I’ve finally caught up on the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, having finished the most recent installment – King’s Cage (Book 3). I was excited to see where everyone ended up following the conclusion of Glass Sword, but I’m sad to
say write that I was a bit disappointed in this book ☹️
Read on to see my spoiler-free thoughts on what exactly turned me off. Note: Since this is Book 3, the Overview/Synopsis section below does have some spoilers from the first two books. The remainder of the review, however, is safe.
Young Adult Fantasy – War, Magic, Love, Romance, Deception – did I say Magic? Maybe I should call it “abilities”? 🤔 Or just call it awesome. Yeah, we’ll go with awesome.
This is technically a young adult novel, with young adult main characters; however, the content is probably applicable to older audiences too.
Overview (From Book Jacket)
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-raging band of new bloods and Reds continues 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.
In this breathless third installment in Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling series, allegiances are tested on every side. And 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.
Norta and various other locales throughout the kingdom/land.
This story is told from the alternating perspectives of three of the main characters; which is cool, because it gives the reader a broader scope with which to analyze the events that take place as the story progresses and also allows us to empathize with each character. Or, at least, try to empathize with them…
What I Liked
Let me start out by saying that I really liked Book 1, Red Queen, and I also liked Book 2, Glass Sword. I’ve become invested in these characters and am in it for the long haul. I liked that we got to see a bit of everyone, and even more of certain characters this time around, and I remain hopeful and curious about what comes next.
I also enjoyed the action and the showcase of abilities during fight scenes (and even during non-fight scenes), as well as the romance.
Now, with that being said…
What I Liked A Little Less
For the most part, this book felt overwhelmingly like more of the same type of stuff we’ve already seen in the first two books. More of the same behaviors, mistakes, misunderstandings, etc. Just…more of the same.
The pace also dragged quite a bit. Usually, I love it when a book is longer than its predecessor(s), but in this instance, I felt like King’s Cage could actually have been two books. The first half of the book also seemed packed with metaphors/similes/analogies. Overwhelmingly so. That, in particular, seemed to lessen during the second half, so that could have contributed to the slow-pace feel I got at the onset, because the book did pick up during the second half.
King’s Cage gets 2.5/5 stars. Like I said, I’m still eager to see what comes next for these characters, so I’ll definitely be reading the next book once it’s out. But this book didn’t quite do it for me.