ARC Review: King's Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard


King's Cage
Series: Red Queen #3
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published February 9th 2017 by Orion Publishing

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.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

This series, though not my favourite to begin with, has quickly become one that I enjoy reading. With each instalment, the action grows and a grows, and I don't know how we'll cope with the finale, if it keeps going this way. Mare has suffered and struggled, and now she's more at risk that ever. Following the explosive ending to Glass Sword, Mare is a prisoner of king Maven's, and he is doing whatever he can to use her to discredit the Red cause, and also to keep a shattering hold on his own power and control. Mare's ragtag group of Newbloods, along with Cal and the rest of the Red's are not letting her loss get them down. Obviously, they're planning on how to get her back, but they're also looking at the end goal, and that's the most important thing.

This book was simply fantastic. All of the main characters had excellent plot lines, and Mare's character development was unbelievable. She is treated worse than something you'd step in, and has her powers, her autonomy, her control, ripped from her, and still she's there, plotting her escape, and contingency after contingency, and doing anything she can to undermine Maven, and not let him get inside her head. Obviously, she's not strong all the time - she is human after all - but that lets us see the vulnerability, and make her more likeable, especially with how realistic the PTSD is shown to be.

Maven is an awful, nonredeemable character, and he deserves everything he gets. Unlike other 'evil' characters in other series, there's nothing about him that really gives you an element of pity. Everything his mother did to make and mould him in what he now is, has destroyed any 'human' part of his soul. His obsession of Mare - it's an obsession, there's no love there at all - causes even more hatred, because he feels like he's caring and protecting Mare in a way, when really, he's doing the exact opposite. Aveyard makes it clear that we're not getting any kind of Stockholm Syndrome here - he's evil, and that's that.

Like I said, the action is fantastic! There's so much realism in it, that the battle scenes somewhat turn into a little movie in your head, and there's no glossing over the sheer carnage and destruction which is caused by the war. There's death, there's blood, there's suffering, and it's done in a way not to reduce the importance of it, but to show that it's not something to be glorified, and the impact it can have on everyone involved.

I am dying to get my hands on book 4, and would recommend this series to anyone! I'm actually getting my mam to read them soon, after I met the author and she got interested in them :)

Dates Read:
February 11-16, 2017

4 Stars

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