Review: Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
(Red Queen #0.1 – #0.2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: January 5, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Two women on either side of the Silver-Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.
Discover the truth of Norta’s bloody past in these two revealing prequels to #1 New York Times bestseller Red Queen.
Also includes an exclusive excerpt of the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series! Glass Sword transports readers to the world of Silver tyranny, a Red dawn rising, and one girl’s resolve to break down the system that will hold her back no longer.
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.
Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.
Cruel Crown consists of two novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars. While I loved Queen Song, Steel Cars disappointed me in an epic level. I’m still glad I was able to experience them, though– Queen Song, especially, because it was simply amazing. 🙂
My reviews for both novellas:
“There is nothing so terrible as a story untold.”
Queen Song is one of the novellas of Red Queen series. Here, we are told about the backstory of Queen Coriane, the mother of Prince Cal from Red Queen. Coriane belongs to the Silver blood, under the House Jacos— a not-so-well-endowed clan compared to other Silver bloods. She writes her life events in a dairy and conveys her emotions there. Her ordinary life changed when Prince Tibe, heir to the court of Norta, fell in love with her and asked her hand for marriage, which of course, became the reason why the traditional Queenstrial was never realized. This led to conflicts and certain intrigues that tested Coriane’s strength and belief while carrying her crown as a Queen.
It’s Victoria Aveyard’s flawless and breathtaking writing style that made me embrace this novella. Once again I was amazed by how she was able to bring this story in an epic level. There were no action scenes here but all the events were simply engaging. I loved how the simple plotline surprisingly became extraordinarily beautiful in the end.
The romance between Coriane and Tibe was sweet and raw, heartbreaking at times. There was also a good pacing here and the Silver blood’s powers were drawn neatly.
Perhaps Coriane’s character development was the one that’s lacking here. She came out fragile and weak in the beginning but she was starting to get tough in the near-end. Unfortunately, she went back to being weak again in the end, surrendering to her fate and accepting her vulnerability that she couldn’t do anything to save herself and the people she cared about.
All in all, this novella is totally compelling despite some minor flaws. It’s nice to know Coriane’s story after she was mysteriously mentioned in Red Queen. It was written in a poignant yet beautiful prose, something that holds you together to read it. When it comes to the ending, it was a bit hazy and mind-boggling, thus leaving us with a big question: WHO DID IT?
I thought by reading Steel Scars I would be in for a badass story. Nope.
It was the most boring novella I’ve read for a YA fantasy book. Farley’s character is dull and boring. The only one that made this novella quite interesting is Shade Barrow, but everything is disappointing.
I don’t know if I’m the only one who has this problem, but the narrative reports by the Scarlet Guard are too difficult to comprehend. I don’t even know what those are all about. They are too technical!
I expected some revelations and actions scenes. There are NONE. 😦
CRUEL CROWN OVERALL RATING:
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