One Dark Throne was in my top 5 most anticipated books of 2017, and after devouring it within a 6 hour time span, I can confidently say that it did not disappoint!
I am such a huge fan of this world that Kendare Blake has created, and while Fennbirn is not exactly a place I want to visit, I cannot help but be mesmerized by the island’s unapologetically savage way of life. I am fascinated by the Triplet Queens, their destinies, and the fact that not one person has ever said “hey, this whole concept is a little twisted dontcha think?”
One of the aspects that I loved so much about Three Dark Crowns last year was how bizarrely the book reads. It is told from the third person present, which is not a form of storytelling that I think you encounter often. The story itself is already so creepy, that watching everything play out as if you are a fly on the wall, rather than being told what happened AFTER the fact, just feels so right. The whole book is just so deliciously eerie, that I found it hard to put down the book at all, eating up hundreds of pages in one sitting.
I have read a couple of reviews that said the book started slow, but I am sorry, I have to disagree. I felt like the events of One Dark Throne unfolded rather quickly, made even more fast paced by the eerie writing style. There are more than just the three queens on Fennbirn’s chess board, and watching everything be moved into position for the penultimate power grab was… intense to say the least.
This series is also kinda unique in that all of the characters are kinda terrible. I mean, there were definitely some people I loved more than others, but in general, everyone is on their own agenda. It is hard to explain without giving anything away, but just know that every one is doing their own thing. You think you know the motivation of one character, NOPE. You have nothing quite figured out. There exists plots among plots, plans inside of plans, more scheming than I thought possible in a short 450 pages… Just be prepared!
Everything from this point on will be spoilers for both Three Dark Crowns AND One Dark Throne, so proceed with caution!
After finishing One Dark Throne a couple of days ago, I was overwhelmed with theories and questions for this series that I need to talk about now. Not necessarily theories about how the next two books are going to pan out, (because, to be honest I don’t even know where to start on that front), but more about the importance and significance of a few characters. There are tons of questions swirling around in my head but I think we can all agree on two main ones based on the snippets of info that Blake fed us throughout ODT:
- What is going on with Katharine?
- Who / what is Jules exactly?
After the revelation of Arsinoe at the end of Three Dark Crowns, I legitimately thought that Katharine and Arsinoe were secretly switched at birth, and Katharine was going to be revealed to in fact be the naturalist queen. I was waiting for this to be the plot twist of One Dark Throne, but the further I got into the story, the more I was confused about Katherine’s status.
Is she really undead? Is she just possessed by the other dead queens of the island? I really don’t believe she is a poisoner, but that the only reason she has lasted as long as she has is through poison training. So, then what is she?
Is she a naturalist whose gift hasn’t surfaced yet? Does she possess a gift that hasn’t been seen on the island for years, like the sight gift or the war gift? OR, is she just no one?
Personally, I am leaning towards her being no one. Which ties into my second question, bear with me…
Who is Jules?
Arsinoe seems to be a pretty bad ass poisoner. And Mirabella is one of the strongest elementals that the island has seen in decades. Jules is said to be one of the strongest naturalists ever, so what if Jules is actually the naturalist queen?
I haven’t figured out all the details yet, but I like this line of thinking. There is a line at the end of the book that kind of solidified this theory in my mind:
“It [the mist] swirls around the boat greedily with something that seems almost like relief… As if it was Jules, truly, who the island was trying to keep.”
COME ON THAT MEANS SOMETHING RIGHT?!
If she heads back to the island and seeks revenge on Katharine, I could see Jules sitting on the throne at the end of all this. Even if she doesn’t personally take Katharine out, I refuse to believe Katharine is the end game in this psycho series.
But then again, Kendare Blake isn’t really playing by any rules.
So, what do you think? Do you have any theories after finishing up One Dark Throne? Share with me in the comments!