Young Adult Fiction

Review: Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard


Title: Cruel Crown | Series: Red Queen 0.1 & 0.2 | Author: Victoria Aveyard | Publisher: HarperTeen | Publication date: January 5th 2016 | Num. Pages: 208 | Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


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.

Plus a Glass Sword sneak peek!

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.


Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I went into Cruel Crown with an open mind – I haven’t read Red Queen yet so I hoped that reading the prequel novellas to the best-seller would reveal quite a bit on the inner workings of Red’s and Silver’s.

In respect of Queen Song it was a pretty dark novella – a lot darker than I expected for a YA prequel. Coriane begins as a impoverished Silver with a hatred of the mundane and a love of the inner workings of machines.

Queen Song follows Coriane’s rise from impoverished Silver to Queen of the Kingdom via her diary entries. The entries start off pretty mundane and childlike in their layout but over the course of her growth as a character they become much darker and they reveal that even royalty has flaws.

She comes across – as a teenager – as a bit of a spoiled brat even though she doesn’t actually appear to be spoiled. She gives me the vibe of spoiled and irritating child for most of the beginning but after meeting Elara I’ll give Coriane her due she’s way more laid back.

As previously mentioned I haven’t read Red Queen and hoped that the prequels would shed some light on certain things – what a Silver and a Red is, what a singer and a whisper is etc. I found that it didn’t, without reading Red Queen first the prequel doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense but it does shed light on what happens with royalty etc.

A couple of the characters (Elara I’m looking at you) were a hell of a lot more evil than I expected. Particularly at the end.

But there is a difference between a single candle in darkness, and a sunrise.

That is, without doubt, the best line in the novella. It’s strikingly beautiful in contrast to the darkness of the novella.

Steel Scars on the other hand is a nice change of pace from Queen SongSteel Scars follows a Red soldier – a member of The Scarlet Guard -as she aquires assets for the SG. It contains far more action and drama than Queen Song and it provides a better basis for certain aspects of the Red and Silver world.

It also sets up the introduction to Mare quite nicely as well.

As prequels go, they’re good if a little bare of some details. The writing style flowed pretty well and most of the characters were not overly annoying or filler.

What an ending though. The Queenstrial sets Red Queen up incredibly well.

Happy Reading! (1)

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