Queen Song tells the story of the Singer Queen, Coriane, the queen who came before Elara. She was introduced in Red Queen only through memories of some who knew her, one of those being her son, Cal. She died when Cal was a young boy, and Elara became queen after her. Now, we get to go back and see her sad story for ourselves. It is the story of a young, Silver girl, noble but poor, who meets Prince Tiberias and develops a friendship and eventually a romance with him. Coriane does not consider herself wise or powerful or beautiful, but Tiberias sees something in her that he loves and needs. When he chooses her as his bride, the people believe that she must have “sung” to him, using her persuasive powers to manipulate the Prince into loving her. But Coriane is not the manipulative kind, and rarely uses her powers on anyone, let alone the Prince. After they are married and expecting a baby, the King passes away, making Tiberias the new king, and Coriane his queen. Elara, who is at court, uses her own mind powers to get into Coriane’s head, driving her mad. We watch the deterioration happen in her mind as Elara controls her to the point of death. This short story is such a tragedy, but it gives us insight into the King’s heart, and even more compassion for Cal (as if we needed more reason to love him.)
Steel Scars is parallel to the time frame of Red Queen, but instead of following Mare’s story, we follow Farley’s. We already know Farley as the young captain of the Scarlet Guard, the group of Reds that resists the tyranny of the Silvers. What we don’t know is her back story, or at least very much of it. This short story shows Farley as she tries to be a strong leader and prove herself to the Scarlet Guard. While she displays confidence and leadership throughout this series, we now see a more vulnerable side to her. Everything is seen through her eyes, and told from her perspective. It made me like her character in a deeper way. Another thing I really enjoyed was her relationship with Shade, Mare’s brother. Even though we knew that they were a couple, we only get a glimpse of their relationship in the Red Queen series, since it is really about Mare. In Steel Scars, Farley and Shade meet, become friends, and fall in love. Aveyard don’t give us a ton, but it’s a little more than we get from the other books.
I have been a fan of the Red Queen series from the start, and I’m happy that Aveyard expanded on this world a bit more by giving us these two short stories. I hope that she continues to satisfy her readers with her lovable characters and their exciting trajectories.
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