The book Cruel Crown is a combination of the prequels Queen’s song and Steel Scars, showing the backstory of Queen Coriane and Captain Farley.
Queen Coriane lived with her cousin who was old and miserable, her brother Julian, and her best friend Sara Skonos. The Queenstrial for Tiberias the Sixth approaches, and she doubts that she would be chosen, as she has not even been practicing her singing skill. She fears the house of Merandus, especially their daughter Elera, because of their mind reading skills, but she is more fearful of how her cousin Jessamine will react if she does not get married soon. This story is sad, but it is interesting to learn about the backstory of Cal’s mother.
Steel Scars is about when Farley was working with the Scarlet Guard and the commander, and occurs right before Mare falls onto the electric barrier in Red Queen. I loved the way it focuses on the less harsh side of Farley, tells some of the events of Red Queen through Farley’s eyes such as Mare’s meeting with her when she offered to help Kilorn, however I wish that there had been more information about her family prior ot the Scarlet Guard.
Although this book is technically two short prequels and only lasts about 150 pages without the excerpt from Glass sword, it revealed many things that were simply glanced over in the novels, such as the relationship of Julian and Sara Skonos. It allows for a deeper look into the hearts of the two key characters, and I am glad that I read it before King’s Cage. It is best if it is read before Glass Sword however, as most of the things that it “reveals” were revealed in Glass Sword.
Overall Rating: 5/5