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Publisher's Summary

Two women on either side of the Silver-Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.

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 lie ahead for her in royal life.

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.

Discover the truth of Norta's bloody past in these two revealing prequels to number-one New York Times best seller Red Queen. Plus a Glass Sword sneak peek! An exclusive excerpt from the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series, Glass Sword, transports listeners 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.

©2016 Victoria Aveyard (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    307
  • 4 Stars
    184
  • 3 Stars
    130
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    29

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    341
  • 4 Stars
    164
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    16

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    280
  • 4 Stars
    154
  • 3 Stars
    132
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    26
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit of a disappointment

If you could sum up Cruel Crown in three words, what would they be?

A big disappointment!

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The story about the queen, which wasn't really told with any depth. It seemed like they sort of skimmed thru this story, which was a huge disappointment.

The least interesting thing was the story that came next with all of the military correspondence and having to listen to the title, and officer, and message (half redacted) etc. over and over again!! BORING, get to the story.

It took me a while to make the connection and then it wasn't all that interesting. What a huge disappointment, since the first two books I read in this series (The Red Queen and The Glass Sword) were GREAT books and I LOVED them.

What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

The narrator was a little flat, compared to the narrator chose for the other 2 books mentioned above.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

DON'T PAY TO SEE THIS, WAIT FOR THE DVD AS IT'S NOT THAT INTERESTING!!

Any additional comments?

Too bad this didn't live up to the other 2 in the series, I was really hopeful, but disappointed.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a helpful look into the world

I really liked having this insight to the characters, which lead to a much better understanding of the world.

Corianne's perspective was very strong and created a much richer understanding of the world.

Farley's perspective really illuminated the Scarlet Guard and what else was happening that Maire didn't know about.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hands Down The Best

Hands down one of the best YA novels to read! And these side books are fantastic to hold you over between books. I definitely suggest reading this between books 3 and 4. Doesn't give away any spoilers, however it does open your eyes a little about second rate characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wish it was only one pov

The first part felt somewhat rushed and the second one was just confusing. I listen to books while doing other things and trying to figure out who sent what letter to who and where was impossible!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Okay - would listen to others in the series

I enjoyed the first book so much that I had high expectations for this book. I listen to books on audible. I feel like the two halves of the book were very different backstories. The first half felt very rushed toward the end. The second half had a different format or style of going through the story. At times, it seemed drawn out. However, collectively,I appreciate that the backstories were from two different points of view and therefore,the stories have a different feeling to them (as if different authors.) I am glad I read this as part of the series, however I did not like as much as the first. I am still looking forward to the next one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

well 50% is better than some I've read.

I really liked the weedy story but the second wasn't my cup of tea. I got distracted with the messages and coding blah blah blah bs.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great background

Gives great background on two key players in the series. Also builds on the excitement of the next book. Can't wait!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great but not economical?

Love this series; however, the price is high for a couple of short stories and the first hour and a half of a different book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

I appreciated it

This book was a bit confusing and boring. Aveyard put a lot of thought and detail into The Scarlett Guard and their command structure and communications. If I was reading this book traditionally I probably would have not grasped all of the detail because all of the confidential senior level clearance priority messages were a bit much. I wish there was a bit more detail into what happened to Sarah and how the queen evaded Coryann's ability and also how did the journal end up not being destroyed and in her brothers hands.So to wrap up this review, although I do appreciate this glimpse into the past I really would have appreciated more. I hope the next book has more detail into the characters themselves.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good but overpriced

I recently started the Red Queen series. I figured I should probably listen to Cruel Crown before proceeding to Glass Sword (which was already available). I'm glad I listened to it because it does elaborate on a couple of crucial parts of Red Queen. However, the last couple of hours are an excerpt from Glass Sword, which I had already purchased and intended to listen to. Also, while the two stories included in this book are interesting, I feel like they are probably not required reading between Red Queen and Glass Sword (disclaimer: I have not started Glass Sword yet, so this is purely speculation). In my opinion, considering the length of the two actual stories (not including the now obsolete excerpt from Glass Sword), this book is very overpriced at $12+.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful