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Three Dark Crowns #4

Five ​Dark Fates

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After the grim confrontation with Queen Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, and it is up to Arsinoe to find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist lies heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Katharine’s reign remains intact—for now. When Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce, Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share. But as the two circle each other, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested. But the fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens. It always has.

452 pages, Hardcover

First published September 3, 2019

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About the author

Kendare Blake

38 books54.9k followers
So, I write books. The Anna Dressed in Blood duo is horror, The Goddess War trilogy is mythology, and Three Dark Crowns is fantasy, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like ALL THESE BODIES and a new fantasy series, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and how if you threw a party you would see that the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,079 reviews
Profile Image for Cesar.
366 reviews237 followers
February 26, 2020
2 stars.

Since Five Dark Fates was announced a year ago, a lot of people, including myself, were anticipating the finale while wanting to know who will be the one true queen.

With the book finally released, does Five Dark Fates give us a great finale, or does it suffer from being a dull finale?

Sadly, for me, it's the latter.

Five Dark Fates sets up the story and characters to conclude the ongoing threat against Katherine, the rebels, and the Mist surrounding Fennbrin. Major obstacles are in the way of our queens and each one has a responsibility to quell said obstacles. But with a myriad of characters, a plot that seems to drag on, and slow pacing, Five Dark Fates does not make an excellent finale. I was not disappointed as there were parts I did like, but there were parts I did not like. I would say that I thought it was an OK finale.

Where I think this series excels at is the world-building and lore. Since the first book, I have been in love with the world of Three Dark Crowns. An island surrounded by mist inhabited by people with magic powers and with its religion and myth, the island of Fennbirn is a world I could get lost in for days. Especially in the novella about the Oracle Queen (titled The Oracle Queen) where we get to know what happened all those years ago adds to the world. With the talk of powers and the Goddess they workship, the island of Fennbirn is a unique world. It may be outshined by other fantasy settings, but it's a world I still enjoy nonetheless.

But while the world-building is something I like, the characters and pacing are what holds the series back.

The pacing has always been an issue with the series as I've seen lots of people complain about it. The issue with the pacing is that the story takes a lot of build-up to certain plot points and while that isn't a bad thing overall if the build-up is slow and doesn't add much to the plot, it can be a dull experience and makes the reading time slow. Five Dark Fates suffers this as do the other books. 300 pages of talking, planning, and a few moments of fast-paced scenes, the last 100 pages are when things do start to pick up and that does not make for a good story, let alone a finale. Build up is important, especially if there is a lot to unpack, but having the last 100 pages be the point where the plot quickens, it does not sit well with me.

And because this is a quartet, the build-up can be very slow. I will give credit where credit is due and say that Kendare Blake does know when to move around scenes that highlight important plot points.

For the characters, I'm very mixed about a few. As many of you know, Mirabella is my favorite out of the three because she's the most level-headed queen and is not afraid to show her true emotions, especially around her sisters. Then there's Katharine, my other favorite, who is very morally gray in her decisions that I came to like her a lot for her brutal honesty.

It's the other two characters, Arsinoe and Jules that I have an issue with. From the beginning, Jules was a character I did not understand. Why is she here? And why does she get more time than Arsinoe, one of the queens? Her involvement is later revealed as the series progresses but that did not make me like her. Rather, I found her to be a redundant character whose only sole purpose is to be a conflict between the sisters and the poisoners. Then there's Arsinoe and I found her to be quite dull compared to Mirabella and Katharine. She fits the archetype of the tomboy princess which isn't bad but you've seen them once, you've seen them all.

Also, fuck Emilia.

The biggest issue with Five Dark Fates is how it ended in the last 150 pages. I will go into detail about that in a spoiler section, but everything that had happened leading up to the ending could've been solved in many different ways. The conflict between the four characters is that to them, there is only one way to solve a problem when in reality, there could've been more solutions but relies heavily on one solution that results in even more conflict. The answers are right there in front of the characters but they choose to make things more difficult.

By the end of it all, I could not understand many of their reasonings and decisions.

But here are my biggest issues with Five Dark Fates:

As a whole, the Three Dark Crown series is an interesting series of triplets competing in a fight to the death for the crown, but the many issues it has dampens any enjoyment of the story. I don't think it's a bad series overall, and I still love the world and lore, its flaws are what prevents me from enjoying it even more.
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,048 reviews1,381 followers
Shelved as 'lost-interest'
December 19, 2020
Looks like this is a One Fat Disappointment!

I am not into YA books anymore except for a very few titles, I forgot most of the details in the last 3 books and I saw spoilers and reviews for this one and it does not look encouraging! Unfortunately moving this one for my Lost-Interest shelf!!
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
980 reviews853 followers
February 18, 2020
An incredibly weak ending to such a promising series. (Not to mention an upsetting and polarizing one?) Literally all of my expectations fell through like dominos in the second half.

Pacing: ★★★
Character arcs:


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Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
252 reviews852 followers
October 1, 2019
05 Sep. '19
My other reviews for:
Three Dark Crowns | One Dark Throne | Two Dark Reigns

This book in a nutshell:

confused? read 1 | 2 | 3

Overall, it’s a two-star series for me.
Hoboy. Where do we even begin with this?

I thought I'd be nice and start with the positives. Most of them had to do with the expectations, predictions, and questions [[which you can read at the end of this review]] that I had for this book. Unfortunately, even the positive points came with an execution that I found lacking, making it difficult for me to count them as major winning points.

I will go into some detail, so be warned of HUGE untagged spoilers. If you have not finished the book, I advise you not to read this review further--unless you don't mind knowing major plot developments and character deaths.

First positive is in terms of pulling punches. I predicted that Katharine would die, preferably in an attempt to redeem herself--which happens to also be the only ending I would deem acceptable for her. On this front, the author did not disappoint. What was, in the previous book, an abhorrent and utterly unsympathetic character (for me, at least), was a little easier to swallow in Five Dark Fates.
However, the character went through a complete 180 change--yes, even when the dead queens were still inside her. She was supposed to be all dark, merciless ... but all of that completely disappeared in this series finale.
In the previous books, we were led to believe that it was the dead queens who had control over Katharine; that she acted under their malice and only sometimes bits of the "true" Katharine would pop to the surface. Here, it seemed the complete opposite. In fact, Katharine was often arguing and internally fighting with the dead queens herself. Why could she not do this before? Save herself and Pietyr the trouble of that whole "low magic" bullshit?

Still related to major deaths, yes, I did say that in order to remain consistent, Mirabella must die. However, the meaning of her death, the true meaning of sacrifice, was completely undermined by her death being nothing more than a force of hand.
Instead of our characters having to make an important decision--i.e. let the mist kill everyone on the island, or let their beloved sister die--Katharine was literally forced to kill her so that the dead queens wouldn't use her as their next avatar.


What it sums down to is that the author needed and wanted to pull all these punches, but not at the expense of our main protagonists' morality . She wanted our three sisters to remain pure, even when it would have been far more logical (and be much more interesting) to the plot if they were morally ambiguous.
All major deaths, even during battles (what little there was of it), were at the hands of tertiary characters or, as the case of Katharine-Mirabella, under such extreme conditions that they were forced into it and had no agency or choice in the matter. Don't do that. Don't strip your character off of agency, not for major developments such as this.

The second positive ... I guess almost all my predictions came true? Only that Arsinoe did not take the crown--Jules did, because despite my giving the benefit of the doubt, it turns out Jules is indeed the Authorial Golden Child.

So that brings me to all the complaints I have for this book.

Most of them are still the same as my complaints for the previous books. Inconsistent characters, inconsistent world-building and internal logic , the story progressing solely through one plot device after another ... so I won't go into all that again. You can read my previous reviews if you're really curious.

Let me instead gripe to you about the individual plot devices that I . just . couldn't . with this book in particular, and the series in general.

First of all ...

The Mist.

Questions as to its origins were answered in the previous book, but THIS book was a huge disappointment in that it contributed nothing in terms of further answers or insights. There was a theory in regards to why it came back (i.e. it wanted the dead queens inside of Katharine) ... but this theory was left hanging; neither confirmed nor denied.

The thing with this series is that every answer provided to explain any plot point were so poorly thought-out, or poorly executed, that they only came with more questions and inconsistencies .

How did the mist return? If it did come for the dead queens, why on earth did it not actually do anything about them? And more importantly, why would it attack civilians?!
None of the above was addressed at all. All the mist did was hang around, sometimes coming, sometimes going ... mainly coming only when the author needed some external factor to propel the plot further or add tension/danger when required. Just one poor plot device in a world of plot devices.


Plot device number two.


I said it before: The blue queen side-plot was the only thing that kept me going in Two Dark Reigns. You can tell it was only a plot device, because this entire storyline WENT ALL THE WAY TO ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE in this book. And if you can't tell, yes, that enrages me.

It wasn't wrapped up, wasn't explained, was not anything! We were given perhaps half a chapter where Arsinoe tries to find Daphne again in that cave to enlist her help, and it turns out she was just gone. Where? How? When? Why? No idea!

Give me a break. You cannot expect your readers to just brush it aside with a shrug. Oh well. Guess we don't need that plot device anymore. Girl, bye.

And speaking of plot devices we no longer need ...

Correct. It wasn't a curse; it was a plot device.

The Legion Curse.

I honestly don't even know how to start with this one. Like I said, I gave the author the benefit of the doubt, so I'm immensely disappointed at just how much of a Golden Child Jules turned out to be . The author didn't dare put any of her characters through any moral trials; she wanted them all to remain pure and untainted for us readers to like (guess what, it didn't work) -- but Jules takes the cake. The only times Jules does anything "bad" is when she is literally insane due to her "curse".

The "Legion Curse" is not only the bowl of water for Jules to wash her hands clean, but also when it could have been used as the perfect opportunity for the author to present any significant character sacrifices, she takes the easy route and suddenly drops it like it was the entire Blue Queen sideplot.
And no, breaking her leg at the very end of the novel and forced to walk with a limp for perhaps the rest of her (off-screen) life is not considered a "significant sacrifice" in terms of character arc.

Now that Madrigal is dead, Jules has digressed into a beast, ready to strike at anyone and anything. A large part of the beginning of this book was therefore spent on Arsinoe "binding" Jules' Legion Curse, effectively tethering it to Emilia. In order to win the final battle, Jules untethers herself and unleashes the full extent of her power. And afterwards ... well, you saw the screenshot of the quote above. It has fulfilled its purpose in plot-progression, and so must magically disappear for lack of a better conclusion.

But since I've mentioned Arsinoe ...

Low Magic.

I will let Arsinoe explain, in her own words, how low magic works:

"It's not about thinking. (...) It's about feeling. About instinct."

