The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro is a novel combining Mexican folklore, legends, and supernatural to tell a compelling story. Ms. Castro in an American author from Texas, living in England.
- 224 pages
- Publisher : Flame Tree Press
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1787586030
My rating for The Queen of the Cicadas – 5
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I’m not a huge fan of horror/supernatural books, but from some reason I was drawn to this book’s themes. Immigration, human rights, and racism in particular seem all to be forefront and center in our collective reality.
The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro touches on all those themes concurrently, and more. The story is told through dual timelines: one focusing on Belinda, the other on Milagros in the 1950s. Additionally, the author manages to weave in the conditions faced by Mexican farm worker. The workers were brought in through the Bracero program (a US government guest worker program), nevertheless still facing harsh conditions and racism.
The author manages to write complex characters, despite following multiple threads, as well as points of view throughout the narrative. The tale of vengeance is certainly not a run-of-the-mill one. It is a strategical plan across decades, with patience and cunning simultaneously. The exploration of what would happen if a deity, Mictecacíhuatl in this case, came to life is a fascinating theme as well. The author examines the ramifications of such an occurrence in subtle, but most interesting ways.
Ms. Castro does not shy away from violence and brutality. While not the center of the narrative, it does make you appreciate what guest workers went through. The real horror story is the way people treat other human beings, not the supernatural aspects. Humans’ cruelty to one another is a subject which is both fascinating, and depressing at the same time.
This was a thought-provoking novel, wrapping social commentary in a tale of horror. As mentioned, I’m not a fan of the genre, regardless, I enjoyed this book very much.
Belinda Alvarez found herself on a farm, attending a friend’s wedding. This is not a regular farm, but the site of an urban legend of The Queen of The Cicadas (La Reina de Las Chicarras).
The legend tells of Milagros, a Mexican guest worker working in a South Texas farm. Milagros is tortured to death by a gang of spiteful, jealous white women, which is promptly ignored by all. Mictecacíhuatl, the Mexican goddess of death hears the cries of Milagros, and together the two start a decades long journey of revenge.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
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