This is a novella comprising of two short stories, Queen Song and Steal Scars, from the Red Queen world by Victoria Aveyard. Before I had read this book, it’d been a while since I had been in this world, having read Glass Sword in January 2018 and getting around to this book in January 2019. I had been worried about diving back into this world and becoming confused, and yes, at the very beginning I was a little confused as to who I was reading about and at what point in time within the story I was at, however, this was quickly resolved and I knew what was going on. I also feel like the stories work well even if you don’t fully comprehend how they link to Red Queen as you read them, Victoria Aveyard has done a really good job in making them accessible to readers at any stage within this series.
Now onto the stories themselves, the first story within this collection, Queen Song, is set well before the events within Red Queen and follows Cal’s mother in her journey to the court and how the world ended up like it did before Mare came crashing in. It’s quite a sad story, as you may be expecting if you remember being told about Cal’s mum in the first book, however, as I didn’t remember it took me off guard and was quite emotional.
The second, and last, story in this collection is Steel Scars, this book focuses on Farley and her rise within the Scarlet Guard. These events are much closer to the time of Red Queen, with the very end of the story overlapping slightly. It was really interesting to me to read about how this organisation works more and to see it from the point of view of someone within this system rather than from Mare’s view, where she doesn’t understand how it works or why.
Both of these stories were really interesting and I feel that they added significant value to the world, they’ve also made me more excited to read book three and continue with the series! I gave it 4/5* as a novella and I really do recommend if you enjoy the main books within the Red Queen series.