So, how does she know what she needs to do to tether Jules's Legion Curse? How does she know what to do in order to wake Pietyr up? Plot device, that's how.

The same is also true for the seer and their gifts. They can see the future, except when they can't. Someone can read minds, except when he can't. It's all so convenient and does not follow any set of defined rules or limitations, the whole book is one giant dei ex machina .

Another thing about low magic is that they keep on harping on about how it "comes at a price", but to this day, there has been no price paid. They tried to brush it off as Madrigal's death was the price Madrigal had to pay for using low magic but what kind of lame-arse attempt of a justification is this? Everyone dies eventually, regardless. It's not much of a price if you have to pay it whether or not you use low magic. It's not as though she had to suffer, lose things during her lifetime.
On the other hand, they also tried to pass off Mirabella's death as the price Arsinoe had to pay? Why is it that for one person, their own death is the price, but for another, it's someone close to them?
The whole explanation is so convoluted and forced, it only makes it ever more clear that the author only wanted a one-liner consequence to explain why nobody messes with low magic (because we can't have everyone practicing low magic, otherwise Arsinoe wouldn't be so speshul) ... but never clearly thought out or wanted to follow-through with said consequence for her special characters.

I briefly mentioned Pietyr above, now let me revisit that can of worms.


If you read my "Expectations for this book", you would know that one of them was that I expect him to remain dead.

Spoiler alert: He did not.

What does this mean? This means his "sacrifice" at the end of Two Dark Reigns is rendered null and void. This means that the whole ending of the last book was just a cheap ploy to get fangirls all riled up and crying but, like everything else, the author didn’t have the courage to stick with that sacrifice. What was even the purpose of his waking up again? Nothing. He served no purpose to the plot nor its progression.

He was comatose almost the entire time, Katharine's healers trying to wake him to no avail. When Katharine holds Billy hostage, Emilia retaliates by kidnapping Pietyr in return. Never mind how ridiculously simple it was for one person to kidnap someone from a supposedly heavily-guarded tower, Arsinoe manages to wake him up with her low magic, and when he wakes up ... Pietyr is suddenly on their side and just about ready to kill the entire queensguard.

I know I promised I wouldn't go into character inconsistencies again ... but I just wanted to get that out there.

The Plot.

At the end of the day, everything just reads so juvenile; as though written for children with little attention spans who would be happy to let go of this plot point and that plot point without asking any questions ... a story about young adult characters with the mental capacity of middle-graders; getting into schoolyard fights one day, but when they meet face-to-face the next day, all's forgotten and forgiven.

The pacing absolutely dragged. A lot of scenes were unnecessary, filled with idle dialogue about things we already know. But since I only have 300 or so characters left in this review space, I'll need to wrap up. You can always read more of my thoughts on this book in my reading progress updates down below. I'll end by saying that I was immensely disappointed at the amount of potential this series had, and how little it actually pulled through.

21 Apr. '19
My other reviews for:
Three Dark Crowns | One Dark Throne | Two Dark Reigns

My expectations for this book:

1. Mirabella must die
It does not please me to say this, because if I had to choose One Sister to Rule Them All, it would be M.
But, if the author wants to remain consistent with the "prophecy" the Blue Queen left behind; if she isn't afraid to pull any punches; if this series is to end with any depth or meaning, then Mirabella must die.

2. Jules needs to be a villain
By "villain", I mean her insanity must be fore- and front-most. It needs to be embraced, known, a driving point of the plot. A threat to Fennbirn's existence.
And not in the is-still-redeemable-at-the-end way, either. It was said that Legion-cursed people would lose their mind; this rule must also remain consistent with Jules, otherwise she is nothing more than an authorial Golden Child.

3. Pietyr must remain dead
Please do not undermine the gravitas of his sacrifice in the previous book by having him somehow returned to life.

My predictions for this book:

1. Mirabella tries to unite all her sisters. They probably end up trying to defeat Jules / save Fennbirn from her madness.

2. Katharine dies maybe in an attempt to redeem herself. This would be the only ending I deem acceptable for her.

3. Arsinoe takes the crown.

4. The mist is destroyed / gone, and Fennbirn re-connects with the rest of the world. The tradition with the whole pitting-sisters-to-the-death thing will be put aside.

Questions that must be answered by the end of this series:

1. WTF is Braddock and why/how is he still tame despite Arsinoe no longer using low magic on him?! I cannot take this point seriously, since it only highlights what a special cookie Arsinoe is.

2. The side-point in either Book 1 or Book 2 that Mirabella kept having dreams about her sister (when she was supposed to have forgotten all about them) kind of went to nothing. I still want to know why the f*** she was having these memory-dreams. And no, I do not want to have to read a novella to find out.

3. Still wondering why, in Three Dark Crowns when Jack's rooster pecked/ingested Arsinoe's blood, and Madrigal who handled Arsinoe's blood several different times, didn't die. Arsinoe is clearly a powerful poisoner. If Katharine (who is not even a true Poisoner - only possessed by the spirits of some poisoners) kills men who simply has sex with her, then Arsinoe's bodily fluids should also prove just as lethal.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
1,101 reviews804 followers
May 21, 2021
Welp it’s taken well over a year for me to get around to finishing this, and I must say I’m thoroughly upset.

This ending was nothing I wanted, nor anything I needed.

