Cruel Crown

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Date of Publication: 21st April 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3/5

***Netgalley Review***

This novella is broken into three parts, so I’ll review each individually, and then give the total a rating as a whole.

Part One: (Queen Song) – Coriane

I was massively disappointment with this installment. The Coriane prequel is why I requested Cruel Crown. I wanted to know what Cal’s Mother, and the love of the King’s life, was like. I thought the idea of reading her innermost thoughts in diary form would be really interesting.

What I got was a virtually characterless view of the chronology, perfunctory and without much feeling or emotion behind it. It was nice to know that Coriane was interested in mechanics in the same way that Cal is, but the grand passion between her and Tibe just didn’t show through. Her interactions with Elara – and her downfall at the hands of Elara’s powers – was skipped over in a way which I could barely believe.

My highlight was Prince Robert – I want to petition Victoria Aveyard to write a prequel about his relationship with King Tiberius IV. I want 200 pages minimum, and then I will forgive Queen Song.

I’d just about give this section a 2/5

Part Two: (Small Scars) – Farley

This for me swayed between great and…well, not so great.

There was a lot of pointless chatter about Scarlet Guard operations that really didn’t add anything to the story. However I felt what completely saved this was the character development which Farley and Shade Barrow received. They were fleshed out further – adding interest which I feel will enrich my experience of further installments in the Red Queen series. Which is ultimately what I’m looking for in these novella installments – things which will benefit and add to my reading of the main books in the series. I really liked the addition of the Colonel – and know that this will flesh out interactions in Glass Sword.

I’d give this a solid 3/5

Part Three: Glass Sword Excerpt

This introduces us to the next novel in the Red Queen series. The writing doesn’t seem to have changed significantly – I still feel that Victoria Aveyard rushes where she doesn’t need to, and linger where a little less conversation (a little more action) might benefit.

However if you were to ask me whether reading this excerpt has gotten me excited for the Glass Sword release…I would have to say YES. Possibly more so than finishing Red Queen itself. From the little I’ve read here, I’m expecting more action and more development of character relationships.

I’d give this excerpt a 4/5

Overall I felt like Glass Sword’s preview was tacked onto the end of these shorts to get people to read them. I think if the novella stood alone they probably wouldn’t stand up – especially Queen Song. In future novella I’d like to see a stronger focus on character building, as opposed to stretching lots of events across a small number of pages. Aveyard has always had a stellar creative mind – however I feel that her character development and pacing definitely needs work.

In conclusion, and as a whole: 3/5


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