen wasn’t exactly going as she thought it would and how can she get back on track. Out of all of the sisters I think she is the most mysterious. Her story had quite some twists and I’m really wondering how that will all turn out.
Jules surprised me the most of all in this book. After reading the novellas earlier this year, I had a feeling she would start playing a bigger part in this story, but didn’t expect this. Jules is sweet and kind and doesn’t expect what comes on her path. Even when everything is changing in her world, she still wants what’s best for everyone and loves her family.
Just like in the first two books that are a lot of other characters that play a part in the story and I love how they all fit into the puzzle of this world so well. I can’t wait to see what they do next and if we will meet more interesting characters in the fourth book.
Isabelle: There are a lot of characters in this book and I love that we get different POV’s. That’s truly what made these books so great in my opinion. Arsinoe will always be my favorite Queen with Katharine breathing down her neck in second place. Mirabella has started to grow on me, but she’ll always be my least favorite Queen.
Arsinoe is not what you’d expect from a Queen and I think she stays quite true to herself in this book. Even though her whole life has been uprooted and literally nothing is turning out like she thought it would, she just keeps on going. No matter what life throws her way, she’ll make something from it. I do think she has become a bit more positive, when we just met her she didn’t believe she would live that long past her 16th birthday, but she has a more positive outlook on life now.
Kat has grown into a strong Queen and while she has some issues for sure, she does do the best that she can. I think she is doing a good job and she’s making good choices if you keep in mind the way she was raised. Her storyline is so interesting and I can’t wait to see where her story ends.
Mirabella really has become the big sister that protects Arsinoe at all times. I personally don’t think Arsinoe needs that much protecting and think Mirabella needs to start and get her own life basically. She does come from a good place and she has the best intentions. However, she can be annoying and overbearing and if we ever need to kill a Queen my vote is going to her 😉
Jules has become even more important in this book and I really enjoyed her storyline. She’s becoming her own person. While she’s always been strong, I do think she developed more during this story. I was so interesting to learn more about her and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for her.
Billy and Pietyr are two of my favorite characters in this series and pretty much in general. I feel like no one is talking about them that much, but I think they’re really important. Especially for Arsinoe and Kat. But I liked the developing friendship between Mirabella and Billy as well. Pietyr has always stood by Kat, no matter what and I loved him so much in this book. He will do whatever he needs to, to keep her safe. And Billy basically does the same for Arsinoe. They do have to learn that our Queens are capable of more than they think though.
This third book was a 5 star read for the both of us. And we need the last book right now! Have you read any of the Three Dark Crowns books yet? What did you think?