Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

Cruel Crown
(Red Queen 0.1-0.2)
Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young-adult, Sci-fi, 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.

"He was the prince. the future king. And she was no one at all, a limp excuse for a Silver daughter of a High House."
This novella was clever. I have been so curious with the story of the first queen, Cal's mother story. All we got to know her was that she was Julian's sister, a Singer, and the queen before the cold-hearted Elara took over. It was written on a third-person point of view given the fact that Queen Coriane has already past away - I wasn't expecting that. I thought that this novella was going to be composed of entry on a Diary where the Queen kept all of her secrets - I was obviously wrong and it was the best mistake ever.

Queen Song was simply amazing. Coriane and Tibe's love story was also included and even though it was not really detailed I couldn't have asked for more. It was like a Cinderella story, only Coriane was not a slave. Although they are poor, they still belong to a High House with a Silver Blood and instead of a wicked Step-mother, we got here instead a wicked/evil Queen wanna-be in Elara. Even though their story was tragic-compare to the happy ending in Cinderella story, it was sweet and believable, being a crowned prince and all. We also get to follow the Queen's happiness and hurt and anger and desperation and depression when she was finally able to get a son, Cal, after the 3rd miscarriage.

Her characterization was well portrayed, although a bit unlikeable. She likes to down herself a lot even before she met the crowned prince. She was always moping around feeling sorry for herself and for the dream she wouldn't be able to live. She was weak. She did tried to fight, however, she didn't know her enemy well which eventually end up to her death as we all know.

The ending was obviously rushed. I think it has something to do with the secrecy and mystery that the book is trying to keep up. Although we all have our suspicions, the question still remains on who really is behind the Queen's death? And if our suspicions was right.. How?
"We succeed where others can't. We survive. Now I must do the same alone. Now I have to protect others, taking their lives-and deaths-onto my shoulders."

Steel Cars, on the other hand was so boooring I find myself dozing of a lot of times. It actually took me 3 days to finish reading this, a real feat, considering it was just a novella with more or less a 100 pages.

This Novella was from Farley's, The Scarlet Guard Captain's POV. I was really surprised since her character here was so different from the Farley I imagined on The Red Queen. She was only 22 years old and hungry to prove her worth to her commander, I totally thought she was a older than that. She was vulnerable here totally different from the Farley in the first book that I met. Reading her POV was all sorts of boring. There weren't any real action that you would have expect from the leader of a rebellion! This short novella also left me confused as hell.

I find it funny how Farley and all of her people can infiltrate and walk around the Stilts easily like they are from Norta. I mean, I remember Mare noting Farley as a Foreigner, a Lakelander, at first sight, so how can they walk around the Norta lands without raising any suspicions at all? I thought they were in war with the Lakelanders for the lands- the point of conscription in the first place right? That was the first war before the Scarlet Guard rage their own war against the Silver? For equality?

Then there's all those decoded message from the Scarlet Guard. I won't even pretend to understand them because I didn't and I still don't. I didn't even bother remembering all their code names when they are using their real names all the time.

Obviously, I have way too many issue with this novella to enjoy it. The only reason why it's gotten a 2 star rating from me was because of Shade Barrow. Yes, Mare Barrow charismatic brother and because of Farley and Shade's hinted romance in there that I've never really notice after reading 11 chapters from the Glass Sword (Yes, I've read 11 chapters from the Glass Sword before I decided to read this novella firs. Don't judge me. lol). Remind me again why this novella wasn't about Shade or Maven instead? Oh yeah well, maybe for Girl Power? :|

Queen Song - 4 Stars
Steel Cars - 2 Stars

(Grab from my Instagram account)

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I'm a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. This site is the nexus of my universe. 

 My book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. I'm repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. 

 The genres I'm into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic - if people are dying, I'm buying.
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