*Review to come?*
Profile Image for Catherine.
406 reviews137 followers
October 31, 2019
0,5) Queens of Fennbirn ★★★★☆
1) Three Dark Crowns ★★★★☆
2) One Dark Throne ★★★★☆
3) Two Dark Reigns ★★★★☆

I think this finale book will be very polarizing for every reader who liked the Three Dark Crowns series until then: either it was what you wanted or it wasn't. Yes, there will be 3 stars ratings like always, but I think that mostly we have the ones who will give it 4 stars: good finale, makes sense, it was what they expected from the conclusion and the ones like me giving it 2 stars: we really liked this book series and yes, some things from this ending were predictable so we're not shocked, but we still don't have to like it, plus some things aren't explained and we're left with a feeling of "all that for this".

What disappointed me the most was that we were expecting to have know more about The Mist (yes, they began in the previous book, but I wanted to know more, to have explanations...) and the Blue Queen storyline from the previous book (for which we have no answer at all). In terms of world-building, this series wasn't the best, but I always loved every novel despite its flaws because there were other things to make up for it and because I expected the author to give us answers and explanations in the last book, which isn't the case at all. It's really disappointing, because many people gave up on this series because of its flaws, and when you still faithfully stay an enthusiastic fan of the books, you don't want to be let down in the end. The previous book was my favorite (I know it's not a popular opinion among every fan of the series) because it really showed how much potential this series had. The last book showed that said potential would go to waste.

Now, the rest is BIG spoilers, so don't click if you haven't read Five Dark Fates.

Profile Image for Suzzie.
917 reviews162 followers
October 9, 2019

Good finale to a great series that I highly enjoyed. It moves at a good pace and the characters we have read and watched developed over the last three books come to head fairly quickly. The action was intriguing but the real intensity comes from the dead queens. Overall, a satisfying final book!
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
552 reviews399 followers
April 29, 2023
4,5 Sterne

Auch der finale Band dieser Tetralogie, die einst eine Dilogie war, bekommt von mir wieder beinahe 5 Sterne.

Das Buch hatte alles was ich mir von einem solchen finale erwarte. Es wurden Fragen geklärt, Beziehungen aufgearbeitet und am Ende lief alles auf einen großen Showdown hinaus. Es war stellenweise unerwartet blutig und brutal, aber auch emotional und am Ende gab es Opfer - erwartete sowie unerwartete. Der Spannungsbogen war für mich wieder sehr konstant gespannt. Die Längen, die manche beim Lesen empfunden haben, sind an mir vorbei gegangen. Ich habe mich zu keiner Zeit gelangweilt.

Im Ganzen fand ich allein die Grundidee der Reihe schon grandios. Ich habe mich so gerne in diese Fantasywelt fallen lassen. Eine Welt der verschiedenen Gaben und der starken weiblichen Charaktere. Auch die Ausarbeitung der Historie und des Glaubens empfand ich als absolute Bereicherung für die Story.

Das Ende der Reise unserer Königinnen konnte mich durchaus zufriedenstellen, auch wenn ich mir an der ein oder anderen Stelle ein wenig mehr Erklärung oder Einblick in die jeweilige Gefühlswelt eines Charakters gewünscht hätte. Bleibt mir abschließend nichts zu sagen/schreiben, außer dass ich die Insel Fennbirn inklusive all ihrer Bewohner (an dieser Stelle auch nochmal ganz viel Liebe an die Tiergefährten!) wirklich vermissen werde!
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
799 reviews2,833 followers
November 16, 2019
My emotions! 😭 I don't know what I feel yet! Lol I need to let this one marinate for a while. So much happened to the queens and their family and friends over the past 4 books. One thing is for sure... I'm glad I read it.

Buddy Read with Natalie & Misha
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,110 reviews6,576 followers
October 28, 2019
“Three dark sisters rise to fight.”

representation: disability rep (amputation of a hand and a leg), f/f rep.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 3 . 5 s t a r s *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

This series was so much fun, but this last book had SO MANY PLOT HOLES. I'm still left with so many questions even though the entire thing is over. Mainly,

I enjoyed the series overall though, but I'm holding out hope that there will be another novella or two released that take place after this book!

trigger warnings: death of loved ones, blood, blood magic through cutting, gore, fire, torture, murder, animal death (not the ones we really care about though), amputation of limbs.

Huge thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy!
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,003 reviews1,211 followers
August 16, 2021
We have a title and book cover!

I hope this series will continue to be good. *groans*

Plus the Taiwanese book cover is still lovely...

And here is my fanart for Queen Illiann, the legendary Blue Queen from generations ago before the main story starts.

(Link: https://www.deviantart.com/darkchildr...)

Premise: The rebels and the Queen Crowned and her supporters are still locked in a struggle to determine who is the rightful queen of the island Fennbrin: the poisoner Queen Crowned Katharine the Undead, or Julie, the Legion Queen backed by the rebels?

In secret, Katharine was plagued by the ghosts of the dead former queens, who couldn't be satisfied until they could have a stronger vessel to hold them: the Katharine's older sister, the powerful exiled queen Mirabella, was their next target.

Meanwhile, the deadly Mist is still plaguing the Island, when the solution of the Mist lies in the sacrifice of one queen, what will the three queenly sisters and Julie do?

Actual review here:

I do hope there will be more stories from this series, but Ms. Blake doesn't seem to be the type to spin sequel after sequel just to please the readers, let just wait and see!

I like that Ms. Blake continues to allow her main characters to stay dead to the end (Okay, okay, exempt , much to my disappointment), more authors should take her example.

Still, I'm not entirely happy with the world building and how the revolution is set into motion, I just don't think it's realistic for the islanders with a 1000 plus years of tradition of believing their Queens are sacred daughters of their Goddess to shift their loyalty to another 'queen' backed by the rebels when said 'queen' didn't have any royal blood in her (still I'm glad that Julie didn't suddenly find herself having queenblood or being the secret daughter of the former Queen, that's too cliche). Arguably you can say the islanders are fed up by the poisoners and their regime but to be honest I don't see the poisoners are doing that badly a job at ruling the island to a point of enraging half of the population to rebel against them. I honestly think the rebels would have to work on their plan for at least a few years before they can openly put Julie to the front as their Legion Queen and rebel against the current Queen Crowned.

Secondly, you can also argue that Katharine is a very unpopular queen and the islanders are doubtful of her right to rule when the Mist and the other bad omens come so they are happy to get rid of her and gather around another queen. Still, to be honest I can't see how all these doubts and the longing for change can take root that quickly within one year of time. Sighs.

Most of the main characters might not be so great or outstanding as individual, for example I don't like how Arsinoe reacts to Billy being captured. Sighs, why must you behave so childishly in the time of crisis!? That's unbecoming.

Still, I do like how Arsinoe works low magic and uses it as her weapon against Katharine and the Mist, etc.

However, I do like how this bunch of characters working together to move the story forward, and I think their actions and choices are reasonable for most of the time.

Strangely enough, Pietyr Renard (or Pietyr Arron) also grows on me through the series and especially in this book, I like reading about how he interacts with the rebels. XD

Last but not least, I'm still rooting so hard for Julie/Arsinoe even though Billy did grow on me more.
Profile Image for Alexandra Elend Wolf.
615 reviews269 followers
January 20, 2020
“Those scars you have,’ Emilia says, ‘that you would hide behind a mask. They are the fiercest part of you. Now let us earn a few more.’”

That was a rollercoaster of emotions for sure.

Going into the book I only had one wish for it. A fierce wish that I was not prepared to let go of. That is until I realized that in order for me to actually love the ending, to feel like it made it justice, I needed that wish destroyed. So, I changed my wish -and boy was that a drastic, 180, change - and it made easier to bear the tension.

The fact that the ending was so completely different than what I thought, on any of the two occasions, that I wanted, made me really like the book. Because that ending made a certain, deafening, kind of sense.

I'm not saying the ending was quite perfect, there were a few things I want more off, but it was really good. On brand.

“But you did. And you broke her heart. I’d hate you for that already, even if you hadn’t also broken part of mine.”

After the way Two Dark Reigns left off I didn't quite know how I wanted everything to go. I had, quite certainly, no more than one expectation and that also for just two characters. Everyone else I was just gonna see what we were given and decide if I liked it or not.

Largely I did.

I realized soon enough that for the ending to feel proper and right there needed to be a lot of suffering and tears and darkness -after all the premises of these books is a dark one... from literally every book. Epicness, a large confrontation, was also in order.

Usually, I wish for happy endings for my characters but that didn't feel like an ending that was gonna be satisfactory here. It needed to leave me a little hollow.

“Broken-hearted and a fool. I should have known what she was becoming. I should have always been afraid of her. Yet how could I when she was not a monster to me?”

Let's start peacing things together.

Mirabella's arc story was the one is was probably less excited about. It wasn't bad, exactly, but it didn't enchant me or completely thrilled me until the end. Her decisions were... hard. She was trying to do what she could, what she thought was the best, to help everyone. I like the irony of how that ended.

Her relationship with Katharine, though, is one I wasn't a complete fan of. I just feel like it didn't quite make sense to me. Maybe if it had been left to stew a little longer I would like a bit more. As it is, I can see how it could work like that.

Katharine's -who I had called Katherine till I realized it wasn't like that in this book - arc is my favorite, I think, by far. No, she wasn't my favorite character, though I do like her quite a bit, but her story was the most interesting of all of them. How it ends is one of my favorite parts of the book.

Arsinoe's ending was good. I certainly liked it. But I, too, feel like something was a little lacking. No, correct that, it's more that things didn't quite happen the way I was exp0ecting them to happen and, therefore, the impact they made hit differently than I expected.

And, of course, we also have Jules' arc. Even now I'm not sure how I liked that. I'll say that I've made my peace with it. I don't dislike it but I'm not sure how much sense it makes... In a way, I feel like it was pushed down my throat. If some hints of what was going to happen had been sprinkled from the beginning I would like it more.

“Nothing is more complicated than rescuing someone who has no wish to be rescued.”

That's the thing. Even though the series is over I still have so many questions.

Questions about the lore of the island. The goddess, who seems like a very interesting entity, is hardly explained at all. And a lot of things happen that seem suspicious and are never explained. And what about all the things happening in the last book?

I had theories, ideas, and hunches about the lore of the world but we never got deep enough into that for me to even finish formulating them. I thought we would have to get down to that in order to explain the ending of this book, of this series, but it did not happen.

Instead, we only got more confusing additions to it that make no sense whatsoever except to make the plot go in the direction Blake wanted it to go. Things that seem to make no sense because we don't even have parameters to check with.

That such a loss. This world could have been so much more if properly explored and explained. It could have made the story so much richer.

“And you know that I loved you, don’t you, Junior? You know that I always will.”

Even through all that I'm satisfied enough with the ending of things.

It managed to accomplish all the things I wanted and make it fit well enough together. It was certainly better than I feared it was gonna be.

“But nothing is forever, of course. Not even on Fennbirn, where for an age the mist held time itself hostage. Eventually, the priestesses would let the fires go out. Then they would be lit again on festival days or on the days commemorating the battle. And one day, there would be no flames at all.”

Well, that was surprisingly way more rewarding than I thought it was gonna be.

I actually really liked the ending.

I was so incredibly hesitant to start this book and I think that helped a bit - the fact that I had incredibly low expectations and was open to see what the book had to offer - and, therefore, I actually really enjoyed it... I'm as surprised as the next person. Believe me.


Time to finish this series.

I don't what, exactly, I'm looking for here. I supposed a very epic finale is in order and, perhaps, something that feels more like the second book than the last one did.

Something that makes sense and feels true to the story.

I'm excited to see Arsione again and, in general, the three Queens that managed to steal my heart and I have an idea of how I wat their stories to end... I'll probably be disappointed if it doesn't happen.

We'll see, I guess.
Profile Image for Ashley.
830 reviews485 followers
September 24, 2019
Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars

Wow. I actually loved this so much & thought it was a crazy ride, but a rather well-fitting ending for the series. A few things I didn’t like, but maybe I’m just more critical of finales :-P

Maybe a more detailed RTC ? Who knows.

I feel so... off. As do I always when something has ended permanently.
Profile Image for Sylvie .
686 reviews961 followers
May 4, 2020
2.75 out of 5 stars.


Me: Minding my own business by reading the book that I'm currenty reading.
Brain: "Do you know which series your book's title sounds similair to?"
Me: "Thr..."
Brain: "Do you know what you should do?"
Me: *sighs* "What?"
Brain: "I think you should start reading that for 3 reasons: 1) You'll be finished with the series. 2) Deep deep down you miss the characters. and 3) You can hop into a new series without feeling guilty"
Me: "Alright, fine!! But I'm going into it with no expectations whatsoever, and I'm not trying to sound cynical."
Brain: "Are you though?"
Me murmuring to myself: "Unbelievable." 😑

So I guess I'm reading this now too apperantely.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,425 reviews215 followers
December 2, 2019

Five Dark Fates tortured me. Gave me false ass hope... and then crushed all of my damn dreams. I wasn't expecting the ending I got.. and I seriously have no idea how to wrap my mind around it. Low-key, I took my sweet ass time with this book, adding comments, and writing this review because it completely mindfucked me. Again, wasn't expecting any of this to go the way it did.

First off, I have no idea if I will ever be able to recover from who died. No, I won't go into details about who it was or why it happened.. or how my heart shattered either. It hurt so much that I don't want to even think about it. Ugh, this book definitely killed my black soul.

ALL I'm going to say is I wanted certain things to go a certain god damn way and Kendare just shat all over it. I knew someone was going to die.. BUT NOT THE PEOPLE THAT ACTUALLY DID. Hot damn, still shocked from the whole thing. I hate my life and this book and wanted a different ending.

Overall, people die - get over it (for me because I never will).
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,526 reviews
September 4, 2019

I had such high hopes for this series. F*CK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't believe that was how it ended. I am so freaking disappointed.


UGH. I knew I shouldn't've read this series. I had a gut feeling that I would be heartbroken and I was right. I should not have let myself get involved in this series. FUCK.
Profile Image for Jessica {Litnoob}.
1,194 reviews89 followers
September 9, 2019
It makes me really happy how solid a conclusion this book was. We were left with four queens and no clear end path in sight. And immediately we are back in the thick of it, with lines of allegiance shifting constantly and the powers that are in play growing with every day.

Every loss was a powerful one and we had time to cope before we had to face another. I even appreciate that the curses end was as I assumed it would be. All in all I was very damn pleased with all the pain this book brought to me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kathy.
15 reviews6 followers
September 7, 2019
Let me preface this review by saying this: I loved this series. I gave Three Dark Crowns four stars. One Dark Throne and Two Dark Reigns were five star reads for me. But, Five Dark Fates is another story. Maybe if I had not loved those first three books as much, I would not have been as disappointed as I am now.

The first half of the story was strong. The political intrigue and character dynamics were top-notch. It is what I have come to appreciate about this series- that it is not afraid to be dark.
Our four queens have their own agendas full of betrayal, heartbreak, and retribution. However, the second half of this series not only felt rushed, but the characters seemed to make decisions that felt extremely out of character.

I loved the way Kendare wrote Mirabella’s and Katharine’s relationship. It would have felt extremely out of place for Kat to immediately trust Mirabella or for Mirabella to forgive Kat for all her cruelty. Their relationship wasn’t forced; it grew reluctantly, but these queens are sisters above all else.

Blake doesn’t shy away from death; it should have been obvious from book one that people were going to die- our queens were never safe. That being said, some of these deaths were undeserving and anticlimactic. Mirabella’s death felt so underwhelming for such a great character. She was a beloved queen, one of the most powerful in the entire history of Fennbirn. Her death felt like a cheap way for the rebellion to seem like the “heroes” in this series and to label Katharine as a mad queen.

The beauty of these characters is that they blur the lines between a typical good or bad character. They have all done their share of atrocities, some more than others. Furthermore, Blake kept flip-flopping between her portrayal of Kat. Kat is as morally complex as a character can be. Labelling her as a villain completely erases the fact that Kat wanted and was trying to be a good queen; she was a result of the life-altering decisions made by others around her including Queen Camille, the Arrons, and Pietyr. She was left to be raised as a poisoner queen, having to endure years of poison training that ultimately left her scarred and afraid. She was thrown down the Breccia Domain where she was once again made a puppet queen. In the end, she died saving her sister; even after she had kissed the only boy Kat had ever loved. It seems a great injustice that Kat will be remembered as a monster, especially since she had offered a truce to Arsinoe and Mirabella- a chance for peace.

Another thing to note is the horrible characterization of Pietyr. Pietyr gave up on Katharine so easily; he who traveled to the Breccia Domain and performed low magic to try to save her. He who did not put up a fight when Arsinoe told him she would kill Kat. He who did not try to save Kat in her last moments or believed she was beyond any help.

Also, it seems redundant that Jules will most likely remain the Legion Queen and ruler of Fennbirn. That there will still be a Black Council. I thought the whole point of the rebellion was to oust corruption and to have all the people heard. It seemed that they don’t mind having a monarchy as long as the rulers aren’t poisoners. It feels so hypocritical and pointless that the monarchy wasn’t destroyed completely.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Krystal.
1,658 reviews383 followers
November 15, 2019
Well this sure was full of some dark twists and turns!!

The fourth and final book and can I just address the fact that this is called FIVE Dark Fates when
a) we haven't had FOUR anything yet
b) there are three queens - four if you count Jules - so whose fates are we talking about?

Also YES I have read this book and still have no idea which five fates this book is referring to. But YES there are some dark ones. Yikes.

WARNING: This review contains uncensored spoilers for the previous three books in the series.


Look, I can't remember my feelings towards Jules way back in book one but MY GOD SHE'S ANNOYING. Where did she even come from? Why is she even part of this story as anything more than Arsinoe's sidekick? And don't even get me started on Emilia. I got NO TIME for these whiny, 'I am super important' ladies right now. Go arm wrestle or something.

I think it hurt most because Arsinoe is such a sass queen but these two girls reduce her to an eager-to-please shell. She's so much more interesting when she's just doing whatever the heck she wants and pretending she has zero feelings for Billy who is obviously the love of all of our lives. Bless you, Junior.

Mira has been a fave from the start and while she's still pretty badass, she's gone a bit more, 'I love my sisters no matter what' and it's all a little too high-road for me. Where is the back stabbing and the fire and storms and general mayhem? *sigh* Tell you what, though ...

QUEEN KATHERINE THE UNDEAD IS A SAVAGE. Again, not quite as villainous as I wanted but she's so creepy and dark and I just have the greatest fun picturing her as this pale, nasty, venomous QUEEN. I still don't get her love for P-Diddy though?? Girl, he pushed you down a chasm. Why you still like him? Poisoners, man. *shakes head*

All in all it felt a little slow and underwhelming - not quite the grand finale I was hoping for - but it still had some fantastic dark moments unexpected thrills and chills. Everything felt pretty neatly tied up, and I am content with this ending.

I still want more, though.

Spin off, please? :D
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
114 reviews405 followers
September 28, 2019
I’m conflicted because of my emotional investment in the characters and general approval of the conclusion, but much like the last two seasons of GoT, this book suffers from the pacing.
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
294 reviews431 followers
February 11, 2021
3.5 STARS!!


So it's been a couple of days since I finished this and I think I finally know what to rate it. The first half of this book was kind of slow, but the second half was SO FAST PACED. I just wanted to know how everything would end.

I think whether you liked this book or not comes down to the plot and the ending. I read many reviews saying they did not like the end, which I do agree with. But it didn't make me hate this book like it did to others.

Also, while I did hate Katherine, I slowly started not to mind her as much. I'm not really sure how to word this, but I guess I did not hate her as much. I think you're supposed to like her and feel bad for her, but I don't know why I just didn't. However, towards the end, I did start to like her character a tiny bit more.

I have so many other things I want to say but are all spoilers. It definitely will just be me ranting and will not be coherent, so I apologise.

Overall, had it not been for the ending this book would have received a higher rating. I still really enjoyed reading this and will definitely be sad to see these characters and this story go.
Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
503 reviews742 followers
January 21, 2021
I have so many feelings!
I really like this series and I am so sad it's over! I've read the first 3 books last year, but because I am HORRIBLE with finishing seires I've only read this last one now!

I love this characters! Out of all the three queens, Arsinoe is for sure my favourite! I like Kat too, but during the series she has done some questionable things that made me like less and have conflicting feelings about her. I never really liked Mirabella though. I just found her annoying and I could never connect with her as I connected with Arsinoe and Kat. I love Billy, he will forever remain one of my favourite love interests!

The plot was so good! I loved it! I got sucked in the book so fast! Ah, I can't believe this series is over. I am kinda sad about how this book ended, and if you know, you know.

I love this series with my whole heart and if you have not read it yet, I highly recommend you do!
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,271 reviews235 followers
October 6, 2019
I've marked this review as spoilery, because it's going to be full of spoilers for both this individual book, and the series in general. If you want a spoiler-free opinion - it's a great finish to a fantastic series.

Now, to the spoilery opinions!

It's been one hell of a journey to get here, and the overall quality of this series is absolutely upheld in Five Dark Fates. There's a lot of YA out there - I've started many series, but these days it's rare for me to finish them. Too often YA can signify a drop in quality, which is doing it's audience a disservice, damn it; some of the most discerning readers I know are young, because they still have time to read! Thankfully Kendare Blake doesn't play that game; there's some incredibly adult themes on show here, and not one of them pandering.

I always knew this wasn't going to be a happy ending for everyone, though I wasn't unsatisfied with how things shook out in the end. I was surprised at how a lot of it went down, and surprisingly affected by it. It's been a couple of years since this series began and we saw Katherine at her most vulnerable; it was nice to have that reminder that I was rooting for her once, to be honest. And Mirabella - she never did quite get over being the oldest, but I was still sad to see her go.

That was one of the themes running through this book that I actually really appreciated, that will spur me to pass this on to other young women whenever I can; in the end, two sisters died, just the outcome they'd been fighting to prevent. But as one of our characters points out; the struggle was the point. Not lying back and simply accepting your fate, whether it be inevitable or not - not going gently into that good night, as it were.

In the end, it's not an entirely tidy ending, but the important loose ends were wrapped up in a satisfying way. I've got some serious feelings; and I can't say that I'm not enjoying it just a bit.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for aLirEza nEjaTi.
274 reviews
February 24, 2021
(نمی‌دونم دقیقا چند می‌دم، ممکنه 4.5 یا 4.75 باشه به‌خاطر یک‌سری ایرادات و نظراتی که برای من خوب نبودن ولی خب مشخصا اثر رو دوست داشتم)

الهه نگه‌دارمون باشه با این پایان!!!
مجموعه سه تاج شوم جزو اولین و محبوب‌ترین مجموعه‌هایی بود که از نشر باژ خوندم و همیشه برام جایگاه خودش رو داره.

طی این چهار جلد، مجموعه‌‌ی سه تاج شوم پستی‌بلندی‌های زیادی داشته و به‌نظرم توی با شروع طوفانی آغاز شد و طی جلدهای دوم و سوم ضعیف شد و توی جلد آخر دوباره طوفانی ظاهر شد.
پنج سرنوشت شوم دقیقا از ادامه‌ی ‌جلد قبلی شروع می‌شه و روایت ملکه‌‌های فنبرن رو ادامه می‌ده که بحبوحه جنگ و صلح‌ خودشون هستن؛ اتفاقاتی می‌افته، اتحادها عوض می‌شن، علایق تغغیر می‌کنن و خون‌هایی ریخته می‌شه.

از ریتم تقریبا سریع نویسنده راضی‌ام چراکه دوست ندارم نویسنده الکی کش بده داستان رو یا حتی زیادی سریع بره جلو که نفهمیم. اما این ریتم رو دوست داشتم،گاها سریع می‌شد تا به جاهای هیجانی برسه، گاها هم کند می‌ره تا اجازه ن��س‌کشیدن بهمون بده.

شخصیت‌پردازی طی کل مجموعه‌ی سه تاج شوم به‌خوبی انجام می‌شه و نه‌تنها با تک‌تک ملکه‌‌ها به‌خوبی آشنا می‌شیم، می‌تونیم با شخصیت‌های تقریبا فرعی هم به‌اندازه‌ی کافی آشنا بشیم و هیجانات و تفکرات حاکم بر شخصیت‌شون رو متوجه بشیم.

پایان مجموعه توی حدودا صد صفحه‌ی آخر کتاب اتفاق می‌افته و هیجان بالایی توی این صفحات وجود داره. یکی از مشکلات و ناتوانی‌های نویسنده توی نوشتن صحنه‌های نبرد و توصیف جنگ ارتش‌هاست (البته بهش ایراد نمی‌گیرم، الزامی نداره که بلد باشه) با این حال، نویسنده‌ی زیرک تونست با پیچوندن این صحنه‌ها و جایگزین‌کردن با صحنه‌های مهم‌تر، این ضعف خودش رو پنهان کنه. درباره‌ی خود پایان داستان هم، باتوجه به سلیقه و علاقه خودم به یکی از ملکه‌‌ها، راضی نیستم :)
صرفا چون اتفاقی که می‌خواستم برای فلانی بیفته نیفتاد!! ولی خب از نحوه نوشتن و به‌تصویردراومدن این پايان ناراضی نیستم و به‌شدت جذاب به نظرم اومد.

به دوست‌داران فانتزی، این مجموعه رو بخونید!
به دوست‌داران این مجموعه، این کتاب رو حتما بخونید!
لذت ببرید ^_^
January 18, 2020
Ahh, I forgot the enjoyment of staying up until 2am finishing a book.

This was... so good.

I’ve enjoyed this series so, so much.

I loved all the references to the other books. They kept me saying “oh yeah, that happened! that was fun!”

I really liked the ending. It felt intensely satisfying.

And the action scenes in here are incredible! And I love the characters!

I’ve adored this series. I can’t wait to see what Blake has for us next.

5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Ashley Lewis.
459 reviews88 followers
April 14, 2020
This finale was deeply satisfying for me. I know there are a lot of people out there who disagree, but it is what it is. Of course there were some issues in this final installment, but overall I loved this series and feel like it concluded well. So very glad this novel picked up after the third installment, which was a bit tedious for me.

Profile Image for Eleanor.
193 reviews144 followers
October 24, 2019
I can't believe it's over... I feel empty

I struggled to fall asleep last night.
I'm gonna miss this series and its characters so much.
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