Book Review | Cruel Crown

Two women on either side of the Silver and 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.

Queen Song

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.

Steel Scars

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.

my thoughts.

Cruel Crown is a collection of two novellas featuring side (or minor-) characters from Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. 
Queen Coriane was mentioned on briefly during Red Queen. This was perhaps the story I was most intrigued by, because we’re told so little in the first book and it was interesting to get a glimpse in to Coriane’s life. I found her to be a quite vulnerable character, but endearing enough that her fate was still sad to read. This was the shortest of the two novellas and I wish it had been longer and Aveyard had given us a larger glimpse into Coriane’s life.
Farley’s story was so difficult to get in to; for a character who is involved in the Scarlet Guard, there was very little by way of engrossing action. The Guard reports were very difficult to interpret at times (I often struggled to work out who they were to and from, although that could be the point since they’re supposed to be difficult to identify identities). By the end I did have a better appreciation for the character than I did after Red Queen and it was enjoyable seeing Shade Barrow in this story, too.
I did read Cruel Crown before Glass Sword and I’m glad I did – there are a few small bits of information that add to the reading experience if you do pick it up before the second book in the series.
Overall, it both stories were alright and helped build more of a picture of the world of the book, but I also feel more could have been included to increase the interest. I rated Cruel Crown 3 out of 5 stars.
author // Victoria Aveyard
publisher // Harper Collins
genre // Young Adult, Fantasy
publication date // January 2016
format // Paperback

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