Series: Red Queen #3
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Main themes: Personal Growth, Society, War, Power
Rating: 4 stars
Mare Barrow has been captured and imprisoned by newly appointed Silver king, Maven Calore. As the months stretch by, Mare’s strong will is truly challenged as she spends most of her days in solitary confinement, is plagued by some of her most unbearable memories, and tortured in the worst way possible. And without her lightning, suppressed by the constant presence of Silent Stone and her Arven guards, Mare is suffocating. But Maven has no intention of letting Mare go. As one of the notable members of the Red Guard, Maven uses her as a pawn to help advance his political stance in fighting the rebel group. And then there’s his own hidden agenda; which sees Mare fall deeper and deeper into the dark labyrinth that is the catastrophic King’s mind. This is a deep one!
The first line of King’s Cage is a blow to your stomach, and all the feelings from Glass Sword comes rushing back. There was a lot of uncertainty and fear surrounding Maven’s true nature, and that was what made Maven so terrifying. But now that we’ve been given an explanation of how he came to be… he’s still terrifying, but in a completely different way. And even with the explanation, Maven is still a hard guy to figure out. I think Mare’s confusion and frustration about her feelings towards him mirrored mine’s perfectly. Maven has committed unforgivable crimes, and wronged Mare in the most cruelest of ways but there’s still a part of me that feels sorry for Maven, and I hate that! So A* to Victoria Aveyard for succeeding in completely messing with our heads.
In terms of characters, there was so much development, and my feelings towards everyone had changed in some way. Mare for example, I’m so proud of her growth within this book. Being with Mare throughout everything she’s endured, it wasn’t hard to feel like you had to stay with her, to continue reading to show that you support her, and know that she’s strong enough to escape her nightmare. There are also parts of Mare which I see in myself, and so it’s nice being able to relate to her on that level.
Cal… I’ve always loved sweet Cal but in this book I liked him so much more, which made certain things very hard to come to terms with…! Then there was also Cameron who I wasn’t a big fan of in Glass Sword. I disliked her even more in this book as I thought at times, she was too insensitive, dismissive, and hypocritical. However towards the end, I ended up liking her a lot more. Farley- with each book I love her character more and more. She’s the fiercest woman I’ve ever read about; she’s a force to be reckoned with and I love how her relationship has developed with characters like Mare.
And then Evangeline! Goodness me. Without giving away any spoilers, I definitely see her in a different light now. I still think she’s an absolute nightmare but I now have a lot of respect for her. Her chapters were super insightful and it still makes me laugh that I can’t get over the fact that Evangeline and Ptolemus call each other Evie and Tolly… These terrifying Samos magnetrons actually have cute, endearing nicknames for each other… Who knew?!
So overall, I really enjoyed reading King’s Cage. It’s definitely more slow paced than the previous books, but it’s very beneficial for the growth of the plot. I was also really happy with the diversity of characters; Aveyard continues to do an amazing job in making her characters representative of our own world. The fighting scenes were among my favourite; they were written amazingly and truly showed off what old and new characters alike could do… Mare’s lightning truly is magnificent. This world that Aveyard has created is spectacular and I have no doubt that the finale of the of this series will definitely blow readers away!