One of the things they don’t tell you when you become a published author is … ARCs! Advance Reader Copies (or AREs – editions) are circulated 6 months or more before a book is published, so readers, bloggers and reviewers can read it and start spreading the love before release.
ARCs can be hard to get hold of – unless you know a friendly agent, editor, publicist or author who’s connected to the book in some way. And being a (soon-to-be) published author makes that process much easier. So – yay! I scored an ARC of THREE DARK CROWNS which I have been desperate to read since I fell in love with that AMAZING cover.
Now, ARCs are great! They’re awesome! Except when you adore a book, then realize that not only is the thing not published for another four months – so you can’t buy copies for all your friends – but you go check the author’s website for the release date of Book 2 and discover that she hasn’t even finished writing it yet.
DAMMIT KENDARE BLAKE – get on with it! Because I love-love-loved THREE DARK CROWNS.
It’s in my preferred style, 3rd person multiple POV, and no question that’s perfect for the story Blake’s telling: of ‘gifted’ triplet sisters raised separately from age 6, reunited at age 16 for a deadly Ascension Year in which each must strive to dispatch her sisters to become queen. We first meet Kate, the Poisoner; then Arsinoe, the Naturalist. By the time we meet Mirabella, the Elementalist, we think we know what’s coming. We’re wrong.
There are some gorgeous set-pieces – the Gave Noire of the poisoners, a ritual banquet of poisonous food. There’s a sprawling cast, but clear alliances and friendships. Feelings about specific characters change as you read (Arsinoe grew on me).
The twist at the end may be one we’ve seen coming – then again, it may not. There’s a realisation for one character. I’m hoping that book 2 will hold a revelation about the other that’s not quite as we’re expecting.
But for now, yeah, #TeamMira.
*drums fingers impatiently*