Book Review: THE CYREN QUEEN ORIGINS NOVELLAS by Helen Scheuerer

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA

These three novellas form an introduction to Helen Scheuerer’s second series, and also help bridge the gap between it and the first series (which is set in the same world.)


A SONG IN THE DEEP

Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: 0.1

A SONG IN THE DEEP (Goodreads here) takes us far from the lands of the Oremere Chronicles to the watery realms of the Cyrens, known in the first series as the lisloiks. Here we meet Deelie, a young Cyren in classes and struggling to make friends, as war is declared, which will strip her mother and sisters from her, possibly never to return.

This short story does a good job at quickly introducing the reader to this very different world and some of its lore as well as giving a sense of stakes through a child’s eyes. Friends and family gone, rather than the wider consequences of the war.


THE LAW OF THE LAIR

Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: 0.2
Book cover for THE LAW OF THE LAIR: title in blye on nay with a shining blue bottle

The second novella, THE LAW OF THE LAIR (Goodreads here) (yes, I keep wanting to type and say “liar”) is the first major hint that this series is going to be set a while after the first. One location shares the same name as somewhere in The Oremere Chronicles (which was glancingly in the series) but seems much changed.

This novella is about the cost of the war, the rules that govern the Cyrens (cruel and unfeeling as they might seem), and the prejudice that some people have let divide the two groups of people. It’s also about family and facing down loss, and deciding your future, for good or for bad. It is set three years after the first book, and the war is taking its toll on the society.


THE TIDES OF WAR

Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: 0.3
Book cover for THE TIDES OF WAR: title in gold on navy with an anchour

THE TIDES OF WAR (Goodreads here) is the final novella in the cycle. Set a decade after THE LAW OF THE LAIR, Deelie and her best friend Cerys are fighting in the midst of the king’s war – his endless, greedy war that is snatching friends and comrades from them. And then deadly tempests come, threatening their homes.

This novella shows the cost of the war and how it’s personally affecting the two cyrens, as well as hinting what they’re going to do about it. Given the main series is not about this pair, it feels like we’re getting some vital backstory to understand the state of things to come, which is intriguing…


Read my reviews of other books by Helen Scheuerer:

Curse of the Cyren Queen (this series):

The Oremere Chronicles (set in this world):

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