Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

Cruel Crown is the bind-up of Queensong and Steel Scars, two novellas by Victoria Aveyard that take place in the Red Queen world. As companion novellas tend to do, both tell the stories of secondary or behind-the-scenes characters and events that readers are introduced to in the books but never get to know very well.

Before I continue, I’d like to include two warnings. First: I listened to this bind-up on audiobook, which is useful for passing time in my car, but I have to admit audio books are not my favorite, primarily because A.) I can’t see how things are spelled, and B.) The reader’s voice becomes an intrinsic influence to the story that I will never be able to unassociate. I will try to be as objective as possible here, but there are some things that I might think a little differently about by virtue of having “read” these books via CD. Second: If you have not yet read Glass Sword, there are some spoilers in this article! Continue reading “Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard”

Messenger by Lois Lowry

I was not introduced to Lois Lowry’s award-winning novel, The Giver, until I was halfway through college. As many other readers will agree, to finish The Giver is to want to know what happens after the ending, so I found out what happens after the ending. As it turns out, Lowry has written three more books in the same universe to create The Giver Quartet (including, in order, The Giver, Messenger, Gathering Blue, and Son). None of the sequels quite measures up to The Giver itself, but Messenger was the sequel that I enjoyed best. Continue reading “Messenger by Lois Lowry”

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

I was suspicious as soon as I opened King’s Cage, because while the first two novels in the series (Red Queen and Glass Sword) had been narrated singularly from Mare’s point of view, the chapters in this novel are each marked with the name of the narrator. I know what that means: the main character’s death is imminent. Narration shifts are just an author’s trick to try to get readers used to hearing other characters’ thoughts so we are prepared, so the story can go on even after the main character is gone! Continue reading “King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard”

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I had a hard time settling into Aveyard’s world in her first novel, Red Queen, but I was completely entranced once I arrived. It took me about fifty pages or so. As the second book in the series, Glass Sword is no less well-crafted or exciting than the first–in fact, there may be more get-up-and-go action in this second novel than there was in the first–but unfortunately, my original hardships immersing myself in Aveyard’s fantasy world struck again.

It was worth the wait. Continue reading “Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard”