Review: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover/Own

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series! And while Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Katharine all have their own scores to settle, they aren’t the only queens stirring things up on Fennbirn Island.

Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.

Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.

Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.

This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.

*Spoilers if you haven't read the first two books*

Review: So this is definitely my favorite book out of the series so far. And I definitely wasn't expecting some of the things revolving around the Blue Queen. There was just so many interesting things happening with all the separate story-lines. This was not a boring book for sure! 

So we get a lot of Katharine in this book. And I hate to say it, but I'm still not a big fan of hers. Yeah, I'm stubborn. But so far, despite that I do soften a little bit towards her in this book, I'm still not rooting for her. Katharine is now the Queen Crowned after Mirabella and Arsinoe escape to the mainland. But its just plagued right from the start. Questions about whether her sisters actually died, the fact that the mist is now causing a lot of problems for the island, people dying, the dead queens spirits in Katharine making her do stuff she didn't intend to do. Like I said, I softened towards her, I feel a bit like I did in Three Dark Crowns. I don't like her, but I feel bad for the things she has to deal with. She's really trying to do her best as the queen. She wants to try and bring the island together more as a people again. But all her actions are being completely overshadowed but the threat the mist is playing by killing people. And her rule is being overshadowed by the things the queens possessing her are making her do when they gain complete control of her body here and there. And its mostly the war queens. I can tell. Anytime something bad happens that Katharine herself did not want to happen, its because the war queens in her overwhelmed her and made her kill someone. I felt so bad that no matter what Katharine tries to do, something keeps overshadowing it. She may be my least favorite queen, but I do feel for her struggles in this book. 

And then we get Mirabella and Arsinoe. The seem to have the least amount of story overall, theirs is pretty much a background to Katharine and Jules. Hiding on the mainland, trying to fit in around Billy's family. And while Mirabella does an ok job of it, Arsinoe being Arsinoe doesn't. We already know she's not into wearing dresses, or attending fancy tea's and stuff like that. She definitely does not want the life of a woman on the mainland. Arsinoe keeps having dreams though pointing her back to Fennbirn. She dreams of the Blue Queen through the eyes of Daphne, who comes to be close to the Blue Queen. Throughout all the dreams and visits from the Blue Queen, it becomes pretty clear the girls need to go back to Fennbirn and figure out what the Blue Queen has to do with everything. Mostly though, it's Arsinoe that figures everything out, while Mirabella pretty much just plays a side part of everything. However, they definitely weren't expecting to come back to Fennbirn to find Jules pretty much leading a rebellion. 

So of course that leads to Jules. Jules is definitely the other main part of this book. Like this book primarily focuses on Katharine and Jules. Jules ends up with the War Gifted after she decided to go back to Fennbirn instead of the mainland. And they want to use her to rise against Katharine and end the reign of the triplet queens. Little do they know, Katharine already has the issue of the queens line ending. But they make her the Legion Queen. They start to spread the word and pull people towards their side and start building themselves an army. While Jules is really reluctant to become the Legion Queen, she also hates Katharine and the poisoners. So. What can you do?? But she's not only dealing with this, but the fact that her mom is having a baby, a brother to be specific. And then Katharine decides its a fun idea to get a hold of Madrigal. So it's not a fun time for Jules. She does the best she can with Emilia and Mathilde trying to help her by her side, but its definitely not easy starting a war. And then Katharine goes too far and now Jules fate is being tossed up in the air because of the effects of what Katharine did. 

I really thought this whole story about the Blue Queen was so interesting. A blue queen is a rare born 4th queen that immediately becomes the Queen Crowned as she is looked at as blessed. So all the sisters before her are killed or left for dead. We see the story of Queen Illiann unfold through Arsinoe's dreams. We see pretty much all the events the girls go through happen, but without the drama of more than one queen. We see how she ends up with her King-Consort, Illiann's relationship to Daphne, the story of the mist, war. Just wow. It is said Queen Illiann created the mist to protect the island, but the story is so much bigger and deeper than that. The reason why she created the mist, and just exactly how. And the mind-blowing secret regarding the mist and who was actually the Blue Queen and had the triplets. WOW. This history story of Fennbirn really blew my mind, and planted some ideas about things. And the shocker about the only way to get rid of the mist. WOW. 

So it's been said that Jules was "once a queen and may be again." (pg. 35) So how exactly is she a queen then???? She's obviously not some random rare 4th born Blue Queen. She isn't one of the sisters in disguise. So I have a theory. Since we see the story of Illiann, it makes me wonder. Only one of her sisters was truly killed (the oracle queen). We see what happens to her Elemental sister. So what happened to the Naturalist sister?? We don't know. Could she have survived somehow and Jules hails from her line?? She is an incredibly strong Naturalist, like Queen strong. Is that why? Is she somehow from a side shoot of the queens line? I don't feel like possession is an option since we already have Katharine for that. So. That's my theory about Jules. And lets just say I'm not amused with the ending. It seems like Mirabella is going to go to the capital to Katharine. Is she seriously going to side with her because of what Jules is dealing with?? If she is I'm not amused. And on top of that everyone looking at Arsinoe as if she has to die just because she'll side with Jules since they grew up like sisters. I'm sorry, Arisnoe tries so hard for everyone around her and has always been looked at like a weak, disposable person and I'm just sick of it. If Mirabella seriously just tosses aside Arsinoe for Katharine I'm gonna be upset. And if Arsinoe gets anything but a good ending I'll be upset. She deserves a decent ending for everything she is dealing with for literally everyone around her. 


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