Three Dark Crowns- Kendare Blake *Book Review*

On the island of Fennbirn, each generation’s queen gives birth to triplet girls. These girls each possess a different magical gift that they will use to fight to the death once they turn sixteen. Katharine is a poisoner, Arsinoe is a naturalist, and Mirabella is a powerful elemental. They have just come of age and now the throne is up for grabs.

I read this book cover to cover in basically one sitting during my March readathon. I could not put it down! I heard a lot of hype surrounding this title so I was a bit wary when I picked it up at my local Barnes and Noble but I was delightfully surprised. Three Dark Crowns has a lot of very dark aspects from the lore surrounding Fennbirn’s queens, to the lives of our three protagonists (especially Katharine). There is some really creepy and sinister shit in these pages and I loved it.

I was very concerned that this book would pull punches when it came to the the competition for the throne and in some ways it did and it didn’t. This is a bit hard to explain without going into spoilers but I will try my best. What I really didn’t want to have happen was everyone ends up friends and the last page has the sisters all singing kumbaya and making flower crowns together. I wanted there to be some bloodshed and character death. Maybe that’s a bit much to ask of a YA fantasy novel, I’m not sure. Either way, this book delivered on a lot of what I wanted but did leave me hanging on some other things. That being said, I did get some plot twists that gave me whiplash with how unexpected they were and in my mind, that pretty much makes up for what I thought this book was lacking.

There is one character that I want dead in a hole by the end of this series but that’s probably something I’ll be discussing after I read One Dark Throne.

Oh, and I’m Team Katharine all the way. Who are you rooting for?

Final verdict: 5/5 stars

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The Bone Witch- Rin Chupeco *Book Review*

Tea finds out she’s a Bone Witch when she accidentally raises her older brother from his grave at his funeral. Because Bone Witches are often feared and hated, she is sent across the kingdom to train with other asha and learn how to control her power.

*I just want to give everyone a fair warning that this review might get a little ranty.*

I started this book in early February and I did not finish it until March 15th. That is a very very long time for me.

Let me start by explaining that I read this book while also reading two buddy reads simultaneously. This was my go to book for when I needed a break from my other reads. I really enjoyed it during this time! The story is quite slow in the beginning but since I was only reading it in short sessions I didn’t mind it and I felt like I really got to savor all the world building and imagery (of which there is a lot of).

Then I had my readathon from the 14th to the 15th of March and I decided to finish this book since I was halfway through. And what a slog those last 200 pages were!!

I actually went back and re-read the cover blurb to make sure I was reading the book I thought it was. It promises action and political unrest with a kingdom in turmoil and honestly? I don’t know where any of that was. There was some action yes, but not enough that I felt that I got what I was promised.

I don’t know how anyone read this book cover to cover in a timely manner because it’s so boring. I got to the last 50 pages of this book and realized nothing happened and the characters hadn’t really changed all that much.

In this story, Tea (who’s name I realized I was mispronouncing until I got a phonetic spelling halfway through) spends most of her time at the asha-ka where she trains to be an asha. The side story where a bard is visiting Tea in her exile in the future is by far the most interesting part of the book but it’s very short and kind of jarring because Tea is a completely different person in these parts.

Rin Chupeco writes gorgeous descriptions, but I gotta say, there are way too many of them in this book. I heard it said really well on Goodreads that a reader could tell you what everyone in a scene was wearing down to the finest detail, but would have trouble telling you anything about them as characters.

This might be the most disappointing book I’ve read this year with maybe one exception. I really wanted to love this book the way I loved Chupeco’s Girl From the Well. That being said, I have hope that all the set up in this book will make for a decent sequel so I do plan on purchasing and reading The Heart Forger, but it’s not a high priority for me at the moment.

Final verdict: 3/5 stars

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“The Monkey’s Paw”-W.W. Jacobs *Short Story Review*

It was rainy and cold the other night and I was going through some books on my shelf, looking to see what I felt like reading. I picked up my big old Barnes and Noble collector’s copy of Classic Horror Stories and checked to see where I had left the bookmark. It rested on W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw” and I got a flash back to high school, reading my assigned copy in the library with awe and getting chills as the tale went on. We were doing our unit on supernatural fiction in English and we had just finished Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” which also had me totally hooked. I hadn’t read anything like this stuff so it was all new and amazing to me.

I haven’t read the story in about six years so I decided to pull up a narration on Youtube and read along in my book while I made some coffee and the rain poured outside.

“The Monkey’s Paw” is a very short story about desires and consequences. Mr. and Mrs. White and their adult son Herbert are visited by an old army friend Morris. He speaks of a magical and cursed talisman that grants three wishes but in disturbing, twisted ways. The Whites find this very amusing until Mr. White makes his first wish and it’s granted.

This is such a cool story, referenced in popular culture all the time, and I’m very happy my teachers introduced us to it in class. I didn’t get that same level of awe the second time around because it was familiar but I still really enjoyed it and got chills a couple of times. The narration I found had sound effects and very decent voice actors for all of the characters. I recommend listening to it and reading along for the full effect. The audio was by the channel Chilling Tales for Dark Nights.

And remember: be careful what you wish for… *evil laugh*

Final verdict: 4/5 stars

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