Genre: YA, short story, dystopia
Overall rating: ★★★★☆
Cruel Crown is a series of two short stories from Red Queen’s universe. The first one, Queen Song, is that of Coriane, Cal’s mother, and how she met and fell in love with the king. The second story, Steel Scars is the story of Captain Farley before she met Mare, and her role in the Scarlet Guard.
It was written by Victoria Aveyard and published earlier in 2016, and it’s a rather quick read, since it’s only 140 pages (the volume also includes a sneak peak for Glass Sword, the second book in the series).
My opinion on Queen Song:
It was really lovely to get to know Queen Coriane, and it was also a good way to discover a bit more about the past of the kingdom of Norta. It was also interesting to see a bit more of the Silver’s side of the story, since with Mare, we basically only see the oppressed side. Coriane is a unique character, and though her story is a bit of a cliché (lonely girl falls in love with the heir to the throne and gets married, which allows her family to get some of their past wealth back), there is also more than this. Coriane is deeply disturbed, and though we knew how it would end, it was a great journey. It was also nice to dive a bit into Julian’s past. The only thing I regretted was how short it was!
My opinion on Steel Scars:
The more I read of this series, the more I like Diana Farley. Through this short story, we learnt more about her and the beginnings of the Scarlet Guard. We discovered how they started developing in Norta, and at the same time, we could see about some events of Red Queen from another point of view, which is something I always enjoy. I was also anticipating the first meeting between Shade and Farley, and I have to say, I really was not disappointed here. It was really enjoyable to see their relationship evolve! (And Glass Sword‘s ending is breaking my heart even more thanks to this.) Actually, I think I liked this short story even more than I thought I would. And as expected like every time I read a short story, now I want more…
The writing style is easy to follow, and what I probably liked the most about this book is how it completely brought me back in this universe. I hadn’t realised, but I really missed it, and now, I want more! The stories also pleasantly complete what we already knew, and help us understand more about how it works and so on. Through Red Queen, and Glass Sword, we follow Mare, who is a New Blood. Here, we get to follow some of the Silver World, and members of the Scarlet Guard who are “normal” Reds, so it is a great way to figure out more about Norta and the Lakelands, and how this whole world works!
Red Queen lovers, obviously. If you like this universe, the book is definitely the thing for you! It’s great, though not extraordinary, but if you want more, then just go for it, don’t hesitate!
Feel free to share your opinion below if you have read it as well!