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Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Broken Throne:  A Red Queen Collection Book Poster Image
Bonus collection for fans of original Red Queen series only.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy compilation meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

Humankind will continue to destroy and rebuild over and over, forever. People who are "different" shouldn't have to proclaim what they are, they should just be able to exist in the world the way they want to, like everybody else gets to.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Familiar, already well-developed characters like Mare, Cal, Evangeline, General Farley are true to who they've been in the four-volume main story. Many are seen from varying points of view; all have strengths and weaknesses, and all but the two or three crazy villains are trying to do what's right and best for the greater good.

Violence

Brief mention of mild self-harm when a character pulls her hair so the pinprick sensation chases away deeper pain. A few directly narrated attacks and fights include fantasy elements and briefly mention blood and pain but aren't gory. Past violent events like battles, destruction, and political upheaval are remembered in the stories and briefly retold in "bonus material" such as timelines, journal entries, etc. 

Sex

A few mild kisses aren't narrated in detail. Several prominent romances are between same-sex couples and one scene briefly mentions kissing and caressing on a bed. Having sex is implied once or twice but not directly narrated. Older teens mention physical attraction and try to figure out their romantic relationships.

Language

Infrequent "f--cking," "s--t," "damned," "bitch," "whore," "asses," "jackass," "bastard," and "pissed me off." Some verbal hostility and calling names.

Consumerism

Part of the Red Queen fantasy series -- for those who've read the other books already.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens about age 18 to 19 drink wine and beer at social events, and once in a tavern. Older adults mentioned drinking whiskey and gin; unpleasant characters sometimes to excess and/or too often.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Victoria Aveyard's Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection is a collection of extra stories, maps, and other "bonus material" for fans who've already finished the four-volume Red Queen series by the same author. It doesn't stand on its own, and two of the novellas have already appeared in print under the title Cruel Crown. Violence includes fantasy violence and remembered past events; blood and pain are mentioned but there's no gore. Strong language is rare but includes "f--king," "s--t," "asses," and "bitch." There are several same-sex romantic relationships but very little sexual content, just a few brief kisses and some caressing along with mentions of physical attraction and romantic feelings. A few older adults drink to excess; older teens of age rarely have wine or other alcohol on social occasions.

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What's the story?

BROKEN THRONE: A RED QUEEN COLLECTION is just that, a collection of short story/novellas, maps, journal entries, and fictional research into the history of the Red Queen world. Favorite characters and villains make appearances in events from before, during, and after the events of the original series. Mare, Cal, Maven, Evangeline, General Farley, an insane lake nymph, and more fill in some gaps in the original and provide more glimpses into what the future may hold for the characters and the world they inhabit.

Is it any good?

Fans of Victoria Aveyard's popular fantasy series will love going back to the Red Queen world, but the collection of stories, maps, and timelines doesn't stand on its own. Fictional journal entries, historical research, and the stories/novellas of Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection rely on the reader already having a deep understanding of the world and appreciation for the characters and the journeys they've undertaken. And be forewarned: Two of the novellas here have already been published as Cruel Crown.

It's a successful companion piece, though, that provides further insight into the main characters, fills in some gaps, and closes some circles while leaving room for even more. Maps, timelines, and journal entries help visualize the world, flesh out some characters, and sort out the order of some events. Mild-to-moderate fantasy violence, sexy stuff, and language make it best for teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Broken Throne:  A Red Queen Collection fits in with the rest of the Red Queen series. Were there too many unanswered questions that this book answers? Why do you think the author wrote this book?

  • Why are fantasy series so popular? What do we love about them? Can we ever get enough of revisiting our favorite characters and worlds?

  • What are some of your favorite fantasy series? How does this one compare?

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