It’s no secret that I adore Kendare and her books. There’s not a single thing she’s written that I’ve not loved. I do think that Three Dark Crowns is my favorite book of hers yet. This was so morbidly wonderful, surprising and overall wonderful. I’m excited to have Kendare here on the blog talking about one of my favorite scenes in the book- The Gave Noir.
ABOUT THREE DARK CROWNS:
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
One of the most striking scenes of TDC was The Gave Noir- a feast where the queen poisoner is expected to feast on poisoned and tainted foods and live through it. This scene was so vivid and wonderfully disturbing. Where did this idea come from??
Developing the culture of the poisoners as a whole was so fun and several things about them fascinate me: how they take such pride in the strength of their gift. How much they relish it. If you think about it, of all the gifts on the island, the poisoner gift would be the least useful to the island’s livelihood, yet having been in power for so long, the poisoners view themselves as absolutely vital. So it made sense to me that their celebrations would revolve around a show of that strength, and so they have the black glut, the Gave Noir.
To a poisoner, eating poison is a near religious experience. They turn their noses up at regular food, but their appetites for tainted food are huge! Poisoners are known for their appetites actually; they are the real culinary experts of the island. The Gave Noir was a great way to feature that, and to feature lots of fun poisons in deliciously deadly preparations.
I’m a big fan of the TV show HANNIBAL, if you didn’t know, and a big part of that show was the lovingly precise way that Dr. Lecter would…well…cook people up. It always made me SO HUNGRY, not for people of course, but what the hell, sure, for people, so I hope that some similar devious deliciousness is conveyed through the ritual poisoners’ feast.
ABOUT KENDARE BLAKE:
Kendare Blake is the author of several novels and short stories, most of which you can find information about via the links above. Her work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry. She was born in July (for those of you doing book reports) in Seoul, South Korea, but doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, as she was packed off at a very early age to her adoptive parents in the United States. That might be just an excuse, though, as she is pretty bad at learning foreign languages. She enjoys the work of Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Linklater, and the late, great Michael Jackson, I mean, come on, he gave us Thriller.
She lives and writes in Kent, Washington, with her husband, their two cat sons (Tybalt and Tyrion Cattister) and their red Doberman dog son, Obi Dog Kenobi.
3 Finished Copies of THREE DARK CROWNS (US Only)