Showing posts with label poison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poison. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

[Review] Three Dark Crowns (#1) - Kendare Blake: Triplets, Witchery, and Wasted Potential

In THREE DARK CROWNS, triplet heirs to the throne must compete in a deadly battle for the crown.

What intrigued me: I love reading about magic!

Misses the Mark So Hard...

THREE DARK CROWNS was so much not my thing that I genuinely wanted to quit blogging over this. There are DNFs and books that don't match your taste, and then there are books that make you forget that you're supposed to enjoy reading. I really wanted to like THREE DARK CROWNS desperately. I didn't though. I really, really didn't.

It's just one of those books that hooks you with a cool premise, but that's that. I expected an action-filled THE HUNGER GAMES style battle to the death, but really just got a slumberous High Fantasy story with a side of blown up insta romance. Kudos to the marketing team here, they honestly exaggerated this so massively, it's hard to even find the connection between the super fun things that the blurb and cover hint at and the actual book.

So much Wasted Potential!

THREE DARK CROWNS is supposed to be a dark, dark story about sisters planning to kill each other for the throne. Actually, it's just a super boring YA romance times three with genuinely zero plot, zero potential to connect or care about the characters, and very peculiar POV choices. I can only describe the writing and execution as extremely irritating. The POVs are all over the place, not necessarily even from the actual sisters, but from random side characters sometimes, and it's a nightmare to even make it past the point where you know who the characters are. I had immense problems trying to get into this, which is why it took me weeks to finish this. 

The magic system and all is fine and interesting. Poisoners, elementals, and people who talk to animals! Sounds fun! I really enjoyed reading about the whole poisoner storyline and Katharine. Poison mixers! This alone could've sold me on this book. I feel like if it had been executed differently and had stuck to one POV, or even just three POVs (of the sisters), I would've felt completely differently about this! All that instant love and lack of action could even just be excused a little if the writing and execution weren't so terribly irritating and weird, and unnecessarily extra. 

The biggest problem I have with this - the story has so much potential that it's just SO frustrating and stressful to see how Blake absolutely doesn't even come close to using it. The blurb is so great, I could actually cry, this is supposed to be a story about anti-heroines and darkness, maybe a bit creepy and vengeful and stabby. But it's none of that. THREE DARK CROWNS is yet another of the gazillion stories about princesses with magical powers that fall in love. That's it. I'm so frustrated and sad.


Rating:

☆☆☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

THREE DARK CROWNS is a disaster if you're picky about your High Fantasy and like to form connections to characters. I almost quit blogging altogether over this because it made me forget that reading is supposed to be fun. This wasn't fun in the slightest, the exact opposite of it. Clearly, this is highly, highly subjective.



Additional Info

Published: May 9th 2017
Pages: 448
Publisher: Penhaligon
Genre: YA / High Fantasy
ISBN: 9783764531447

Synopsis:
"When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown."
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read nice High Fantasy lately?



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Sunday, January 22, 2017

[Review] Poison Study (Study #1) - Maria V. Snyder: Food Tasters and Poison





In POISON STUDY Yelena was arrested for murder and is released from the dungeon to become a food taster.


What intrigued me: I've seen this one around a lot.

Let me love you, Yelena!

The story starts right off with Yelena getting released from her dungeon, malnutritioned, almost hallucinating, and absolutely exhausted. POISON STUDY had me from the first page.

Snyder has a way of conjuring up images with words that make this novel easy to read and the fantasy world easily accessible. I often struggle with the High Fantasy genre because I don't really encounter concepts that fascinate me. Same with POISON STUDY to some extent - I didn't really care about the fictional region of Ixia that is ruled by different generals that have their own territories and force everyone to wear uniforms. 

I zoned out whenever there were intricate descriptions of uniforms. The whole world is certainly a weakness of POISON STUDY - the story about Yelena could take place in any other fictional world and be just as fantastic. I didn't find the world building particularly inventive or outstanding.

Making a murderer the food taster doesn't sound that interesting and groundbreaking of a story either, but it just is. There doesn't happen much in POISON STUDY, aside from Yelena getting attacked continuously by the soldier's of the father of the guy she killed, but yet it's ridiculously addicting. The writing is top-notch, the story feels like you are Yelena, you're experiencing everything first-hand and wandering through the castle yourself. I seldom have found myself so thrown right into a book as I read and grown attached to a protagonist.

Wonderfully refreshing concept

If you read a lot of YA and are very tired of seeing the same cliche tropes everywhere, POISON STUDY is the novel for you, because I don't think I counted a single one. No love triangles! No Mary Sue! No plot convenience! Actual danger! Consequences for messing up! It's so refreshing to read a book that makes you feel like the protagonist is in actual danger the whole time.

However, this book is very, very, very slowly paced. I did like this at first, but the more the pace slowed down, the more I disconnected from the characters. I do like to know what I'm getting myself into when I start a novel and the introduction of magic halfway in confused and annoyed me a little. POISON STUDY takes a completely different direction halfway in, causing me to lose interest completely. I was very enamored with the premise of the food taster and would have loved to just see an story about intrigues without any magic.

POISON STUDY awkwardly turns into Duel of the Magicians and this is just not what I'm personally interested in and/or signed up for. Regardless, I did enjoy this and think it's a good read!


Rating:

★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

POISON STUDY is a fantastically unique novel. I really needed this breath of fresh air and I can recommend this book to you, because it's just so creative and fun! If you don't mind a dash of magic, sure, go for this!



Additional Info

Published: March 1st 2007
Pages: 409
Publisher: Mira
Genre: YA / High Fantasy
ISBN: 9780778324331

Synopsis:
"Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...
 "(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read the Study series?

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