Author: Kendare Blake
Narrator: Amy Landon
Audiobook Length: 11 hours 6 minutes
The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?
With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.
In One Dark Throne, the reader returns to the island of Fennbirn to find out more about Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe after the events of the Quickening. The Ascension Year has begun in this story leading to the crowning of one queen. However, there are many complexities that it might not go as planned with one sister killing the other two without obstacles. The story moves at a faster pace than the previous novel as there are more battles between the sisters. However, this novel still focuses a lot on the characters as they grow and learn from their circumstances.
The three sisters have a lot more interactions in this story, which I enjoyed. These characters are meant to kill each other until there is only one left standing, so I enjoyed any time that they were together to either taunt or attempt to fight the other. I still love Arsinoe, the naturalist queen that actually has poisoner gifts, the most out of the three, but each of the three sisters bring something different to the table that could make a reader root for them. With the new discovery of her true abilities, she has to work to keep it a secret with only her, Joseph, and Jules in the know. Jules, a naturalist, can sometimes overshadow Arsinoe who has a more outspoken personality. There are times where these of the story are all about Jules and not Arsinoe. While I like Jules, it feels a little forced to try to make her become the main character. There are secrets revealed about her, so she is important, but it did take away from Arsinoe’s story at times.
Mirabella is a character that I continue to cheer for as she was meant to be the guaranteed victor for the crown, but things are not as simple as they seem. She constantly wavers between wanting to stay away from the violence to wanting it all to be over. She continues to have feelings for Joseph, but it is not meant to be and their story is further explained when secrets are revealed.
Katharine is dealing with the aftermath after being thrown in the Breccia Domain. She is a different person after this experience and she is more determined than ever to become queen. Pietyr is still around and tries to make amends with Katharine, but she is not interested in going back to how things were before. The secret of Arsinoe and Katharine is further explored, where it is also mentioned in the prequel novella, The Young Queens. This interesting twist made sense in the story and will be interesting how it all comes together in the next story.
Overall, all three sisters have their flaws and there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. With the twists and turns at the end of this novel, it will be interesting to see where this series is going considering there are still two novels to go. I am fairly certain that I know how this series will end as there are enough hints along the way, but I will continue reading to find out for certain. Billy continued to be the standout love interest as he is incredibly sweet. I hope he continues to be a good match for Arsinoe as they are cute together and have great interactions. Katharine is the sister I want to explore more as she is both evil and good at the same time, so I am intrigued about her part of the story. As this series was originally planned as a duology, it does at times feel a little drawn out as it was changed to four novels. However, I do continue to enjoy learning about each character and I am curious to see how the series will continue in Two Dark Reigns.