The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
I honestly wasn’t expecting a whole lot from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Like so many other people of my generation, The Hunger Games was a huge part of my teenage years; it shaped the books I read and how I started thinking about politics. I was worried this book would be like many other disappointing add-ons to my favourite childhood series, and that it would try to make Coriolanus Snow sympathetic, a ploy to endear the audience to another bigoted white guy. I was wrong. The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes is a fascinating character study and subtle descent into what makes a person a villain.Continue reading “Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins | a slow, sutble, yet intriguing villain origin story”