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Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows (Locke & Key #3)

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  21,115 Ratings  ·  1,125 Reviews
The dead plot against the living, the darkness closes in on Keyhouse, and a woman is shattered beyond repair, in the third storyline of the Eisner-nominated series, Locke & Key! Dodge continues his relentless quest to find the key to the black door, and raises an army of shadows to wipe out anyone who might get in his way. Surrounded and outnumbered, the Locke children ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by IDW Publishing (first published July 27th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

This review is brought to you by the craaaaaaaaaazy cat lady . . .

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Crown of Shadows picks up right where Head Games ended. With their mother spiraling further into alcoholism and depression, the kids are on their own. And when one of said kids has decided to remove all fear from her brain, things have the potential of getting a bit dangerous . . .

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Throw into the mix more shenanigans from Dodge and his desperate attempts to find the k
May 04, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
Re-read 2015
Thank you Danny Boy for the opportunity to look this one over again.

Yep. Still good stuff.
Intense, dark, and (minus the paranormal twist) a very realistic look at a family crumbling under the weight of a tragedy. And the older I get the more I can sympathize with Nina and her struggles. Fantastic job, Mr. Hill!



Original review 2012
Crown of Shadows is yet another awesome installment in this series. Joe Hill is at the top of his game telling the story of this family, and Rodriguez is q
Raeleen Lemay
Jan 21, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, graphicomanga
WOWEEE. These just keep getting better and better with each volume! And of course now that there's a huge cliffhanger I have to wait for the next volumes to be ready at the library...
Will M.
Jun 16, 2015 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of the three volumes this is probably the best one yet. The plot just keeps getting better. I've finally learned to truly appreciate the different powers of the keys. The two latest keys were nothing but fantastic. I honestly want all of them for myself. Especially the key with the head thing. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm not going to talk about the powers anymore.

The characters got even better now. I'm liking everyone but the villain, Luke. He's an annoying piece of shit to be hon
mark monday
Jul 05, 2012 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
oooooo... the eeriest of the eerie, The Crown of Shadows! and what exactly is a crown of shadows? well, the wearer of this fell crown becomes the Dread Lord of All Shadows. and what exactly does that mean? well, shadows become solid and are now at your beck & call - to dance, to fight, to search for magic keys, to battle man and woman (and poor little children and headstrong teenagers as well), to wreak havoc and to bring down terror amongst your enemies. i want one! i can think of a lot of ...more
Sam Quixote
Three volumes in and Locke & Key’s story remains largely unchanged. The Locke kids – Tyler, Kinsey and Bode – continue to grieve over their murdered father, their mother’s still drinking heavily, and Zack Wells/Dodge/whatever its name is in this book, is doing more dastardly things. This time he’s looking for the black key… to do something, probably evil! Kinsey goes to a cave, following her dad’s footsteps as a teen, and more magic keys appear in the Lockes’ cartoonishly gothic mansion, Key ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

The Dreams and Ideas of Free Men are as an Army of Shadows, and as impossible to strike down ...

So says Colonel Adam Crais, a hero of the American Revolution whose statue guards the grounds of the school where the Locke kids go in Lovecraft, Massachussets. The quote is well chosen to define the turning moment in the comic book series written by Joe Hill and brilliantly illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. Because in this third album, the Locke kids start to fight back against their hidden e
I admit that I was a little concerned that I might have lost the thread of this story and that just picking up with Volume 3 might be a bad decision. It's been a year and a half since I read Welcome to Lovecraft and Head Games back to back, after all. But, while it certainly wouldn't have been a sacrifice or anything to re-read Volumes 1 & 2, it wasn't necessary in the end.

True, this volume picks up right where the last one left off, but there's enough history in the story and the context t
Apr 18, 2012 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, comix, fiction, 2012, idw
Locke & Key has been nothing but spectacular since it's inception. Hill and Rodriguez, despite crafting a series about keys that literally do the impossible, have created these very relatable characters that are both memorable and seemingly real. You hurt when they hurt, cheer when they overcome and anticipate what happens next when the story ends. These are all feelings that an author wants to pull from their audience and Hill does it so well that it's hard to believe that he's still so you ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Kristijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prosto obožavam ovaj serijal...
Drago mi je što je Nina dobila malo više prostora :)

Moj naklon i Džou Hilu za maestralnu priču i izuzetne ideje i Gabrijelu Rodrigezu za fenomenalne crteže!!!
Jan 20, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And so its about time I return to the Locke family and more especially the children and see what is going on in Lovecraft county.

I read the first two volumes to this amazing series some time ago - and for various reasons (including the fact lots of other books turned up to distract me) I never got to complete the series. Well here I am ready to face the challenge - the problem is that what can you say when obviously this is the mid point in an on going series with a tightly written storyline.

It gets better and better with each volume.
6 stars!!!

Oh my goodness! This series just keeps getting better and better every time I pick up a new volume on Joe Hill’s fantastic “Locke and Key” series! In the third volume “Crown of Shadows,” we are introduced to the more mysterious and haunting adventures of the Locke kids and how well they are trying to get on after the death of their father. “Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows” is definitely a brilliant follow up to the second volume “Head Games” that fans of the “Locke and Key” series wi
Brendon Schrodinger
The third volume of this series becomes very dark, with the progressing decline into alcoholic anarchy of the mother and literally with an attack from the shadows. The enemy is strong and is fighting tough. There are two key/lock systems explored which have been hinted at in previous volumes.

