Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young Adult, Short Stories
Goodreads Rating | 4.04
Humpo Show Rating | 3.25
Broken Throne is a companion novel to the Red Queen series and we learn more about Mare, Cal and Evangeline following the events of War Storm.
At 468 pages I was surprised this was dubbed a companion novel as it such a big book, but 145 pages are of previously published short stories Queen Song and Steel Scars, so it was a little disappointing to have already read such a big chunk of the book.
Anyway…Broken Throne includes maps, a family tree, historical research and stories from those we know so well. There is enough interesting content for the fans of the series and it was nice to read the new short stories and look at the maps. My favourite short story was Mare and Cal’s but that is probably down to them being characters that I love reading about. But to be honest, all of the short stories did not add much – Evangeline’s was a bit boring – I was surprised it was even included.
I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a revelation or not, as I think we all knew for quite a while, that the landscape in which the Red Queen series played out was a future version of the United States of America. Aveyard, like J. K. Rowling, is very active on Twitter – I used to follow them both as I adore their books, but their Twitter accounts seemed to only contain political tweets that bored me – yes, we know Trump is an idiot, I don’t think tweeting about him constantly is going to achieve much though. So it was to know surprise that the history which she created reflected her political tendencies. Trump’s climate change denier views, US-Russia relations and nuclear conflict all rear their heads.
“According to the sources in Horn Mountain, the first of the so-called Calamities – the most destructive and longest lasting – was a catastrophic change in climate due to widespread pollution on a global scale.”
This sentence leads to a three-page description of the worst case scenario climate change and its effects . Again, we know climate change is happening, but to shoe-horn it into this story added nothing for me other than confirm that Aveyard hates Trump’s policies.
“Some texts vary in quality of preservation, and to my surprise and chagrin, many seem to disagree to the severity of magnitude of the events, particularly regarding climate.” Eurgh, Trump again.
Aveyard mentions the nuclear wars that devastated the planet at a similar time that climate change was causing disasters so the effect of both was terrible and also, not out of the realms of fantasy given the current leaders of the world.
“Somehow, by splitting the tiniest pieces of existence, scientists of the old world discovered they could make the most destructive of weapons, called nuclear bombs.”
“I have managed to find mention of a small nuclear attack dated to the year 2022. I could not discern the combatant’s involved, only that the attack occurred on a different continent, far from large population centers, in a cold climate.” For god’s sake!
These were in the early pages and it did put a dampener on my reading when combined with two short stories I had already read.
Things do improve with a new short story with new characters in, although the events that end up happening are all a bit predictable.
You probably think I didn’t enjoy the book given the slight rant I’ve had! But I did enjoy the comfort of reading about Ascendant and the new lives that some of the characters are trying to build. I would have liked more, but maybe that is a bit selfish of me to ask of Aveyard who has created such a brilliant fantasy series.
The Humpo Show | Richard