Three Dark Crowns was a Little Lightweight

three dark crowns uk

Alohomora! If you think that introduction is a sign of how magical this book was… you would be wrong. I’m just in a Harry Potter mood (I’ve been binge watching The Dom’s reviews– anyone else seen those?) Sorry to disappoint, but this book is hardly in the league of JK Rowling’s originality and imagination. Yes, the blurb of this book promises something dark, interesting, seductive even- but that’s not exactly what you get. This was bang on average- nothing terrible about it, nothing too brilliant either.

The writing style was crisp and effective in many ways- buuut there was one major flaw with it- the author does all her characterisation by proxy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one to always bring out the “show don’t tell” rule and I even like a good Dickensian characterisation, where everything but the kitchen sink is thrown in with excruciating detail… Yet if there’s one thing I find fault with its when other characters *tell* us the personality traits of other people in the book- especially when there’s no other indication they actually possess these qualities. Note to authors: all the other characters saying the protagonist is “sweet” does not make her sweet. And if you’re going to use this technique, just back it up, with at least one piece of evidence! It just feels like lazy writing otherwise.

So what of these characters then? Well I liked Mirabelle best because we actually saw her acting out her characteristic “sweetness”. Likewise, Arsinoe’s “wildness” showed up from time to time. Kat’s personality on the other hand…. Well it was as flat as a pancake. As I said, there was not one iota of evidence to suggest she was also “sweet”. (Also could the author have managed to come up with a third character trait so that it wasn’t so repetitive- is that too much to ask?)

Alright, so the characterisation wasn’t ideal, what of the romance? I guess, it was fine (really, I’m not managing to conjure up much enthusiasm for this book, am I?) I found it believable enough. I know a lot of people thought it was instalove, but I thought it was done in a similar style to everything else- ie we were told about it. So it didn’t trouble me any more than how anything else was fleshed out (as in, not very much).

slow slow quick quick slowIn terms of pacing, it was mostly slow-slow-quick-quick-slow- ok just kidding, it was slow, but it sped up at the end. Again, I didn’t have too much of a problem with this because it’s only 400 pages long, so if you’re a quick reader the slow parts won’t be too painful. There was *finally* some action at the end, but there were issues with it. The first being that I had not connected enough with the characters to be shocked… the second being that I guessed the “twist” from chapter 1. As nice as it is to be right, that’s a little too easy if you ask me.

Alright after that pretty lacklustre review, this may come as a shock, but I would quite like to continue reading this series out of sheer curiosity. In all honesty, I want to see if I can guess the rest of theplot….

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

Also, let’s be honest, the covers are epic.

What books have been *so obvious* to you that you guessed everything from the beginning? And what book do you reckon was lazily written? Let me know in the comments!

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46 thoughts on “Three Dark Crowns was a Little Lightweight

  1. Nel says:

    Only books that come to mind for me right now is the Golden Lily spin off series by Richelle Mead. It had a good start but it became super predicable the end. I remember me and my friend discussing them and hoping for something a little on par with her Vampire Academy books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Funny how this works, but this one ranked very high with me yet as I read your review I find myself nodding in agreement with the majority of it 😉 Hindsight I suppose. This one was incredibly slow and ending reading much more like a “stage setter” than I expected. But it did manage to leave interested in the next installment so that works I guess. Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vijayalakshmi Harish says:

    Aww….so sorry you were disappointed by this read! But I totally feel you about wanting to complete the series anyway 😊

    Like

  4. Marie says:

    Oh great review! I’m sorry to hear characterization doesn’t quite work well in this book – if I read it, I think I’d found myself wanting to know why and how and when characters are having particular qualities, instead of just being told about it.
    I agree that the covers are epic for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

    “characterisation by proxy” with nothing to back it up later on is… really lame. Your GIF selection was brilliant though! Sorry to see how bad this turned out. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book though. Was it honestly compared to Harry Potter in its marketing campaigns? 😮 That’s.. astonishing. Great review though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      haha yeah I know right!! hehehe thank you!! 😀 Yes there was. hehe no fortunately it wasn’t- I was just making the random connection, cos that’s where my brain was at at the mo (but I have seen some astoundingly bad books compared to HP in the past- note to publishers: comparing a book to HP is about the worst thing you can do). Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nathan says:

    I hate it when characters on page don’t match with what the author or other characters try to convince me they are like. If a character is supposed to be sweet just show them being sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LizScanlon says:

    This review is brilliant… I haven’t read the book and even though I’ve seen bloggers liking it, I haven’t reeeaaallllly felt compelled enough to actually go for it… I think what you point out around characterization would major annoy my as well, characters are so important to me… they could watch paint dry and I would find it cool if I really felt connected with a cool character! XD Sorry this one didn’t work out that well, but it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the series goes down for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much!! Yeah I saw it around a lot too and probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to get it if I hadn’t seen it for a total bargain 😉 Yes I know right!! Totally agree!! Thank you!! 😀 Hopefully it’ll be better, but if not… well at least you guys will get some pleasure out of my suffering 😉

      Like

  8. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    This sounds like such a “meh” book! Which is not always bad but when you’ve promised *so much* in your blurb, you ought to live up to it…
    I still want to try this but I definitely will keep my expectations a lot lower and hope for the best. I’m glad the romance is not instalovey – it would just add insult to injury, at this point! Hopefully, both the characters and the story will get better as the series progresses 🙂
    Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

    Had to smile when I got to the end of your review and saw you still want to read the sequels! Though I can understand that, I’ve read some pretty average books that still made me curious to continue the series… not because I thought I could guess the plots though. I’m usually terrible at guessing where plots are going. That said, I did see the twist at the end of Red Queen coming. I spent the whole book hoping it would surprise me by ending differently. It didn’t.

    Btw I checked out the first of The Dom’s reviews that you linked to, and have realised I may have to do some binge watching myself now!! Thanks for bringing them to my attention 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      haha I know right- probably a little silly, but ah well, the heart wants what it wants 😉 hahaha I saw that coming too, but not in the way I expected. There are some books that really take me by surprise- but this one wasn’t one of them.
      hahahaha I know right- they are so addictive- I’m really enjoying them!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

        Haha, indeed! 🙂 And now you mention it I also didn’t foresee the way in which the twist would happen, but more the general betrayal/deception and the particular character who would be responsible… but that was still enough to disappoint me because I was really hoping it was a red herring and I’d be surprised! Oh well, I was still surprised in other ways.

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Ah I get that- that makes total sense. I think it was hugely obvious that there was going to be that betrayal or that he would be evil. hahaha I get that- that’s like me and the Darkling in Shadow and Bone- I never got over how obvious those books were.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

            Haha yeah but believe it or not I didn’t really see the Darkling thing coming 🙂 I’m a very passive reader though – I rarely try to figure out where things are headed (I notice clues but don’t think too hard about them… either because I’m lazy or I don’t want to spoil it for myself, I’m not entirely sure which!). That’s why if something is so hugely obvious that even I can predict it, I get particularly peeved 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • theorangutanlibrarian says:

              hahaha fair enough! I was desperate for it to not be as obvious as I thought it was and ended up being really disappointed when it was *exactly* what I thought 😉 I try to be more passive, but it doesn’t really work. hahaha definitely get that!!

              Liked by 1 person

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