The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuvre his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favour or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
On a brilliant October afternoon halfway into fall term, Snow descended the marble steps of the University Science Center, modestly ignoring the turning heads. He looked gorgeous in his new suit, especially with the return of his curls, and his stint as a Peacekeeper had given him a certain cachet that drove his rivals wild.
He’d just finished a special honors class in military strategy with Dr. Gaul, after a morning at the Citadel, where he’d reported for his Gamemaker internship. If you wanted to call it that — really the others treated him as a full-fledged member of the team. They were already working on ideas to engage the districts, as well as the Capitol, in next year’s Hunger Games.