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 lie ahead for her in royal life.
Captain 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.
Cruel Crown is a bind-up of two novellas that take place in the Red Queen universe. I read these novellas right after Red Queen and before Glass Sword. I’m not sure what the exact reading order is, but I did find on Victoria Aveyard’s website that she recommends reading Cruel Crown after Glass Sword. I did find that I read a minor spoiler (it won’t ruin the books) in Steel Scars that we later found out about in Glass Sword. So I might recommend reading Glass Sword first in order to eliminate the spoiler, but it is in no means necessary. I didn’t find the spoiler to be that major.
This was my favorite of both the novellas. It showed the true evil that resides in Elara and my hate for her grew while reading. I also felt so bad for Corianne. I loved her so much and would have loved for her to be a bigger character in the actual books. I feel like she could have been one of my favorite characters, if not my favorite. It was also nice to see the soft side of King Tiberius and I found that I don’t totally hate him after all. Overall, I think Queen Song was a great addition to the series and I definitely recommend reading it! I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars!
As much as I loved Queen Song, Steel Scars just didn’t do it for me. I listened to half of this novella on audio and found it extremely hard to follow. I had to switch to the e-book version halfway just so I could gain some sort of understanding as to what was going on. This novella mainly focused on Farley who I honestly just didn’t care to know more about. I will say that as soon as Shade joined the novella, I was much more interested and not as bored. I really enjoyed seeing how Shade joined the up with the Scarlet Guard. Would I recommend this one? Probably not. It didn’t add much to the story and it was boring and confusing for the most part. I am rating this one 2 out of 5 stars.
Overall, my total rating for Cruel Crown comes out to be 3 out of 5 stars. Let me know in the comments below if you have read Cruel Crown and if your thoughts aligned with mine! ‘Til next time!