Cruel Crown is a novella collection by Victoria Aveyard. It combines Queen Song and Steel Scars, two prequel novellas that were previously released indivuidually. This collection was originally published on January 5, 2016 by HarperTeen.
Discover the truth of Norta's bloody past in these two revealing prequels to #1 New York Times bestseller Red Queen.
Also includes an exclusive excerpt of the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series! Glass Sword transports readers to the world of Silver tyranny, a Red dawn rising, and one girl's resolve to break down the system that will hold her back no longer.
- 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
Captain Farley exchanges coded transmissions with the resistance as she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital. She was raised to be strong, but planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected— until she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation: Mare Barrow."
Queen Song begins with Coriane receiving a gift from her brother, Julian Jacos. Coriane doesn't like the books her brother gifts her, but she does like the manuals and guides he sometimes tucked in the pages. Coriane's passion is fixing mechanical issues, and she imagines herself building machines. However, her father, Harrus Jacos, believes her ability to fix things is useless for a girl of Silver nobility. That is until he needs his video screen fixed. Both Coriane and Julian wish to escape the suffocating environment they call home, but their family has different plans for them.
Coriane and Julian's best friend is Sara Skonos. She visits House Jacos' Aderonack estate for Coriane's birthday. Julian gives Coriane a book in which to write her thoughts. She sneers at it, not bothering to hide her true feelings from her brother.
When Harrus takes over his brother Jared Jacos' position as governor, the family moves to the capital, Archeon. Coriane misses their country estate and her garage of tools and machines. She begins sneaking out of the house looking for a place where she might feel like herself. On one of these excursions, she runs into Prince Tiberias Calore VI. They met on the bridge that spanned the Capital River. The first time he asked her to walk with him, Coriane believed it would be the last, too. A few weeks later however, and they are still seeing each other and he asks her to call him Tibe, a family nickname.
The powerful Silver Houses do not accept the courtship as the new queen is chosen during the rite of Queenstrial. Tibe and Coriane have a surprising supporter though in Tibe's father, King Tiberias Calore V. The pair are able to wed on the condition that all their children would have a Queenstrial, no exceptions.
Elara Merandus begins her secret attacks on Coriane by using her power as a whisper. Coriane experiences three miscarriages before giving birth to Tiberias Calore VII. She was only able to do so because she kept her pregnancy a secret. Coriane is convinced that Elara has been in her mind, giving her nightmares and causing her body to refuse the pregnancies due to the excessive stress. She slowly goes insane trying to figure out how Elara got into her mind and continues to plague her. At the Parting Ball, Coriane uses her ability as a singer to enter Elara's mind and ask her if she was vexing her with nightmares. Elara says she didn't, only that she made her trip on her wedding dress. But it's clear that Elara was lying.
Coriane is found dead, and her diary completed trashed. Sara Skonos is forced by Elara to cut out her own tongue for trying to say the truth about Coriane's death.
Diana "Lamb" Farley is a member of the Scarlet Guard, a ground of Reds working to overthrow the Silvers. Farley and her soldiers have seen families torn apart because of conscription. Farley believes conscription, as well as the constant fighting between different groups of Silvers, is part of a plan to exterminate the Reds.
Farley fights for the cause of the Scarlet Guard alongside her father, a Colonel in the Guard, whose codename is Ram. Farley both respects and hates her father. She has been given her first independent mission. She hopes that she will be able to successfully complete the mission and prove that she is a serious soldier, especially to her father.
Although Farley is making progress in creating contact points with Reds in the city of Corvium, she is ordered to return to base, an order that she ignores. She trusts her guts and stays with her mission until she is able to return to the Scarlet Guard with two new recruits: Shade Barrow and his sister Mare Barrow, both of whom have special abilities invaluable to the Guard.
The Target Exclusive Edition of Cruel Crown contains a Q&A with Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen fan art, and a map of the Kingdom of Norta.