Title: King’s Cage
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Paperback: 507 pages
Published: 9th February 2017 by Orion Publishing
My Rating: 3/5
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
So you’re probably quite shocked that I continued with this series, despite my intense dislike of book two.
As much as I hate to admit it, I kinda want to read War Storm. Somehow, this book has drawn me back into Aveyard’s world and reignited an interest in the series. Now I’m not gonna lie – I would not have read this had my friend not lent it to me. Glass Sword was underwhelming at best and I would happily have never gone back to it.
But I’m glad she handed me the book.
It is a vast improvement on book two and I feel as though the author took criticisms from it into account when writing this one; namely Mare and the writing style of fight scenes.
Mare develops in this book. Yes, she is irritating and no, she’s not one of my favourite characters, but she is tolerable. In this book she finally discovers the power of actually forming friendships and not secluding herself. She begins to stand back on her own two feet, more like the Mare at the beginning of Red Queen.
We also get a treat in that there are multiple narrators. There are chapters from Cameron and Evangeline’s points of view, both of whom I love.
The novel kind of splits into two halves; the half with Cameron’s points of view, and the half with Evangeline’s points of view. Or, the half where Mare is in Maven’s ‘cage’, and the half where she is back with the Scarlet Guard. The multiple narrators provide a window to where Mare isn’t and what’s going on on the other end.
Cameron, despite being impulsive and hot-headed, is likable (And she angsts a lot less than Mare, thank the lord). She has powers and a brother to save, even if she fixates on it more than anything else. As a character she grows throughout her chapters, growing up a lot and gaining control of herself.
Evangeline might just be my favourite character. She has her flaws, and is inherently selfish, but she is human. She has emotions and I caught myself sympathizing with her towards the end of the novel.
Aside from the three narrators, a lot of other characters evolved in this book, and I am hugely relieved that Farley has come back to herself. She faded a lot in book two, but she’s back to being the badass we know and love. (Even whilst heavily pregnant. God, I love this woman.)
We got more Maven in this book too. Far more than in Glass Sword. And I still prefer him to his royal highness Prince Tiberias Calore, despite the fact that he’s a twisted prat. I have a feeling that he’ll develop much further in the next book.
Cal…was slightly more tolerable. And I felt a smidge of chemistry between him and Mare. Alas, I still don’t like him.
Predictably, a ton more characters were introduced in this book. I remember about five of them (the other lightning users stick out for me). The Silver houses just get muddled in my head so I tend to skip over them.
Away from characters and onto plot, however, as I seem to have gotten sidetracked. It dragged far less than book two and was more reminiscent of Red Queen, the book that was decent. I actually engaged with this one, and I have to say real quick – this has such potential as a TV show. Just sayin’.
Writing wise, the fight scenes were such an improvement. Far clearer than whatever that prison scene in the last book was. I was absolutely captivated by the final battle, as in, I could just SEE it. Perhaps a little disappointed that we didn’t see the end of it, but what we got was well-written.
Has anyone got any thoughts? Did you like this? Or not?
(On a personal note, I am in straight up denial over Shade. He’s gonna come back. I can feel it.)