Friday, May 25, 2018

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard Review

Title: King’s Cage
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series: Red Queen, book three
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

Sorry I haven’t posted anything more recent, you guys! I’ve been crazy busy, with my family life and work and everything else, and on top of that, King’s Cage was so explosive and emotional for me that I needed time to process all of my feelings, and then time just got away from me. But on to the actual review! King’s Cage is the second to last book in The Red Queen series, and man, was it explosive. Way to pack a punch, Aveyard! I finished this almost a week ago, and I’m still reeling; I’m practically salivating for War Storm, and the only reason I haven’t lost my mind is because it’s on its way! I’m so excited and anxious to see how one of my most recent favorite series will end! That ending though: Ouch, my heart! I’m so scared for what’s in the future for Mare, Cal, and Maven!
Mare Barrow has gone on to sacrifice everything, her heart and soul, her freedom, the love of her life, in order to stop Maven. Giving herself to him freely in exchange for the lives of her friends and fellow soldiers, she is used as a trophy for Maven’s twisted new regime and tortured brutally. But Maven isn’t done; he’s determined to use her to wipe out what’s left of the Scarlet Guard and the newbloods they’ve taken in. Desperate to escape the clutches of her captor and the feuding factions that come out of the woodwork under his fragile rule, Mare must decide if she is willing to sacrifice the things and people she cares for most in order to stop Maven, or if she will walk away from the battle, tired as she is of the bloodshed.

This book; this book was strong in some respects and the weakest of the series in others. I’ve even had time to think about it and I still don’t quite know how I feel about it. The pacing was breakneck; Mare’s terse, spare narration grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go; even when I wasn’t reading it, it was constantly on my mind, picking at me. (It even wormed its way into my dreams several times!) My heart broke for Mare and what she had to do for her loved ones, and the too-young soldiers under her care. I liked the way that Aveyard added in two other perspectives to even out the tension: Evangeline Samos, Maven’s betrothed and eternal nemesis of Mare, and Cameron, the reluctant child-soldier rescued from the battlefield of The Choke, focused on nothing but rescuing her twin brother and the other innocent children trapped in Maven’s war machinations. I liked the way that Aveyard explored Mare’s twisted, poisonous relationship with Maven. At times the book seemed really focused on Mare and her relationship with Cal, so much so that it took away from the other parts of the story. But I enjoyed the political intrigue of it all, and that ending—it was insane. I’m still reeling over it, and frankly, I’m angry; I can only hope that War Storm isn’t going to rip me apart as this did. But it’s Victoria Aveyard, so, I don’t really have my heart set on it. The bottom line: The second to last Red Queen novel, King’s Cage butchered me, despite some little flaws that took away from the better parts of the story, and I can’t wait for War Storm! Next on deck: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake! 

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