Entertainment Weekly has released an excerpt of the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and it turns out that Suzanne Collins’ new book will delve into the origin story behind the trilogy’s Big Bad: President Coriolanus Snow.
Set 64 years before the original trilogy, the prequel features a teenage Snow front-and-center as the new protagonist. EW describes him as “friendly” and “charming,” a “teenager born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know,” aka an evil dictator with a rose obsession and blood-flavored breath.
In this excerpt, Snow’s breath reeks of little more than cabbages, and he’s merely a senior at the Capitol’s Academy tapped to mentor in the Hunger Games. At this point in time, the Games are a far cry from the extravagant, reality TV phenomenon of Katniss’ era. In fact, viewing is optional, so a lot of people just don’t tune in. Tasked with finding a way to attract more eyeballs, Snow finds himself paired with an underdog from District 12.
Read the full excerpt over at Entertainment Weekly, where you can also find a portrait of teen!Snow.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes comes out from Scholastic on May 19, 2020.