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The Queen of the Cicadas

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  55 reviews
2018: Belinda Alvarez has returned to Texas for the wedding of her best friend Veronica. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras - The Queen of The Cicadas.

In 1950s south Texas a farmworker—Milagros from San Luis Potosi, Mexico—is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacíhuatl. The goddess hears t
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 22nd 2021 by Flame Tree Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misc-fiction
The Queen of the Cicadas combines folklore and myth. The story has dual timelines with the first focusing on Belinda who is in Texas for her friend's wedding. The farmhouse in Alice, Texas just so happens to be the site of the murder of Milagros Santos, now known as La Reina de la Chicharras, or Queen of the Cicadas.

Belinda becomes fascinated by the story of Milagros and decides to investigate the urban legend and bring some closure to the Milagros family with the owner of the farm, Hector.

Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
After reading and loving this author's first 2021 release, I was very excited to learn that she had a second book coming out later this year!

V Castro once again demonstrates her ability to write fierce, complex female characters. This book offered perspective on infertility, IVF treatments and the challenges of accepting the role of being a mother. I love an author who is not afraid to show the ugly sides of their female characters. 

In terms of the story itself, unfortunately I found th
Michael Hicks
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, netgalley
Death is hardly the end for Milagros, a murdered migrant laborer turned urban legend, in V. Castro's The Queen of the Cicadas. Tortured to death in the late 1950s on the farmstead where she briefly lived and worked, her spirit now haunts the refurbished farm-turned-hotel. Belinda learns of Milagros while staying at the hotel for a friend's wedding and becomes obsessed with the dead woman's story and the myths surrounding her, particularly that of La Reina de las Chicharras, the Queen of the Cica ...more
Robin Bonne
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Don’t sleep on this author.
V. Castro’s second book was difficult to read at times. Her books may be quick reads, but there are so many layers to her words that I’m thinking about the stories long after I’ve finished. Her words invoke a strong emotional response in me.

The scariest horror is the historical aspect of the labor camps. The folklore legend of the Queen of the Cicadas was well written and I was disturbed by how Milagros was murdered. It came together perfectly in an unexpected way. I
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse, texas

So, I’m not Mexican, but I’m from L.A. and Mexican American history and culture has very much been a part of my own upbringing. A good friend of the family was part of the zoot suit riots. I knew who La Llorona was before I hit first grade. We learned about Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta. My closest friends growing up were Mexican and I sometimes spent more time in their own houses than I did my own. So while it’s not 100% my culture…it’s kind of part of my culture by proxy if that make sense.

Jessica Woodbury
I am always looking for horror that doesn't feel like a retread and this certainly fits the bill. Not only do you have Castro's story steeped in Mexican mythology and Mexican American culture, the prose, the style, and the structure all feel distinctive.

I particularly liked the way this story, while still rooted in the horror morality tale we have seen so often, also moves past it into a much bigger universe with a whole different way of seeing everything. What starts off feeling familiar is le
Jun 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It took a little bit for me to get into the story, but once I did… I was all in. What an incredible mash up of Mexican folklore and body horror that gives a voice to characters and perspectives that are under explored in modern literature. Without spoiling anything, the ending also provides a satisfying amount of catharsis without spiralling into a cheap revenge fantasy. I loved it. Read this book!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest revie
Becky Spratford
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Star review and an interview with the author appears in the June 2021 issue of Library Journal. Review is here:

Interview to come

Three Word That Describe This Book: revenge, unflinching, voice to the voiceless

Draft Review:

In her engrossing, violent, and exultant debut novel, Castro boldly crafts a brutal revenge Horror story, one that belatedly but firmly delivers justice to the world’s forgotten women. In 1952, on a farm in Texas, Milagros, a farm worker
Kevin Lucia
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
A challenging novel of historical horror, full of substance and rich culture, the horror here lies not just with the supernatural, but also with all-too common evil of racism and prejudice. Very much recommended.
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
One can "be woken" by reading nonfiction accounts, whether contemporary or historical. One can also achieve that [albeit painfully] through well-tuned and gifted fictional narratives. Although not a Person of Color, I've been awakened to the lives and despair and plights of Latina women and girls through QUEEN OF THE CICADAS by V. Castro, and MEXICAN GOTHIC by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Maybe it is accurate that one cannot really comprehend until one lives it; but certainly we can see at least the gl ...more
Patricia Rohrs (words we love by blog)
As A Mexican-American I can fully say that I appreciate and love this story! The mention of curandera’s, La Lorona felt like I was back listening to my great grandmother tell me tales to warn me from making mistakes that would haunt me!