Once again Bode, the 8 year old boy, is a highlight with his verve for exploration and his wide-eyed enthusiasm making me smile.
Viv JM
This series continues to be awesome. It is dark and funny, with superb artwork and great character development. And what an ending! Must get on to volume 4 straight away!
Iryna (Book and Sword)
4.25/5 stars
This one is my favorite from the series so far.
Less gore - more plot.
Also art was just outstanding in this one.
I like how they keep dipping into the past, revealing things slowly.
Also, it seems that all of the Locke family is finally losing their marbles.
Can't wait to see where the 4th book takes me.
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

This story just gets better and better. Accept the Locke kids poor mom is just going downhill pretty bad!

I loved how they showed all of the keys at the end and tells about them.

And as always, the graphics are just awesome!

I loved Jamal and Scot, they were hilarious! :)

On to the next....soon...
Another entertaining instalment, loved the new keys, especially the Shadow key and Zack/Dodge using it to overpower Tyler and co so he could find the key to the Black Door. Bode was the highlight as usual, he was just so likeable. Really looking forward to the next volume.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jun 02, 2015 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, scribd, gn
The Lockes against the Shadows.
The third volume is a bit depressing since Nina's drinking is getting out of hand. Crown of Shadows is a combination of action, fighting and depressing family issues.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
There certainly were a lot going on in this book of the series. Another great gem but Hill. He sure knows his stuff. Gotta get the next 3 from the library real soon. Awesome graphic novel series!! :)
So much meh, people.
I'm covered in meh.

I guess I get why everyone else and their warthogs love this story but it was a slog for me.
The keys are really pretty.
Though, really? Why would some of them even exist? Like, realistically, why would the Giant Key have been created and why would the keyhole be that keyhole? Please.
Scot Kavanaugh and Jamal (Jamal has a last name but I don't remember what it is because, unlike Scot Kavanaugh, Jamal's surname is only mentioned twice? Maybe three times? In th
This series is so imaginative. And the further in you get, the more stuff it throws at you. I'm actually finding it really difficult to write about it because the more detailed it gets, the weirder it gets, and the more impossible it becomes to talk about.

Tyler, Kinsey and Bode have somewhat adjusted to living in Keyhouse, and to using the keys, but their mother is only falling apart harder and faster. The still mysterious Dodge is seeking the Omega Key, the key that will open up the black door.
*~Lan Lan~*
Amazing! Everything I wanted from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez and more!

As the lore of the keys expands and the trauma the Locke family endures never ends I find myself wide eyed and hyperventilating. I am obsessed with this series! Holy Balls! This is absolutely amazing. The story is so engrossing and the art haunting.

I won't go over what exactly happens in this volume but what I can say is that the pace has yet to slow down and I don't think it ever will. I was on the edge of my seat the wh
Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)

"Your dad got shot in the face this summer and I have apparently forgotten how to juggle."

Fantastic volume! Every time I open up the 'next book' in this series I am so stoked to see what (if any) new keys will be discovered. I wasn't a big fan of the second chapter in this book - all that cave stuff just kinda bored me, I know it was mostly to show Kinsey cementing her friendships with those two 'uncool' dudes...but still. Meh.

The rest though? Bangin!! Spirit battles, shadowy invasions, giants,
Drew The Reviewer
This is dark fantasy at its finest in the graphic novel genre. This is by far the #1 best graphic novel I've read all year and I'm sure that the next volume will be even better. The darkness in this is so fucking unique and amazing. The character development is huge. The images are beautiful. The writing is fantastic. Locke & Key excels above so many full length novels. This doesn't even feel like a graphic novel. I am just at a loss for words right now. Locke & Key is fucking revolution ...more
Tim The Enchanter
Things take a darker and more sinister turn in the third volume. Of the first three volumes, this one features some of the best art work. There are amazingly vivid and imaginative dark creations. This story focus less on a specific key than the first two and we learn there is more to dodge than meets the eye. There is much more character building in this instalment and the author explores the brokenness of several characters. A very enjoyable read.
Jun 03, 2015 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I'm now a fan. The art is pretty good. It does do a good job with expressing the smaller ideas, but it does a much better job with the batshit crazy. I really got into the cave exploration and the shadows. I'm pretty much going to plow through the rest of the volumes at this rate. Why wasn't it like this for the first? Ahh, I know.. Character Development. These have done it.
Jesse A
Jun 01, 2015 Jesse A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a somewhat convoluted, dragging second volume the 3rd really picked things up.
The most exciting aspect to these graphic novels are, obviously, the keys - finding them, discovering their secrets, watching what they do with them, the battle(s) for them, etc.

But the secondary aspect to the story is just as important and has really grown on me since the first installment - the characters, the family. All three of the Locke children, especially, have won over my heart and each installment brings out a little bit more of them than the last, as if the graphic novels, the books t
Patty  (Bookish Wanderlove)
Source: Library

Vol. 2 was a bit of a disappoint for me after such a strong start in Vol.1 and I was a little ify on how well Vol.3 would work out for me. Really enjoyed the opening scene, the ghost fight with Sam was so good!! And the shadows, loved how sassy Tyler was to them :D. Now Kinsey and her friends scene I really didn't care for but I'm curious to see what will be discovered the next time they go into the cave!
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Joe Hill's debut, Heart-Shaped Box, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. His second, Horns, was made into a film freakfest starring Daniel Radcliffe. His other novels include NOS4A2, and his #1 New York Times Best-Seller, The Fireman... which was also the winner of a 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror Novel.

He also writes short stories. Some of them were gathered together i
More about Joe Hill...

Other Books in the Series

Locke & Key (10 books)
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega
  • Locke and Key: Guide to the Known Keys
  • Locke and Key: Grindhouse
  • Locke & Key: Small World
  • Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth

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“Don't ever have children, Tyler, unless you're ready to be afraid everyday for the rest of your life.” 64 likes
“I think if you cheat in a ethics class then there's really no hope for you.” 7 likes
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