Book Review: King’s Cage

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Reading all of that probably paints an image of what to expect in the book. A skeleton if you will. This book, is thick-skinned, and beautifully so.

So much happens in this book that it’s almost wrong to put one label on how it goes. Some parts are long and drawn out and seemingly endless. Others are so fast paced that a battle occurs in the space between chapters.

The story is told this time from multiple perspectives. Obviously Mare, not-so-obviously Cameron, and who-woulda-thought Evangeline. She obviously has an unearthed view that needed further exploration. Also, that was terribly punny and I’m sorry.

With the multiple eyes through which this story is seen, some things were evident. Almost no one wants Maven on the throne even while he tries to do good. Most of the houses rebel, in honour of King Tiberias the Seventh, and some abrupt partnerships are formed. But this is in the end, war. And when a party’s workings are against the goals of the other, how much progress can be made?

There is as much conflict on the battlefield as there is in Mare. Held prisoner in the place she once lived – and by silencers no less – is deadening. Without access to her lightning, Mare’s escape will depend only on everything but. Her skills as a thief come in handy, but they are not enough to escape the prisons in her mind. The person she must become to survive and the person she wants to be clash when she breathes fresh air again. But for the sake of Norta, and for the sake of her family – old and new – some choices need to be made; some more painful than others.

This book really is an emotional rollercoaster and I couldn’t help but feel for Mare. She has been through so much, and will go through so much just to fight for equality. To have Reds be able to live their lives free from so-called silver gods. And she does fight through, even with her losses, which makes the cause and the character all the more appealing.

All of the things that the series is known for returns. The magic, the pain, the surprises, the moments of utter exhilaration, and those of utter dread. There was also a lot more Maven in this book, with most of the earlier chapters dedicated to moments in his presence. It becomes a lot easier to understand why he’s such a maniac. But also a bit harder to forgive him; there really are no excuses for cutting off your father’s head for the crown.

Also, Cameron’s search for her brother comes to an abrupt end in this book. With the captain Farley’s new state, Kilorn’s new job, and all the new developments, a lot is going on in this book. I do appreciate the fact however that none of it matters until it does matter. Putting unimportant things aside resonates loudly in this book, even painful in some places. But downright intriguing.

I should add that I feel like fantasy and really most fiction tackle problems in our society in different ways. “The divide” is not uncommon to plots and is also visible in this one. It’s not hard to see where discrimination from difference in color – albeit blood – comes from. And as much as the books preach “difference not division” I feel like there’s going to be some sort of tilt towards the absence of an actual substantial difference.

With the final installment, War Storm getting released this May, I am brimming with excitement. As soon as I get my hands on it, I’ll let you guys know. You can follow my Instagram (http://instagram.com/seunthewriter) to know when it happens. Sadly, War Storm will bring this amazing series to an end I honestly do not want. But nevertheless, I have some predictions. I’ll try not to spoil anything. A lot will happen, including some substantial deaths. Some jarring truths will be uprooted and distraught many. But it will be an amazing ride. Just as King’s Cage is. There. Now you know what to expect.

Thank you for reading this review of Victoria Aveyard’s King Cage. You really should drop a like or a comment if you enjoyed. And maybe subscribe too. Maybe not maybe. See you next time, and don’t forget to have fun reading!

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