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.1
King’s Cage starts back at one of the few memorable things we had to take with us from the last book… you know… (quick google search) Glass Sword. Held prisoner to the now King Maven and held on a leash at his feet like a dog, Mare finds herself in a very difficult position. We have come to know that Mare Barrow does not give up without a fight, but it becomes apparent very quickly, that any ability to have any fight will be quickly snuffed out.
To allow for a change of pace of the monotony of palace life as a prisoner we do bounce from one side of the war to the other to pick up the stale bread crumbs along the way. Like Mare, we have been beaten into submission with the only thought keeping us going is the knowledge that something sweeter and bigger than the stale breadcrumbs is bound to come along at some point. Give me my mutant powers and give me my deeply disturbed hunky princes, but don’t give me minuscule pieces of information that will not amount to anything in the end.
King’s Cage follows a few different points of view for obvious reasons, but others are a bit more of a surprise and a grateful reprieve from some of the more stale moments. With the break in time between reading the last book and this one, and the large amounts of filler scenes I couldn’t even remember a character who came to be one of our narrators. While I couldn’t remember where she came from and I can’t relate to our main character of Mare, I could relate to our new part-time author’s very honest opinion of Mare Barrow. These comments from one character about the person who is to be our main character and the one we should be rooting for were very interesting. I can’t tell if Aveyard was looking to just add another side of the story, or if she too was starting to see the flaws of one of her own characters.
We continuously find ourselves in these stop and go situations where there is high impact in the beginning, a large lull throughout the middle, then more impact in the end. This trilogy-now-endless campaign could have easily been shaved down to fit that glass slipper trilogy status. One cannot really harp on Aveyard too much on this point. You are a successful writer who struck gold with an idea and people seem to be sticking along for the ride, are you really going to opt out on those additional pay days and the chance to explore more of that world as a writer? I thought not.
While I should be thankful for the opportunity to explore the series further and hopefully get some of the answers and fulfillment that we are all wanting from this, I thought we had a deal? You know… Red Queen… the trilogy….. Yet here we are. King’s Cage has left us on the edge of yet another undetermined expanse with a fourth novel called War Storm due out in 2018. Fool me once…. I am not getting my hopes up that this will be the end of our story especially with a fifth novel deal to arrive at a later date with an unknown title and subject. It could be a fifth book in the series, effectively turning book four, our conclusion, into another place holder filler. I suppose there is the possibility we will get our resolution in War Storm and that a mystery guest will linger in the shadows as book five. This is not including the two novellas already slotted into the series. I am aware that I sound like a spoiled child. What we all want as avid readers is for authors we like to continue making books, especially in a world we have come to love and adore. The whole mutant abilities thing has always been something of an interest to me since my young knowledge of X-Men, though this whole dilly dallying and random events stalling our journey are really starting to piss me off.
- Book summary courtesy of Harper Collins King’s Cage book page.