One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake
Rating: 4 stars
I loved the first book in this trilogy, Three Dark Crowns, and this meant I knew I wouldn't be able to wait long before diving into One Dark Throne, the second book in the series and the continuing story of the three triplet sisters fighting to decide who should sit upon the throne and reign as Queen having killed her two sisters.
Three Dark Crowns had ended with several shock revelations, one particularly which impacted the future power balance between the sisters. We find poisoner Kat returned very changed from an awful betrayal suffered when the sisters began their ascension year. She is a different character entirely from that in Three Dark Crowns, in this book she's definitely darker and more fierce and this whilst making her a more interesting character to read also gives us a villain of the three to dislike.
With Arisone leading the forefront in this book we find much of it is focused on her, Jules and Joseph, as she begins to learn more about her gift and Jules, struggles with her own discoveries about her abilities. I loved the parts set within their naturalist village and the ongoing support she draws from the people around her and she remains my favourite of the three sisters and is the one who seems to be continually fighting hardest to find any way to not have to slaughter her two siblings.
This second book has more action packed into it, probably because we don't need to do as much world building in it. There's more darkness and we find the sisters really coming up against one another in a way they didn't in Three Dark Crowns. The threat level is heightened and it makes for really engaging reading.
If I had one reservation about this book though it would be that I almost wanted a little more world building. At one point of the book, Arisone meets the midwife who raised her and her sisters until they were separated and taken to develop their gifts with different foster families. I felt this would have been an ideal time for some background, some flashbacks about the sisters and their mother. It is touched on but not explored as much as I would have liked. In fact throughout these books we touch on the Queens of the past but we never spend long understanding the history of the world in any great detail and I feel this would add context and richness. I could happily have spent another hundred or so pages in this kind of expansion.
I enjoyed this book very much and it's clear we have some work to do before we reach the end of the sisters' story and this is set to come in Book 3, The Queens of Fennbrin set for release next year I believe. I will be anticipating the release of this book and be delving in shortly after its release as I'm keen to find out how this story will conclude and whether just one Queen will sit upon the throne or in fact if any will.
A good sequel to book one, perhaps not as strong but still immensely enjoyable.