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.
The Red Queen was one of my favourite reads the year it came out and it set up some high expectations for the rest of the books. Glass Sword ending up falling a little short of those but with King’s Cage, it felt like a return to form. Red Queen is still my favourite but King’s Cage is a close second and it really has me excited for the last book. And also really nervous about the last book because it’s the last book.
No matter the relationship between them, I always find myself drawn to the dynamic between Mare and Maven. They make great allies. They make great enemies. They just make the scenes they share so entertaining or so twisted to read that I can’t help but get pulled right in. I think the author’s doing a great job balancing their relationship from what is was to what it became. We have reasons for Maven’s behaviour instead of excuses and their relationship wasn’t healthy for either of them, but that didn’t take away the fact that there were good feelings between them once.
There were so many themes going on in this book but they worked together for the overall story. My favourites were the symbolism of the cage, Mare may have been in a physical cage but so many were trapped in cages by circumstances, by birth, by their own making. My other favourite theme was that people could be manipulated and groomed to be a certain way, whether good or bad, and that no one was black or white. They could set up some really interesting themes for the last book.
We got more POVs in this one. It’s another thing that worked well since it meant we got to see what was happening with other characters while Mare was being held prisoner. Mare’s imprisonment was hard to read and it was slow(though I didn’t find it boring) and inserting other POVs to other locations broke that up and added some more action. The book was slower than Red Queen but paced better than Glass Sword. There was a lot of political talks, some history lessons, a lot of planning, but it all felt like it was leading up to an epic conclusion.