Thursday, March 9, 2017

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date - February 7, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  528 pages
My Rating - 5/5


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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. 
Three books into a series it can be hard to find something new to say about the world, the characters, and the plot. This is especially true if you are attempting to avoid spoilers. Victoria Aveyard makes this task easy by having her third installment expand the world, the characters, and the plot in ways that are completely unexpected. King's Cage takes the novel even further down the path to war, and blazes a scorching trail on its way there.

Three books into the series and it is clear that Victoria Aveyard knows her characters. She knows what makes them tick, and is able to make you understand their choices (even if you don't agree with them). The story is propelled forward in a way that shows she trusts us to be as comfortable with these characters and this world as she is. It makes the story progress in a realistic way and in a way that is very reminiscent of television show seasons or movie sequels.

Maven continues to be the worst in this installment. After taking Mare captive and literally putting her on a leash, there wasn't much further he could fall. This broken prince is a product of his upbringing and that has created a cold, calculating young man who is obsessed with Mare. I find Maven fascinating because he is unapologetic about his actions. He reminds me a lot of the characters in Game of Thrones. He's morally grey, and the scariest part is that he thinks he is justified in his actions. He believes he is doing the right thing. I want to know more of what makes him tick, and this novel does shine a light on the darker workings of Maven's mind.

 Mare's head space for most of this novel is not the greatest (understandably) but I admire her resilience and her determination. She has this inner strength that is readily apparent in this part of her journey. She may be selfish, a little whiny at times, but she does have strong convictions and doesn't give in easily. There are choices she has to make in this installment that change the direction of her journey and these decisions change her as a character. I find she has grown so much in this novel and is vastly changed from the young woman we meet in Red Queen.

Cal, the fire Prince who finds himself a tool in the rebellion is steadfastly Cal in this novel. He has a good heart, and that is going to be tested going forward. He may be the character who has to make the bigger sacrifices for the great good going forward. I hope that Victoria continues to explore how much power entices the young prince and how much he actually wants to rule. This element of  power corrupts, especially when it comes to someone as inherently good as Cal, would be fascinating and it is something that has only been teased so far.

 The connection between Mare and Cal is felt even when they are not together. There were plenty of moments where Mare thinking or talking about Cal left me swooning. They really are each others rock in this storm and hopefully they find a happily ever after that works for them at the end of this series. I am not hopeful, as I expect Victoria to be as brutal as possible even while delivering an ending that is not entirely bleak. This novel sets up a perhaps bittersweet finale for everyone involved, and I trust that all of them romances being built will be no exception.

There are many huge moves and strikes within this novel. If the other novels were setting up the chessboard, this novel was the game. Each move plotted and deliberated for maximum impact. This is a war and each side is prepared to win. There are many different sides to this fight, and each have their own agenda. Loyalties are tested even more in this novel and Victoria Aveyard handles this part of the novel masterfully. We understand each of the characters more by the end of this novel, and because of that the decisions being made are felt all the more.

Once again we're left on the edge waiting for the next novel. Victoria Aveyard is the queen of crushing, heart-ripping endings and this is no exception. King's Cage takes Mare's story to a much grander scale, and one that I expect will have dire consequences in the last novel. There are so many questions to be answered with who will ultimately be sitting on the throne in the end just one of them.

Victoria Aveyard's series continues to impress and expand the world she built in Red Queen. This breathtaking, pulse pounding installment sets up an epic conclusion where it feels like nobody is safe and rebellion may have a higher price than expected.


  1. I love this review! Completely agree about Maven, I was completely fascinated by him. And Cal and Mare together were the best!

  2. Oh!! I'm so glad to hear good things about this! I'm still not sure if I want to give it a read or not... I didn't like the second book at all. What were your thoughts on that one?


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