Parents' Guide to

Three Dark Crowns, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Thrilling but very dark tale of murderous triplet queens.

Three Dark Crowns, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Loved It!

This book is amazing! For parents, there is no swearing (win win!) but some violence. If your child can handle stabbing, severing hands, light talk of violence etc. then they should be fine. I read this book before I gave it to my 13 year old daughter, well aware of the reviews here, but I thought I'd try because the story line seemed so interesting. The sex is normal for any book. I have noticed though, that the reviews on CSM are true, but it does make books sound worse then they are. Especially with violence, when it is not described into detail and is basically in every book you read. If you are weary of letting your child read this, read it first then decide for yourself. Please keep in mind that tweens know about mature content and words already, it just matters on how much they, personally, have read and what they can handle.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
age 15+

Very good story line and engrossing

I felt this book was very good and engrossing. That being said I am not completely sure I will read the sequel, except when I have a lull in time. The storyline is very fresh and innovative and keeps your attention. The characters are very strong and you can emphasize with their plight. The sex scenes are descriptive for a young adult novel. Although I cannot say it detracts from the storyline and in some cases, i do feel a romance scene is warranted to show the intimate relationships that will have to stand a very strong test. There is violence that is premeditated and definiate. It often seems brutal, but also in the context of the story it seems to flow with it. If you have a child who doesn’t like violence against other humans, this is not the book for them. Overall, for an older teen or mature reader is is well written and even after reading the book has given me cause for thought.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (14 ):

With triplet queens out to kill each other, this may not be a book to share with sisters, but if you're into dark, complex, nail-biting fantasy, you'll definitely share it with your friends. Three Dark Crowns will take an effort for some readers to piece together, as each queen's story is told separately. We meet Katharine first in a house full of Poisoners who regularly indulge in tainted banquets. Sickly from the lack of the immunity her gift should provide but still desperate to please, she gives off the creepiest vibe. Arsinoe takes longer to reach the same dark place; the desperate queen is slowly coerced into some shady magic practices to compensate for her weak gift. As for Mirabella, it's the bloodthirsty, cunning priestesses who add a delicious level of dark.

Each of the rites and rituals the queens endure -- the birthday parties, the festival of Beltane, the selection of the suitors, the Quickening -- are expertly woven into the story. Readers get the slow reveal of just what these doomed queens are up against. Will you root for the survival of one queen the way the towns do? For the small chance in this macabre world that mercy will rule out in the end? Even a reader's allegiance may shift with the cliffhanger at the end.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate