Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

The basics

Title: Two Dark Reigns


Series: Three Dark Crowns #3

- Three Dark Crowns (2016)
- One Dark Throne (2017)
- Two Dark Reigns (2018)
- Five Dark Fates (2019)

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Goodreads Summary:

Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.

Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.

Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.

This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. The final book in the series comes out next month, and we’re excited!

what happened in Two Dark Reigns?

  • There’s a flashback in which Queen Philomene gives birth to a fourth child, which is something that very, very rarely happens. Against tradition, the Queen’s other three babies are killed, and the fourth baby is raised as the Blue Queen.
  • Katharine is worried she won’t be able to have children due to the poison running through her veins.
  • There’s a council meeting. Luca, Bree, Renata, Paola, and Rho all become part of the new council. Margaret isn’t happy with this.
  • Emilia helps Jules get back in shape after she was poisoned.
  • Emilia and Jules dine with Mathilde, an oracle. Mathilde says that Jules used to be a queen.
  • Arsinoe and Mirabella are on the continent with Billy and his family. Arsinoe goes to Joseph’s grave, falls asleep, and dreams about a ship. She wakes up, and there’s a creepy woman standing near her.
  • Katharine plans a banquet to win people – and the council – over.
  • While out riding, Katharine notices a strange mist in the harbour.
  • Emilia tells Jules that she’s one of the queens.
  • Billy plans to go to the university so he can support his family. He talks about this with Mirabella, who says she’ll take Arsinoe away if Billy wants, so she’ll stop distracting him.
  • Arsinoe rescues a dog.
  • Arsinoe has a dream about a boy and girl called Henry and Daphne. Henry becomes a suitor for the queen. Daphne asks Henry not to leave. Henry becomes angry, because Daphne tells him he has a lot more to learn. Arsinoe realises that Daphne is the founding queen.
  • Luca travels to Indrid Down. Bree tells her she’s not certain that Mirabella is dead. Luca asks Bree to help with the council stuff. Bree asks for Pepper to be brought back. Bree plans to take down the poisoners.
  • Pietyr tells Katharine to get rid of the dead queens in her head. Katharine refuses. The dead queens become more and more angry.
  • The council organises a search party to make sure Mirabella and Arsinoe are dead.
  • Jules reveals her war gift in front of an entire tavern. The people there want her to be queen.
  • The council holds a banquet, and the mist arrives. The dead crew who went looking for Mirabella and Arsinoe start coming out of the water.
  • Arsinoe tells Mirabella about her dreams. Mirabella tells Arsinoe that Henry became Queen Illian’s consort. Arsinoe says she saw the Blue Queen pointing towards Fennbirn.
  • In another dream, Arsinoe sees Daphne go with Henry to Fennbirn.
  • Luca and Genevieve inspect the dead bodies, but they can’t tell what is causing them to rise from the sea.
  • Billy dances with Arsinoe at a party. Afterwards, Arsinoe has another dream. This one is about the Beltane Festival. The queen and Daphne are now friends. Daphne sees Branden as competition for Henry.
  • Arsinoe tells Billy about her dreams, because he asks why she was saying Henry’s name in her sleep.
  • Emilia learns that Katharine took Margaret off the council.
  • Jules learns that Emilia and Margaret are at odds because Margaret was Emilia’s mother’s blade sister. Margaret didn’t seem too distraught when Emilia’s mother died.
  • Katharine criticises her portrait and then goes to a council meeting. On the way, a fisherman tells them about someone who was taken by the mist.
  • A dead woman rises from the sea – it’s the person who was taken by the mist. Katharine kills someone when she loses control of the dead queens.
  • Mirabella tells Billy about how the Blue Queen created the mist to protect the island.
  • Arsinoe dreams about the Blue Queen again, and Mirabella and Billy see the creepy shadow.
  • Arsinoe intends to perform a spell and goes to buy ingredients for it.
  • Mathilde tells the people gathered at an inn about the Legion Queen to help Jules gain supporters. Jules saves a guy from being hit by a knife, which shows everyone that Jules is actually quite powerful.
  • Arsinoe summons the Blue Queen, who tells her to go to the island.
  • Pietyr asks Katharine about the dead queens. She says she can control them. Pietyr dances with Bree at the ball, but Katharine isn’t too bothered.
  • The mist causes havoc again. Genevieve writes to the oracles to ask for their help. Katharine offers them a seat on the council in return for their help.
  • Jules, Emilia, and Mathilde head to Black Cottage because Mathilde says Madrigal is in danger. When they get there, they see that Madrigal is bed bound due to her pregnancy.
  • Richard tells Daphne that Queen Illiann isn’t impressed by Henry, because he clearly fancies Daphne. Branden attacks Daphne, and this shocks Arsinoe straight into another dream. The Blue Queen tells Arsinoe to go to Mount Horn.
  • It’s revealed that Daphne is the Blue Queen. She shows Arsinoe a vision of an upcoming battle between Jules and Katharine.
  • Madrigal gives birth to a boy. Clearly the vision was wrong, because Madrigal survives.
  • Theodora arrives at the castle and Katharine questions her. She doesn’t learn anything useful, so she ends up poisoning Theodora. Theodora reveals that the oracles are backing Jules. She also says that the Blue Queen is back.
  • Arsinoe, Billy, and Mirabella head to the island that the Blue Queen was guiding them to. This turns out to be Sunpool, the island of the oracles.
  • Jules learns of a second prophecy that says she will be the fall of the island.
  • Pietyr asks Luca about possession. Luca suggests prayer and/or execution to get rid of it.
  • Katharine decides that she needs to get rid of the dead queens after they make her hand look withered.
  • Madrigal has been captured by Katharine, who questions her about Jules. Katharine threatens Madrigal, who says that if she is killed, Jules’ war gift will be released.
  • Luca suggests trading Jules for Madrigal.
  • Arsinoe searches for Jules on Sunpool. She bumps into Emilia, who takes her to her friend. Emilia then goes to find Billy and Mirabella.
  • Katharine asks Elizabeth to send Pepper to Jules with a message.
  • Luca realises that Katharine is possessed because Pietyr has a big mouth. She thinks there’s a chance that Katharine is the legion-cursed queen.
  • Madrigal tells Katharine to put the dead queens back in the Breccia Domain. Alternatively, she could bring stones to cast the queens into, and then take those stones back instead.
  • Arsinoe and Emilia get into an argument about Jules (Arsinoe/Jules = OTP).
  • Pepper arrives with Katharine’s message. Katharine tells Jules that they have her mother, and will trade her for Jules. No one trusts Katharine, so they decide to plan an ambush.
  • Arsinoe dreams about the Blue Queen again. In this one, the mist covers her friends, and then the Shadow Queen assaults Arsinoe.
  • Katharine and her army head to the trading point. Pepper tries to warn Elizabeth of something but she can’t figure out what.
  • Arsinoe heads to the mountain, presumably following the Blue Queen’s orders. Billy goes with her, and Arsinoe calls Braddock.
  • Pietyr heads to the Breccia Domain to get the stones for the ritual. Madrigal tells him he doesn’t have enough stones. She says she needs blood from both him and Katharine.
  • Jules plans to bait Katharine during this trade.
  • The dead queens take control of Katharine and have her hold a knife to Madrigal’s neck. Jules loses control and unleashes her war gift. This hurts Camden, and knocks Katharine’s horse over. I’m not ok with this.
  • Madrigal is killed.
  • On the mountain, Arsinoe dreams about Daphne. She tries to poison Branden, but he doesn’t take the wine, and he tries to strangle her. Illian and Henry save her. Branden gets burnt in the fight, thus starting the war between them and Salkades.
  • Arsinoe wakes up to find Daphne in the cave. Daphne confirms that she started the war and created the mist.
  • Daphne tells Arsinoe that she was Illiann’s sister. Illiann, the elemental sister, died during the war and became the mist. Daphne says that Mirabella has to die to stop it and create balance.
  • Luca says she can win Mirabella over so she’s on Katharine’s side. She follows Bree and Elizabeth to Mirabella. Mirabella refuses to join Luca, and that she won’t interfere with the island business.
  • Katharine says she’s ready to get rid of the dead queens.
  • Jules is kind of broken after losing control of her war gift. Arsinoe has to sedate her. Arsinoe decides not to tell Mirabella about the Daphne thing.
  • Pepper delivers a note from Elizabeth that says they believe Katharine and her heading to Indrid Down.
  • Pietyr performs the ritual, and it allows the dead queens to overpower Katharine. Oops. They kiss Pietyr and this makes his eyes and ears weep blood.
  • Mirabella heads towards the capital.

That’s what happened in Two Dark Reigns! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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