Book Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Lily Tran, Feature Editor

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
My Rating: 4.4/5

Summary:

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.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD FOR RED QUEEN AND GLASS SWORD
Read my review for Red Queen as well!

Review

King’s Cage is the third installment in Aveyard’s four book series. It is a young adult fantasy book written in first person from the multiple point of views of Mare Barrow (the protagonist), Evangeline (a Silver “rival” of Mare), and Cameron (a newblood in with the Scarlet Guard).

In King’s Cage, the book opens up with Mare and her life imprisoned by Maven. She’s definitely tortured, but it’s more emotionally than physically. In fact, Maven hardly interacts with her at all. She’s subjected to an empty shell, her abilities taken away by Silent Stone (a “power mute”) and unable to escape. In her time there, the reader finds out quite a bit about Maven and the reasons behind his actions. Maven forms a new alliance, and there are assassination attempts. It’s obvious that even the Silver nobility is divided. She stays in captivity for six months before she is rescued.

After she is rescued, everyone can tell that Mare has changed. She’s haunted by her experience at the castle. She was treated like a royal prisoner and used for propaganda to undermine the Scarlet Guard and turn the rest of the country against them. She was forced to relive the moments of her brother’s death. She was powerless and couldn’t do anything to escape. But soon, she gets back into training and finds just how big the Scarlet Guard is. She discovers that there are others like her, electricons, capable of controlling and producing lighting. She begins to heal and is very driven to destroy Maven once and for all. And then, another shocking betrayal at the end that leaves everyone in tears.

Okay, so there were a few things that I didn’t like in the book. First, Aveyard seems to exaggerate the depth of Mare’s emotional state. Everyone says that Mare went through a lot and she has changed because of it, always looking for enemies and betrayal in everyone and everything. However, in the first half of the book where Mare is imprisoned, I just didn’t feel like she was described. As a reader, I felt detached and confused by the emotions Mare was feeling and how everyone thought of her as someone to pity. Also, I didn’t enjoy how static some very key players are in the book, most especially Cal. Towards the end, you see how little he has changed from book 1 to book 3.

But there was plenty that I loved. First of all the MARECAL (Mare + Cal) ship has sailed. They finally admit their love for each other, a moment I have been waiting for since the first book. Also, there is a lot of world building. It’s basically a history lesson. The reader finally has a better understanding of how big the Red Queen world is, stretching across North America, and the history behind the ongoing war between Norta and the Lakelanders and the history of Silvers.

This book was conflicting. It didn’t scar me as emotionally as the first and second book did, but it definitely was full of plot twists and the new characters and POVs introduced are actually entertaining and interesting. King’s Cage will keep the reader on their toes and well, it’s a great story. The ending will probably hurt more than any other in the series. Have fun reading!

Fave Quote: “You won’t be alone. You’ll have your crown.”