Series: Red Queen #4
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Main themes: War, Society, Power
Rating: 3.5 stars
After the difficult events of King’s Cage, Mare moves forward with the Scarlet Guard to fight for the freedom of Reds across Norta. In order to do this, they need to first remove the wicked king, Maven Calore from his throne and end the Nortan monarchy for good. This means a lot of things for many people. There’s Mare, Farley and all the other Reds who will finally be free of an oppressive system, Cal who wants to reclaim his rightful place on the throne, Evangeline who wants to escape a future that was always about her father attaining power… not to mention the other countries that have now become mixed up in this war- Montfort, the Lakelands, Pidemont… War Storm brings us the complexities and devastation of war, power and love in a conclusion to the Red Queen series.
As a big fan of the series, I was really excited to get started with this book. King’s Cage was pretty epic, and the ending promised a war which would bring a big change for Reds and Silvers alike. From the very first book we’ve been rooting for Mare and her mission to end the oppression and mistreatment of Reds, and so it felt good to finally be here with War Storm, where we’d start to see this happen. It’s honestly one of my favourite things about this book- the fight for equality and a fairer world. So many valuable lessons can be learnt from a story like this, especially as Victoria Aveyard captures a range of views from various stances which helps to give us insight into the nature of humans.
After around 200 pages or so, I went through a reading slump and so I took a long break from the book. When I returned, after reading a hundred pages more, my interest in the story itself dipped significantly. I don’t know whether this was because of my reading slump but I think something that did contribute to it was the fact that things were becoming a little too predictable and repetitive. For example, the scenes with Mare and Maven just weren’t as jolting to read about as they had been in King’s Cage or Glass Sword. I don’t know why but I just wasn’t that interested in Maven’s character anymore. So after 300 pages or so, things got a bit too slow for me and for the rest of the book, the only characters that truly held my interest were Cal and Evangeline.
Cal, because I was interested in what choices he would make. It’s in this book that the full impact of Cal’s decisions will come into full effect; he’ll either bring change for the better or for the worse and so I wanted to know how he’d deal with his choices. Would he step down from being King of Norta considering it’s a role he’s been groomed for his whole life? If not, what would change his mind if even the love he had for Mare couldn’t make him choose her over his crown? Those last few chapters of his were hugely interesting for me to read.
Now, as for Evangeline- her chapters were my most favourite to follow. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed her commentary. She’s ruthless, she can be mean and selfish but she is also a person who loves fiercely and above all, values her family. This in itself was what made her own story and the choices she’d have to make so interesting to follow… would Evangeline finally live her truth? It’s kind of crazy, thinking how at the start of this series, I couldn’t stand Evangeline but by the end of this book, she turned out to be one of my favourite characters. In this last book, she made me laugh with her cheeky and stinging comments, she left me in awe when she took control and showed everyone why she’s the fierce, warrior magnetron people fear, and I certainly didn’t see this coming but she’s become a character I’m really going to miss.
So War Storm was a great book but it didn’t leave me as ‘wowed’ as the prequels had. I still mostly enjoyed it and I’m pleased with how the book ended for everyone. Especially for Mare- I’m so glad she was able to find peace. I’m definitely filled with a sense of sadness at this being the end of an era. There are so many memories that this series has brought me and I’m truly going to miss it… I’ll always treasure Red Queen and I’ll never ever forget that “anyone can betray anyone.”