Victoria Aveyard blows readers away in this third installment of the bestselling The Red Queen series. Left powerless and at the mercy of the cruel King Maven, Mare Barrow must do everything in her power to not let her spark go out.
"Unable to put the book down, I was entranced by the haunted characters, fighting through a world so intent on destroying them. Aveyard weaves a story so invigorating, it is impossible to stay on your seat."
After sacrificing herself for the safety of her friends, Mare is forced into imprisonment under Silent Stone for the pleasure of Maven and his Silver council. Drained of her lightning, she is left empty with nothing but her thoughts to haunt her. Memories of a heartbreaking loss, and the guilt of the bodies piled behind her accompany her torment at the hands of King Maven. A boy she thought she loved has turned into a heartless monster, manipulative and lethal on the throne. Unable to rid himself of his obsession with her, Mare is drawn into a fierce battle between remembering who she is, and staying alive.
Even though the lightning girl is gone, the Scarlet Guard continues on. The rebellion is growing, with newbloods, Reds and Silvers banding together to form a lethal threat to Maven’s crown. A war is brewing, and the Guard is doing everything in it’s power to end on top. With the fierce rage of a prince willing to do anything to get Mare back, and a blood no longer willing to hide in the shadows, nothing in Norta will ever be the same.
From the start, KING’S CAGE rekindles the world of dark fantasy and thrilling rebellion. At the mercy of her enemies, Mare faces the threat of death on the edge of every page as readers are forced into following her nail-biting encounters. Unable to put the book down, I was entranced by the haunted characters, fighting through a world so intent on destroying them. Aveyard weaves a story so invigorating, it is impossible to stay on your seat. Every setback is a personal blow as readers witness a revolution that has expanded over three novels until it has no choice but to explode. Although built on war and pain, each narration includes disarming humor that balances the darker theme in perfect harmony.
Unique to the rest of the series, KING’S CAGE explores multiple points of view. After the agonizing death of her brother, Mare is left broken, with nothing to live for, but unwilling to die. Fascinated by the idea of killing Maven, Mare is shrouded in a darkness forced upon her by endless torture and isolation. Despite her sacrifice that saved the rest of her team at the prison, Mare is not the perfect hero. The burdens she bears are ones she would do anything to get rid of, no matter the cost. Her stubbornness and fierce mentality make her a force to be reckoned with, even in chains.
Alternatively, a new perspective is introduced as Cameron. With the terrifying ability to silence not only silver and newblood powers, but people, Cam is an asset the Scarlet Guard are not willing to let go of easily, no matter her wishes. Her endless love for her brother, and desire not to kill forge a character of quick-wit, unwilling to bow before anyone unless she wishes it. She is realistic in the way main characters of YA novels never seem to be, as she never takes all the blame on herself when others make seemingly harmful choices. Her intriguing insight on Mare, a person I had grown so used to seeing the world of The Red Queen from, allows readers to see the flaws in Mare impossible to notice before. A third perspective throws away any composure I had left while reading, as readers delve into the depths of a mind unlike any other seen in Norta before.
As a rebellion refuses to remain contained, alliances shatter, blood turns on blood and countries tear apart, no one is safe in a war to end the world as Mare knows it.
Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member on March 15, 2017