As somebody whose entire literary obsession began with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins when I heard that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins was coming out, I was excited, but also apprehensive. Finally, I have gotten to read it and I must say, she beat my expectations.
This is a prequel to the infamous The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, where we follow a young Cornelius Snow as he mentors his first games. It gives an in-depth look at Snow as a younger man.
Spoiler Alert: I will be discussing the plot points below!
We hate Snow. We loath Snow, but as I read on, I felt for Snow. He was from a once rich home, but now, they can barely afford to eat. Tigris shocked me, considering she helped Katniss and the rest of the soldiers hide in Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Yet somehow, using her as a cousin is sort of poetic.
Hearing the discussion of the war from Snow’s perspective gives a deeper background as to why he was so tyrannical. He saw the war from the perspective of a starving child and was raised to blame the districts.
A point that stood out to me was when Snow became a Peacekeeper in District Twelve and Lucy Gray began telling him that they were trying to make butter, and he stops to think about how in the Capital, butter is in heaps at every meal.
It is often, many of us forget to stop and think about the effort put in to grow our food. He had that moment of realization and honestly, Collins had me. She really did. I thought, “Wow, Snow is such a great guy.” Then the cabin happened.
His entire shift when it came to Lucy Gray, who he claimed to love, angered me in a way. He claims he loves her, but truly he was prepared to kill her for his own self-preservation. Really, it shows this idea of loyalty and trust among Snow and how he truly only holds loyalty with the Capital. This plays out when he turns on his only friend, Sejanus Plinth, and how after he turns on him, immediately takes his place within his family. We also see it in the future when Tigris turns on who we now know as her cousin in the future.
This prequel also gives a real reason Snow was so angry about Katniss. He saw the romance and the songs being sung, and it reminded him of Lucy Gray. He made many comments regarding Twelve to Katniss as well. It is also poetic when the song she sings during the propos against Snow is The Hanging Tree. The exact song Lucy Gray sang when trying to escape him
Overall, the literary meaning was fantastic. I loved seeing a deeper side of Snow and really growing to understand him as a person rather than as this enemy. Plus, seeing how he became the man we know today, poisoning his enemies, was fantastic. Lucy Gray really helped us see a deeper side to Twelve and Katniss’ musical inclination. We also got to see the Hob in the beginning. It really is a must-read for me, especially if you love The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.