On the surface it may feel like V. Castro’s The Queen of the Cicadas is a commonly told tale of an urban legend come to life, but it has so many more layers than that.
Early chapters do draw comparisons to tales such as Candyman, but ‘Cicadas’ veers off into many different areas including institutional racism, the role of family and how searching for truth does not always yield the answers you crave but something else entirely.
Told through different timelines we learn of the death of farm worker Milagros, a migrant from Mexico and Belinda a modern day woman trying to discovering the secrets behind her death plus the tale of La Reina De Las Chicharras aka The Queen of the Cicadas.
Castro also introduces an interesting mix of characters and infuses the text with characteristics some may not be used to with protagonists, such as Belinda’s insatiable sex drive which has the story descending into erotic fiction for small periods.
The author has clearly researched the relationships between the United States and Mexico and infuses some social commentary – think ‘The Wall’.
The Queen of the Cicadas veers into unexpected areas but feels all the better for it and asks some big questions and is so bold in its approach.
Seek it out.
The Queen of the Cicadas from V. Castro is released on 22nd June 2021 by Flame Tree Press.