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.
Song For This Book: Broken by Seether ft. Amy Lee
Why? Maven needs a song this time around, since he was fantastic in this book.
This review may contain spoilers from the previous books in the series, but not for King’s Cage.
Like everyone else, I’d been eagerly anticipating this book for the past year. Glass Sword left me desperate to know what was going to happen next, what Maven was going to do, were Cal and Mare ever going to get together. So many questions that needed to be answered in this book! And some of these questions got answers, some of them didn’t. For the latter, we’ll just assume it’s because this series has been changed from three to four books (which is a choice I don’t understand, but I’m not going to get into that now) and give the benefit of the doubt that it’s going to be resolved eventually.
This book was all over the place (mostly because there isn’t a single character left in this book who is mentally okay), but not necessarily in a bad way. This book is addictive as hell, leaving you hoping that someone comes out of all this mess with some sanity remaining.
But overall, I wasn’t as impressed with this book as I hoped I would be. It was good, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t wow me. I honestly closed the book after finishing it and thought to myself ‘well, that was fine’. I usually have more of a reaction to books, either positive or negative. But it was just average.
The Good Points of King’s Cage:
Maven and Evangeline were amazing in this book. I absolutely loved the development for both of these characters, and how they’ve been twisted into something else, to the point where they don’t even know who they really are, or who they are supposed to be. It was so easy to get wrapped up in any scene with Maven sharing his inner thoughts, as well as all of Evangeline’s point of view.
The pacing is good throughout the book. It’s a little all over the place, because you alternate between war tactics, training, feelings, getting to know characters more, and transitional moments. But you get so much information and character development in those slower moments that you’re not really bothered by the slower pace.
On the note of character development, I do love how Aveyard plays her characters against the upbringing and beliefs. The Reds react as we would expect them to, how they want to gain equality, while the Silvers struggle to see each other and the Reds in a different way. There’s a lot of great work with predisposition and upbringing, and it’s really great.
The Downsides of King’s Cage:
Ugh, what are Mare and Cal even doing? For the main characters of this book, they suck. Mare used to be such a strong character, and now she just follows along and does whatever everyone else wants her to do. She’s just become such a generic YA heroine. And don’t even get me started on Cal. How is someone who was raised to lead a country so spineless? These two deserve each other just for being such dull characters.
There was nothing surprising or twisty about this book. It was all fairly predictable and while it was all written well, after the fun twists of the previous books, I had some high expectations.
I legitimately have no idea what purpose Cameron’s point of view served. It was cool to see another perspective, but it added a whole lot of nothing to the story. If the purpose was to show what was going on with the Silver Guard, well, I guess it worked. But there are a hundred and one better and more interesting ways to go about that.
All in all, I did enjoy the book, and I still plan to pick up the next book when it’s released. But compared to the first two, I was kind of disappointed with this book. It was good, but it didn’t bring anything new to the party, either the Red Queen series, or the YA world. It was just another book that feels vaguely like a bunch of other books that you like, with some great moments and characters, and some that make you want to pull your hair out.