Monday, May 27, 2019

Review: King's Cage, War Storm (Red Queen #3-4)

Allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

The Red Queen series is a quartet of books, including two novellas, by Victoria Aveyard. This post contains reviews on the next two books: King's Cage and War Storm.

King's Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series. 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.

War's Storm is the final book in the Red Queen series. Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head. But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path. War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced? As the saying goes, victory comes with a price.

I enjoyed the previous two installments so much (this is a much darker version of The Hunger Games) that I was curious to see how it would end. I literally binged on the last two books to figure out how the story will play out. I was rooting for Mare and Cal to reunite and maybe work together to bring democracy to the lands. Each book nearly averaged 500 pages, so you get a ton of action, suspense, and romance in this dystopian world of post-United States. Unfortunately, I was somewhat dissatisfied with the ending. I won't spoil the plot, but I thought there would be a more happily-ever-after situation. While the series concluded as expected, part of the story felt incomplete as well. So what happens next? Aveyard left readers on a cliffhanger on how Silvers and Reds (and newbloods) will interact going forward. The war is over, but what does this mean for the main cast? While i am glad to pick up on this series, I am a bit disappointed that the ending left many questions unanswered. Stay tuned for the anthology of short stories that explain what happens after the ending of War Storm, Broken Throne.

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