“Three dark queens are born in a glen. Sweet little triplets, will never be friends. Three dark sisters, all fair to be seen. Two to devour, and one to be Queen.”
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake is the final instalment to Three Dark Crowns, a fantasy series about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. This is going to be a spoiler-free review about my experience reading this book.
The Characters and World Building
I have seen a lot of reviews criticising certain decisions made by Kendare for some of the characters in this book. Mainly, the deaths. In my opinion, the decisions that were made for the plot were necessary for it to flow with characterisation that has taken place for the entire series up to this point. I could put myself in the shoes of every character from each perspective. The way each POV was perfectly displayed from chapter to chapter was flawless.
The world is so imperative in the Three Dark Crowns story. It’s not all about the queens. The world has made them who they are and put them into the positions that they have faced. The island of Fennbirn plays just an important role as every single one of the characters do and I adore that about this series. You can really picture every forest, castle and camp vividly in your mind as you read. It is my belief that the characters and how they are developed, perfectly intertwined with the world, is what makes Three Dark Crowns a truly unique young adult fantasy series. Five Dark Fates came through with everything the previous books had and so much more.
The Story Progression and Plot
With a series this long, effective story progression is vital. You have to keep your readers coming back for more at the end of each and every book. Two Dark Reigns did an excellent job of that. I came into Five Dark Fates so eager to know how things were going to end but also devastated that this was the end.
The ending however, was perfect. I think a lot of people came into this series expecting a war, a battle, a bloodthirsty, evil set of triplets ready to tear each other down at every opportunity. And Kendare went and shot down every single one of those expectations and blew my mind! It is for this reason too that I felt a lot of people were disappointed. That is what they wanted to see.
I personally love that she was able to stay true to the underlying plot of the story while completely twisting the undertones of it. Yes, people died and there is a war and there is violence and heartbreak. (so much heartbreak) But that is not always the intention and that is what I was massively hooked on while reading this.
Overall Rating and Thoughts
Overall, I rated this five out of five stars. Not just because this series means the absolute world to me. What Kendare did with this ending just gripped my heart and never let go. I feel like you need to have a really strong idea of the relationships between the characters and their feelings towards each other to really appreciate this ending. It’s different, it’s meaningful and it’s emotionally impactful. And that means a whole lot more to readers like me, than violence for the sake of violence.