Review: Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard

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**** (3.5 out of 5)
I would like to thank NetGalley, the author and publisher for my free copy of this book/two short novellas, in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Let me begin by saying that this book contains two novella prequels to the Red Queen; ‘Queen Song’ and ‘Steel Scars’. I am going to give a little review on each of these novellas individually and then give an overall review. Sorry if there’s any spoilers, but there may be some things mentioned that are in Red Queen, so you are warned.

‘Queen Song’ is the shortest of the two novellas and tells the story of Cals mother, Coriane, and how her life lead up to becoming the queen and how she eventually took her own life, has we discovered in Red Queen. Out of the two novellas, this was my favourite and I was gutted that it was the shortest of the two, only being around 50 odd pages, as it could’ve done with being longer, especially when the next story was three times as long as was not as good. It was also really nice seeing the brother and sister relationship between Coriane and Julian, but then with everything that happens in this novella, it really did need to be longer. It needed some more time to develop how everything was happening with and to Coriane more deeply, which would have been more emotional to the readers, especially as it was meant to be happening over some time, but yet again, was only 50 odd pages. It left me a little unsatisfied and wanting more.

‘Steel Scars’, the second novella on the other hand, could defiantly have done with being shorter and written differently. This novella tells the story of Captain Farley and her adventures leading the Scarlet Guard, the attack on the capital, including how she meets Shade Barrow and how she therefore gets involved with his sister, Mare Barrow. This novella could’ve been alot better but I really didn’t seem to enjoy it. It took me a while to get into the story and it wasn’t until Shade was introduced that I really started paying much attention. I really would’ve preferred this if it was told from Shades point of view, rather than Farleys. It was just too long and could’ve been reduced easily, which is saying something when I’m reading a short story/novella.

I liked how the first story was told from the perspective of a Silver Bloods, who eventually becomes the queen of all the silvers, high up in power. While the second is told from the point of view of a Red Blood, who again is also high up in power but in the rebellion, in the Scarlet Guard.

So for this I have no choice but to give this book an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, which is disappointing to me because I was really looking forward to this one, being a really big fan. If you are a fan of the Red Queen series then you will enjoy as it is nice to know some backround information on the characters you love, or hate, or just have meh feelings about, as it is some extra character development. I really did enjoy Queen Song and I loved learning more about shade and for those reason I feel bad about giving this book a 3.5, but it’s for those reasons that I’ve rated this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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