Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Novella
Goodreads Rating | 3.62
Humpo Rating | 3.25
*As I was in London for the past two weeks, I was unable to begin reading King’s Cage as it was delivered to my home address. So, I thought it would be best to read the novella Cruel Crown to keep in touch with the Aveyard vibes!*
Cruel Crown is a novella with two short stories that provide some history behind less explored characters and events before Red Queen and Glass Sword.
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.
The stories themselves were adequate enough to keep my interest, but I feel that many readers will be frustrated by the stories’ lack of something special to keep their attention as there many pages where little to nothing happened which was surprising given that these are short stories. Queen Song held great interest for many readers as the story of Cal’s mother, Queen Coriane, was alluded to in the novels but there was little elaboration on this part of Nortan and Calore history. Elara’s powers and Coriane’s internal agony are perhaps the two worthwhile bits of information that I took from Queen Song, as both of them are connected with each other and consequently add to wider story that features in both the novels written.
Steel Stars, in my unpopular opinion, was the better story due to it having more characters that the readers knew, as well as having a more overt threat and suspense than what I read in Queen Song. It was good to read about the first meeting and developing relationship between Farley and Shade. Their conversations, thoughts and actions with one another during their time together on the pages brought back memories of events that happened in Glass Sword, therefore I feel that Steel Stars has been a decent addition to the Red Queen canon.
Cruel Crown is a decent addition that accompanies the stellar novels Red Queen, Glass Sword and hopefully King’s Cage! I would not say that it is an absolute must read for fans of Aveyard, but for those who love to know every detail possible about Norta, Lakelands, the Calores and the Barrows, then pick yourself up a copy. Plus the cover is another gorgeous design!
The Humpo Show | Richard