And haunting is what La Reina De Las Chicharras did! This story had so many layers and you got different narratives as each “culprit” paid the price for their sin! It was a little jarring at first to keep pace with what was happening within the story but once I g
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Queen of the Cicadas is a tale of love, sex, revenge, murder, and great power. We start with our main character, Belinda, as she returns to a Texas farm for a friends wedding. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras - The Queen of The Cicadas. The legend states that a young farm worker, Milagros, was brutally murdered and the town had no intention of doing anything about it (aside from turning the other cheek). This attracts the attention of the Aztec goddess of ...more
Apr 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-netgalley
The story of The Queen of the Cicadas in itself is a great one. It's a story largely centered on racism, revenge and bloodshed. I really appreciate how unapologetic the author brought the unfair treatment of Mexican farm workers to our attention. I enjoyed all the urban legend elements and learning about aspects of Mexican culture.

What I did not like was how muddled the story felt. I realize it was set in two different times, but at some points it was hard to distinguish what was truly happenin
Josh Keown | Night Terror Novels
Originally posted over at my personal blog site, Night Terror Novels

“Unlike things like gravity and the sun, justice is a commodity, like oil or cotton or tobacco.”
– V. Castro, The Queen of the Cicadas

🦗I received an e-ARC of this story from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Queen of the Cicadas (2021) will publicly release on the 22nd June!🦗

V. Castro is an author who has been on my radar for such a long time now, and I’ve heard overwhelmingly positive things in respo
Jun 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro is a blend of urban legend, haunted house, and multi-generational saga, and it packs a punch. Castro hits the ground running, weaving together the stories of Belinda and Milagros, the murdered farm worker. Although both women are flawed and morally gray, they each connect to the reader in their own way. Belinda's story is told in first person, but the narration head-hops a bit not only between her narrative and Milagros's, but also several other points of vi ...more
Melissa S
Jun 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Belinda returns to Texas for the wedding of her best a friend. She's surprised to realize that the farm was the site of the urban legend La Reina de Las Chicharras, which she first heard told at a childhood sleepover. In the 1950s, undocumented farm worker Milagros Santos was murdered by a group of white women. She was tied to a tree so tightly that she was strangled, with fire ants dumped over her and cicadas stuffed down her throat. Her legend says that she can be called by anyone who speaks h ...more
Thank you to Flame Tree Press & Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC of The Queen of Cicadas in exchange for an honest review!

I have finally read a V. Castro book & I am so pleased & cannot wait to pick up more from this author!

When I started The Queen of Cicadas, I was beyond into it. I was flipping digital pages like it was nobody's business. I absolutely loved everything about it, but I guess I'm going to do something out of character & that is to get the negative out of the way first:
Melissa Nowark
Jun 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Sometimes the dead come back to take what was stolen from them. Blood justice.”

Milagros was a migrant farm worker from Mexico. She was ruthlessly killed by a white woman because her husband couldn’t keep his hands to himself. She caught the eye of Mictēcacihuātl, or Queen of the Underworld. Milagros soon became La Reina de las Chicharras. The Queen of the Cicadas.

The Queen of the Cicadas soon became an urban legend, a myth. But there is so much more to Milagros, now that she’s become La Reina.

Jun 20, 2021 added it
Shelves: read-in-2021
Part of a blog tour, review coming on 29th June
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this read largely because it was so different from anything I've read recently. I was never quite sure what to expect. A revenge fantasy for the Indigenous peoples of Mexico, featuring a goddess who comes to a migrant worker when she's dying from a heinous hate crime. This struck me as a Latinx, female-led version of Candyman, only, over time, La Reina de las Chicharras comes to protect the downtrodden who call her.

I understand the importance and role of having a place for anger at inj
Horror DNA
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jennifer-turner
Let’s start off with the fact that this book would definitely be my top ten of the year list, if my lazy ass would ever get around to writing one. But as my dearly departed mother always said, “It’s the thought that always counts.”

V. Castro The Queen of the Cicadas is absolutely amazing. A well-written story with perfect pacing and realistic characters that is a must-read for any horror fan.

You can read Jennifer's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.
Bianca (Belladonnabooks)
At its core this is a story of racism, identity, myths and legends with hints of sexiness and sensuality throughout.
This is not simply a horror story. It is a story of resilience and cultural strength.

This is the tale of the urban legend of La Reina de Las Chicharras, Queen of the Cicadas who seeks vengeance for those who have been wronged or discriminated against.
The storyline alternates between Mexico in the 1950s where a farm hand named Milagros is cruelly murdered, to 2018 in Texas where
I was approved to receive an e-Galley ARC of The Queen of Cicadas, authored by V. Castro, cover created by Flame Tree Studio, from publisher Flame Tree Press and NetGalley, for review consideration. What follows below is my honest review, freely given.

I rated this novel 5 stars. This book slaps. It may be the playlist my husband has playing atm (it totally is), but that sums it up best. It slaps hard.

One of my favorite uses for nonlinear storytelling is drawing out the known horror of a terrib
I want to start off and say that I absolutely enjoyed every aspect about this novel. To start, I applaud V. Castro and how she writes her characters. They come out sounding like very real and every day people; unapologetically themselves and I truly find that to be wonderful.

I love that the author finds a way to blend her own culture into her novel, it made for a unique and quite invigorating read. This novel centers around a few people, Belinda and Hector, as well as Milagros. Having the sort o
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
We have a trinity of women across time and space in this book. Santa Muerte or Mictēcacihuātl is an Aztec deity of death exists in another dimension but still present after the fall of the people at the hands of the Spaniards. Milagros, who becomes the titular Queen of the Cicadas, begins her journey from Mexico in the 1950s with a family friend who was part of the bracero program and begins a new one at the Texas farm where most of the story takes place. Belinda, jaded middle-aged woman of the ...more
Nicole Franklin
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, arc, indies, upcoming
Thank you to Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for the e-arc!

Here we have a super interesting historical horror with a salient hook right up my alley: Mexican mythology blended with female rage and the never-ending nature of injustice born from hate, all wrapped up in one neat, super dark package. I adore that part of the macro, and it is definitely what shines the brightest. The character gallery is unapologetically honest, even when it comes to uglier things, and every character is honestly just
Aiden Merchant
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Review:
I was thoroughly engaged during my first V. Castro reading. Queen of the Cicadas is equal parts horror rush and cautionary campfire tale. I really cared about Milagros and the disgusting treatment she endured. The scenes in which Belinda comes in contact with Mictecacihuatl were probably my favorite; her fascination was captivating and exciting. I especially appreciated that the editor/publisher/agent didn’t force the author to Americanize her speech in this novel by giving us Spanis
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“The Queen of the Cicadas” is a remarkable insight into Mexican lore that has V. Castro delivering the goods to her readers. I could not put this story down, every second I could steal away from everyday life I was right there sneaking in a few pages. V. Castro is definitely an amazing storyteller so much so you could absolutely feel what Belinda, Hector, and most importantly what Milagros felt. The rage, the betrayal, and the need for justice were at the forefront of it all, and that if it wasn ...more
Catherine McCarthy
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Feel the Texan heat, hear the click of cicadas, and that food! This is a very sensual novel in lots of ways. I found myself fully immersed in the settings and loved the way the author portrayed Milagros's plight as well as everything to do with the Aztec goddess of death. Very interesting back story. I love reading about gods and goddesses from other cultures.
The one aspect that didn't work as well for me was Belinda's emotional attachment to those she encountered and that was because I felt she
Ack - I really think 2.5 accurately portrays my feelings for this, but I'm rounding to 3.

This really intrigued me because of the urban legend theme the synopsis mentioned. This has dual timelines, one taking place in 2019 and one in 1952 (which would make some of the characters in this 90+ and still bopping around, but I digress). The 2019 timeline follows Belinda who is visiting a farm house turned wedding venue (who would have guessed) where in 1952 the terrible murder of a field worker, Milag
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