Title: Cruel Crown
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publish Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 208 pages
Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard is a compilation of her two novellas — Queen Song and Steel Scars. It also gives you the opportunity to have a sneak peak to entice you, tease you, make-you-wish-it’s-the-release-day, of her second book, Glass Sword (not that she needed to).
Queen Song is a novella about Queen Coriane’s past, how she rose to the throne and the “scandal” behind it, and how she was murdered.
Coriane came from the House of Jacos, a poor, insignificant, and forgotten House compared to the other noble Houses. She loves books, tinkering, and doing manual labor. These practices, however, are frowned upon by her father and her foul cousin Jessamine for she is of Silver blood and God forbid any Silver blood caught doing such things.
She grew up with her best friends, brother Julian Jacos and Sara Skonos. On her birthday, she received a journal from her brother where she wrote her most private thoughts, deaths and events, and later on, her last thoughts before her untimely death.
No matter how happy the trio are that day, most happiness can end abruptly. Julian and Sara have their own plan of sharing a life together, as a couple, focusing more on each other. Knowing this, Coriane became more depressed and succumbed to the thought that she will live the rest of her life with her evil cousin Jessamine, alone, unwed, and unloved (the author did a great job reminding the reader that Coriane has very low self-esteem and self-worth). *insert sassy Harry Potter eye roll here*
Coriane’s fate was changed when she met Tiberias the 6th, son of Tiberias the 5th from House Calore. The prince fell for Coriane, a singer (one who can manipulate and control minds), a nobody, from House Jacos. It was true love, but the people thought otherwise. They said that she used her power to make Tibe fall for her, to get the crown, and have him marry her. Powerful people from other Houses were in opposition of their union, that there should have been a Queenstrial to earn the right to be married to Tibe. But he was in love with Coriane. The Queen and Prince Robert knew this too, and they both respect his decision to marry Coriane and not have a Queenstrial.
The couple was happy. However, that didn’t last. Someone is reading Queen Coriane’s mind, constantly planting thoughts and nightmares, driving her mad. King Tiberias and Queen Coriane finally had a baby and per tradition, he was named Tiberias. Queen Coriane called him Cal.
Queen Coriane’s nightmares returned and it was worse than ever. The next day, “the diary ended unfinished, unseen by any who deserved to read it. Only (name removed due to spoiler) saw its pages, and the slow unravelling of the woman inside.”
This novella is a heartbreaking one. Coriane did nothing but love Tibe, yet other people who think of themselves as better than her, people who have power lust, think that their opportunity to wear the crown was stolen from them unfairly. This book solidified the fact that whoever murdered Queen Coriane is a heartless person who would stop at nothing for power.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Steel Scars is a novella that revolves around Captain Farley and The Scarlet Guard. It basically explained how The Scarlet Guard operates and how they can expand by knowing important people and places that would benefit them. It filled in some gaps from Red Queen, which showed us that they were in the background when everything else was happening. The book is also informative on how Captain Farley found Shade Barrow and became more involved in rescuing Mare Barrow, and in the end rescuing Cal as well.
Rating 3.5/5 stars
Overall, Cruel Crown is found between a good read and informative read. It helped me remember Red Queen and it prepared me (and overhyped me) for Glass Sword.
Overall rating: 3.5/5 stars