Title: Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Red Queen, 4.5
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Red Queen has been a series of recent years that has brought me a lot of joy; Victoria Aveyard is one of my favorite authors. So, when I found out several months ago that there would be a brand-new, repackaged short story collection, I was so excited; I would be able to return to the harsh, bitter world of Red Queen and the characters that I enjoyed. I had to return it to the library several times, and it’s been sitting at the top of my book stack for a while now. I finally bit the bullet and did it; I almost wanted to wait a bit longer. I’m still not ready to say goodbye to it entirely, but this was a great wrapup! Taking the form of a massive government dossier, Broken Throne contains five novellas, three of which were previously unpublished, interspersed with documents that gives the reader new knowledge on how Mare’s brutal world was created. I really enjoyed this collection, even though at times it was very hard to follow. Nonetheless, I was so happy to return to Mare’s world and see how all of my favorite characters were doing in the aftermath of the brutal war.
Some of the stories took place before the series, some in the middle, and others, after. Nonetheless, there wasn’t a story that I didn’t like or wasn’t informative in some way. It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but they all provided such different facets of characters I thought I knew! In the first story, it focuses on Cal’s mother, the late Queen Coriane, and how she met Cal’s father, Tiberias VI, their resulting marriage, and Cal’s birth. This story in particular made me cry. In the second, it focuses on Diana Farley in her early days with The Scarlet Guard, particularly when she recruits newblood Mare Barrow to the cause. The third tells of an escaped refugee, a Silver princess, desperate to make a life away from the trappings of her House’s wealth. In order to make it to the Freelands, she is forced to put her life in the hands of a Red river runner, and the pair learn so much more about each other and their ways of life. The fourth story has Mare and Cal meeting face to face for the first time after the war, and trying to figure out whether they should rekindle their relationship; this was probably my favorite story of them all. And last, but certainly not least, we got a story from the point of view of the series villain, Maven Calore. Locked in a cell at the behest at his brother and smarting at his loss, he contemplates what his life would have been like if his own mother, Elara, hadn’t messed with head and emotions. It broke my heart, even as it enraged me. He is one of my favorite characters, so I was happy to receive something of a goodbye from him, however broken. I loved this short story collection, happy to receive one last trip into a world that was brutal, dangerous, and wonderful. The Red Queen is a series that has become a recent favorite, and I’m hoping that eventually, I’ll have it for my own personal collection. The bottom line: Informative, painful, and shocking, I loved Broken Throne, and I can’t wait to see what front runner Victoria Aveyard has in store next! The bottom line: Rich and nuanced even though it was hard to follow, I loved Broken Throne; I didn’t realize how much I missed The Red Queen’s world until I was plunged back into it. Next on deck: Hungry Hearts by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond!