Hype or Like Friday: Review time!

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Larkin, Britt and Jill . Check out the Goodreads group to know more about it and stay up to date with the weekly discussions and book of the month.

November 25th : Review of the book of the month


Publishers and writers need to be careful with their blurbs. When they sell me something with so much potential as Three Dark Crowns, they better deliver, and fast. Well, fast is the key word here. There is nothing fast about this book. But let’s go back to the start.

Three sisters doomed to kill each other so that there’s only one queen left to reign. Through different places and POV we are introduced to three young ladies raised in very different ways according to the house they belong to.

Katharine the poisonous daughter has been suffering for years, left in the hands of two sisters who don’t want to see the power leave the hands of those who can kill with a drop. While at first I was intrigued and pitied poor Kat, the story of how petite and fragile she was soon bored me. Having a young man train her and magically turn her into a stronger and more beautiful version of herself was a real joke. From fragile she soon turns into a manipulative and seductive queen thanks to kisses sessions? It felt a little far-fetched but hey, this is fantasy and there’s love in the air, so let’s pretend it’s okay.

Mirabella is a strong and beautiful elementalist. As the only one whose gift has bloomed, she is slate to be the next queen. But Mirabella disagrees with the killing part of the tradition that have ruled around the island for centuries.

Arsinoe was my favorite. I am allowed to be biased, this is my review! Favorite in my heart doesn’t mean successful in the book. I always choose the wrong characters… Arsinoe’s gift must have been lost by the French post because she’s a naturalist without power. Joyful and funny, she can rely on her best friend Jule for support and tricks to keep her lack of power quiet.

Now, do you feel you know enough about the characters? Me too. Another thing you need to know is that all the side characters are interesting and useful (most of the time), which is always a good sign. I did feel the connection, or lack of, between the sisters was too inconsistent for me to feel the awful dilemma of killing your own blood to get a throne. 

No one really wishes to be a queen.

The books then goes on and on about every sister’s life, with little development for so long I thought I was going to DNF the book. I should not be mean, things do happen. They go buy jewels and dresses. Kisses are exchanged. Friends talk and eat. People travel.

There’s a fair share of love. Friendships, romance, it spices things up a little. Not enough though, I wish I could have sparkled the pages with red chilli. Still I’m interested in how a certain love triangle, if it can be called this way, will end up. Team Mira or team Jule?

I do believe world-building and a strong characterization is essential to fantasy. I choose the genre to get immersed in something very different from reality and I need as much detail as possible to create the world in my head. But there is a difference between interesting information and general life dump. Three Dark Crowns was a little too heavy on the slow pace and too light on action for me to enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

Three born queens, two must die. A promise of blood, battles, and horrendous deaths. A scream for drama and manipulation and deadly plans. Well, you’ll have to wait for it. Wait for … 293 pages. Yes, you read that right.

I won’t go into details because if I do, you’ll be even more bored than I was when I was reading, as you’ll already know about the whys and hows. I would not be doing you a favor by revealing much about the reasons behind the One Queen rule and the traditions around it. But if you stick to the story, the last part will throw you into action and drama. Some action and lots of drama.

I might have had a better experience had I known this was the first book in a series. I expected a standalone, silly me. It’s not a bad book, it’s a slow book with plenty of potential.

So choose a side, pray for your queen, and drink lots of tea to help you with the length of the book.

Three Dark Crowns is a : HYPE

51 thoughts on “Hype or Like Friday: Review time!

Add yours

  1. Awesome review, Donna! I definitely agree. I was excited about this book because we were promised a fight to the death, but we didn’t even COME CLOSE to one. There was just so much happening, but nothing happening at the same time? I feel like the next book is going to, hopefully, be better though.


    1. Fingers crossed! After spending so much time following the characters, I need to know what happens, but please please please we need action and blood!!! Will we have to go hunt those queens ourselves to finally have the promised deaths?? 😂


  2. Haha this review was so fun to read XD It seemed a little boring. I would’ve liked this if it wasn’t fantasy, because I like historical fiction with queens, but ithen I kept reading and…well, nope.

    I hope you like next one better ❤


    1. It was fun to write 😀 I like complaining! I have high hopes the second book will save us all from boredom. Will you be reading the book Victoria from the people from the TV show??


        1. It’s definitely be quite similar but I’m interested in getting inside the characters’ heads to know more about their thoughts. Plus there is little to nothing on the servants and as I couldn’t care less about them, it’s a good point. Also, I miss Lord M :p


            1. I probably will when I get it ;D Just for Lord M. And a bit for the Queen. But I heard they stopped the story at the wedding so we don’t get the first baby and Albert’s struggles.


  3. Mega! You delivered, had so many LOLs reading your review and I fully admire you for the honesty! hahaha, never thought to sprinkle a book with chilli flakes to make it better.. gotta try that one 😀
    Well, I never felt compelled enough to read this book in the first place… after your review I probably won’t consider it in the future either… 🙂


    1. Aw thank you that’s so sweet, I’m gonna blush ❤ I had fun complaining about this book, it's a perfect target 😀 I will only recommend Three Dark Crowns if the second book blows my mind but chances are little…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a great, well-detailed review. I like what you said about details. That is always an issue for me too. If that is what it means when it is said that a story is character-driven then I guess I prefer plot-driven story because I also don’t understand the need to have so many details that add nothing to the story. Wonderful review Donna. I enjoyed reading it 🙂


    1. Thank you! I love it when I can pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with a book, it makes it so easy to write reviews. When a book is clear on the fact it’s character-driven and doesn’t let me hope for more, I am okay with a fair amount of details and a slow pace but from the blurb I was expecting something totally different. Here it was all too much and yet not enough. I won’t be eager to read the next book, it can wait!


  5. Really great review, Donna! But I’m so sad to hear that it wasn’t all that, and didn’t live up to the hype. Because I was really hoping it would! I haven’t started reading it yet, but I will be soon. Thanks for the heads up before I go in! 👍🏼


  6. Brilliant review, very entertaining :-)! I like the diversity of the main characters but not the lack of tension who is going to rule in the end. I’m a very patient reader and I understand that there can’t be a winner halfway through but I don’t want to read about them buying jewellery when they should be plotting and scheming and making us doubt every one of them :-). I wouldn’t give up reading but would definitely be tempted to skip to the last chapters ;-).


    1. Thank you 🙂 I always feel a little freer with the Hype or Like Friday reviews, they are a lot of fun. I wish I had skipped so many chapters, but I wanted to give the book a real try. My hope for things to get better forced me to read it entirely and I kinda regret spending so long reading about mundane days. I was so relieved when the ending finally delivered. Fingers crossed the next book will be better. It can’t be much worse it terms of boredom.


        1. I admit I prefer to DNF when I’m bored but my poor heart wanted to love this book so much I couldn’t let it down. We were rewarded with a good ending, and now there’s torture to wait for the next book 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Great review for this one Donna. I’ve seen in a lot of other reviews people have said the same thing about it being really slow to start. Don’t get me wrong it’s great that it used the time to develop the characters, relationships and friendships (which I’m assuming from the sound of your review you enjoyed reading) but I expected more from the story as well.
    I haven’t read this book myself yet, but reading the blurb I expected a lot more action from early on in the story. I still have this book on my to-read list but I’ll be going into it with low expectations, hopefully that’ll help me enjoy it a little more! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Beth 🙂 The blurb literally screams action. It might have been easier if it did not promise so much. Going in with lower expectations and knowing what you’ll find might help you enjoy it a little more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and yeah that’s what I thought when I first saw the blurb, but literally every review I’ve seen so far since this book was released has said that it just doesn’t deliver on any of the action at all. It sucks when books don’t have the same promise as the blurb represents but I’ve read a few books like that as well, they’re out there, I guess in the end it’s how you go into a story that’s the main thing. Hopefully going into Three Dark Crowns with low expectations I may enjoy it more. 🙂


  8. I am so sorry you did not enjoy this one. I know I have already told you I was a fan. I do agree completely that it is slow. I loved the world of the poisoners though and felt this was a promising beginning. But you make valid points, so I see how it is not going to work for everyone. Great review!


  9. Yep, I agree with pretty much everything you just said about this book! I’m actually looking forward to the sequel because that cliffhanger is giving me major hope that this series is about to get really intense. Fingers crossed!


  10. Excellent review! I’m quite disappointed to hear that it’s mostly filler and boredom; I was rather thinking it might be fun to snark eventually. Oh, well.

    Yeah, I know exactly what you mean when you say you would’ve benefited from knowing it was the first in a series. Do you think you’ll pick up book two, since this one ended with something of a bang?


    1. Thank you! 😘😘 I’m sure you’d do great with a snarking read-along, you can turn anything into fun, but it’s painful to go through most of the book so you might die of boredom. I’ll definitely be reading the next book, I spent too much time reading about the characters not to know what happens to them!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hahaah red chili. Sounds like the fun only really kicks in… a little too late. But mentioning that the book is part of a series sure does clarify things (and show us the sad cost). Fantastic review! 😛

    – Lashaan


  12. I really enjoyed reading this book. I think the premise was really interesting. I think it is great that you were able to articulate what you didn’t like as much as what worked for you. Even though I didn’t feel the same way about the book, I appreciate your honest review!


    1. I am glad you enjoyed this book 🙂 Despite my niggles, I am looking forward to reading the next book, I really want to discover what’s next! Thank you so much for visiting!


  13. I liked this one! I really didn’t care for the love triangle, but as a whole, I did enjoy the book.
    And that ending!! Bring on book two! I’m hoping that it hits the ground running, and I feel like the other magical abilities will come into play in the next book.


  14. Yay your review is finally up (/I am late for this aren’t I?) haha oh dear- I’ve heard quite a few people complain about how slow this is! Oh dear!! I’ve heard Arsinoe is a few people’s favourite- so you’re off the hook 😉 haha the red chilli thing made me laugh so hard! 293 PAGES?!? Jeez- that’s not good!! Haha I might need something stronger than tea for this one! Great review though!


  15. Arsinoe was my favourite too and if it hadn’t been for those last couple of chapters, I would have been so done with that book. Like … how can you mess up such a promising premise this bad? I was really mad at Joseph though … he did not get to judge Jules for loosing it. And I HATED Kat. How can anyone be so casual about killing anyone?


    1. EXACTLY! You don’t sell such a promising book with that blurb and just give us the desert of boredom for so many pages! I can’t forgive Joseph, I don’t care about the thing Arsinoe did that probably helped that happen, it’s too easy. Haha, you hating Kat, it’s a Kat fight! Kat conflict! (yep, still the tea talking)

      Liked by 1 person

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