Monday, March 21, 2016

Novella: Queen Song (Red Queen, #0.1) by Victoria Aveyard

I am taking a break from Murakami lit and actually giving other books a chance. Next target is to finish all available books in the Red Queen series and so after I read the Red Queen last year (whose incomplete review is still in the drafts folder), I moved on to the first of the two released novellas in addition to the Red Queen world: Queen Song.
source
Plot:
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. (via Goodreads)

This novella followed the life of Queen Coriane, the late mother of Prince Cal of Norta, her life before entering the court, the blossoming and later developing relationship with the then Prince Tibe, the unraveling of the queen and her eventual demise.

It was actually pretty nice to finally be given a useful back story as to the mystery that Queen Coriane presented in the Red Queen. Here we bear witness, with her diary entries and undulated thoughts, how someone can be unhappily happy, trying to make do with whatever life has to offer. Actually, Coriane was a pretty good, fleshed out character. Though the fondness to make and tinker things is a bit out of place for my taste, the characterization came out decently. She came out a bit depressing at the start, then strong and witty in the middle, only to go down the drain and waste away as the pages come to an end. It was solid - and the intention clearly expressed, where the instability of the queen highlighted as the pages went on.

Reading through the pages was a breeze,with the prose fluid in its transition.This particular line struck a chord with me:
But there is a difference between a single candle in the darkness and a sunrise.
That was Coriane on the happiness she felt when Tibe finally confessed and asked her to marry him. That was what she felt. Sure she is happy, but there sure is a difference between being happy because you have everything you want in the world versus being happy because you got what you can get and for now that was enough.

The slow unraveling of the queen - the gnawing emptiness, the growing desperation, the increased paranoia - not sure whether it is because of someone or is it because of herself: all captured carefully between its pages.
"It might be a crime to write such things, but I am a queen. I am the queen. I can say and write what I think."
Victoria Aveyard's enthralling writing style is still clearly present in here. And though this short lacks the thrilling fight scenes showcasing Silver abilities compared with the first book in the series, Aveyard still managed to capture the attention of her readers. The narrative was solid, and I wonder how she fit such timeline into too little number of pages. And though the ending was a bit rushed in my opinion, she did what she could given the material and still managed to make it work. This is a pretty short and fast read (roughly 60 pages in my reader) but a pretty thrilling read nonetheless.

All in all, this was such a bittersweet book - following the young queen as she succumbed to madness. But the real question was: is someone behind it? Or is it merely a trick of her own mind?

This book would be such a treat to all the #ScarletGuards out there. Definitely recommended!

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
There is nothing so terrible as a story untold. 
"There is no greater pain or punishment than memory." ~ Jessamine 
But there is a difference between a single candle in the darkness and a sunrise.

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