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Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows

(Locke & Key #3)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  26,440 ratings  ·  1,441 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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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,440 ratings  ·  1,441 reviews

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Raeleen Lemay
As good as ever 🖤

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...
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 key to the black door. Those dang keys . . .

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May 04, 2012 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 quickly shooting to the top of my list as t2012
Will M.
Jun 16, 2015 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 sh
Kayla Dawn
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are definitely my favorite graphic novels.
Edward Lorn
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is easily my favorite volume so far. The comedy's on point. The artwork is the best it's been. The ending had me on the verge of tears. The action was gnarly and super fun. And the shadow monsters were fuckin epic.

This is the moment I fell in love with this series. Dig it.
mark monday
Jul 05, 2012 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 things i ...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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jun 12, 2014 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 thei/>
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I think this may have been my favorite Locke & Key volume so far. There's been such a solid well of character development built up in the last two volumes that this one was capable of playing off of nonstop action without feeling rushed or lacking. As usual, the artwork is beautiful and the writing is Joe's typical bizarre, creepy, delightful style.

In volume 3, Dodge is determined to find the Omega Key, and raises an army of shadows to fight the poor Bode children, who are realizing
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, z2017
Really good volume :)
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crown of Shadows is the third book in the Locke & Key series and starts right off from how book 2, Head Games ends.

The Locke kids are starting to slowly figure out that Keyhouse is more then it appears and the keys are magical abilities to do some cool stuff!

Kinsey is finally finding her tribe (true friends) which is great!
Bode is still trying to find all the keys in Keyhouse and is worried about his Mom.
By the way, the Mom has got to get her shit together. I know she’s in grief and wounded but come on! You got three kids that lost their fat
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Man oh man, is this series fantastic. Jamal and Scot are hilarious. I want to be friends with these two. The family is really falling apart, mainly due to Mama Locke falling into alcoholism. But with here out of the way, we get this fantastic arc with the Locke kids battling the crown of shadows. Rodriguez shows just how talented he is with all these diverse shadow creatures. He's created quite a menagerie. Then when Tyler breaks out the giant key, I was amazed at those full page panels. That wa
This series gets better and better. 3 more keys have been discovered in this book alone. The whole family is in on the finding of them now. They still seem to be losing against the villain who seems to be winning. This book is so creative and unexpected. I have no clue where its going and I am happy to ride with them where ever.

The art is continued and does a great job. They have the characters down.

I am excited to see what is going to happen next. I like IDW publishing, at least th
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
Jan 20, 2015 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 s
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, comix, 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
I wish I could give this volume 10 stars because it deserves so much more than just 5. A true work of art, in story and in visuals. Someone give me the brain key so I can forget this volume then reread it then forget it and reread it again, over and over and over like I'm reading it for the first time because that's how amazing it was.
Ashley Daviau
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series just becomes more and more stunning as it goes along. The story is just amazing and creepy and I love every second of it. Joe Hill really is a master at spinning a wonderfully creepy tale and this series is just further proof of that. I find that this instalment was much darker, it actually gave me chills at one point and I was completely sucked in and before I knew it it was already over and I was itching to pick up the next one! And of course I can’t end this review without mention ...more
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Huh, no spoilers in my old review, yay. And it still stands - at 30, still afraid of the dark and still plagued with night terrors. Go me.

6/10 - 6/13 2014
Oh what to say about Volume 3: CROWN OF SHADOWS?

Was I expecting more phenomenal storytelling by Joe Hill? Absolutely.

Was I expecting Gabriel Rodriguez to bring the words to life in a visual array of haunting beauty? You betcha!

And, I was no disappointed, at all.

The world evolves bringing the readers a new key that
It gets better and better with each volume.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf 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...
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega for my review of the entire series.
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 will love!

Now that
B Schrodinger
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
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.
James DeSantis
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Locke and Key remains one of the more interesting horror series I've read.

This one mostly revolves around around personal demons. Mom isn't doing good. She's drinking a shit-ton and doing inappropriate things to say the least. Then we focus on Kinsey and her issues with her school and friends. Last but not least Zach strikes and the kids are left to defend themselves. What key will be the end result in this battle?

Good: The pacing picks up big time in the 2nd half, finally moving towards a big
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.

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!
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gn, horror, scribd
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.
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.
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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. ...more

Other books in the series

Locke & Key (6 books)
  • Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)
  • Head Games (Locke & Key, #2)
  • Keys to the Kingdom (Locke & Key, #4)
  • Clockworks (Locke & Key, #5)
  • Alpha & Omega (Locke & Key, #6)
“Don't ever have children, Tyler, unless you're ready to be afraid everyday for the rest of your life.” 65 likes
“I think if you cheat in a ethics class then there's really no hope for you.” 9 likes
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