Last month I read King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, and today I’m reviewing it for all of you. King’s Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series. Overall, I gave it four stars.
Goodsread summary; 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
This book completely changed my opinion on this series. I had always had mixed feelings about Aveyard’s books – Red Queen gave me Hunger Games vibes and Insurgent vibes from Glass Sword. King’s Cage, however, stood on its own. The writing felt more confident and unique, and I finally felt the series’ individuality come through. There were some sections I didn’t enjoy, particularly parts of Cameron’s point of view, but I learned to like them.
Mare really develops as a character in this third instalment. She finally realises the mistakes she’s made and wants to be better. She’s had all these people telling her how to be, but finally, she finds herself. She’s a very strong character, so strong, that we never really see her emotional, but events in Glass Sword have hardened her, and she knows how to pave the way for a better future for reds.
“I’ve been broken too many times to break again.”
Mare and Cal’s relationship doesn’t develop much until the very end. Mare kept mentioning that her and Cal had been on bad terms, but I felt as though they never discussed their issues so they could move them aside. They were both so overwhelmed to see each other again that most moments were filled with passion. When they first encountered at the wedding, it was so tense. It kept me on edge. The ending was also tense, expect it left me devastated. I know why mare chose to step away from Cal – who, not surprisingly, chose the crown – but that doesn’t mean I not saddened by it. I love the two of them together.
“The fallen prince is exhausting. I don’t know how Mare could stand him or his inability to choose a damned side-especially when there’s only one side he can possibly pick.”
Which brings me onto someone else I like mare with. Maven. Do I think he’s good for Mare? No. but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them interacting. Each scene was well crafted, and I especially loved the ones in his office and the bath scene where they were just talking between them. It was simple, and yet so effective, eerie.
“I’m in a king’s cage. But so is he. My chains are Silent Stone. His is the crown.”
Maven is a complex character, and he is established a lot more in King’s Cage. He was made a monster against his will, and now he doesn’t know if anything he feels and believes is real or not. (Mockingjay Vibes?) I really liked seeing him in different situations, alone, around nobles, stressed. He’s very interesting.
“Maven Calore is not his own self. He told me as much. He is a construct, a creation of his mother’s additions and subtractions. A mechanical, a machine, soulless and lost. What a horror, to know that someone like this holds our fates in the palm of his quivering hand.”
This review wouldn’t be complete my Evangeline. The scene where she saved Mare left me gasping and cheering. I wasn’t the biggest fan of her in the previous books, but she was much more interesting in this one, even before she became a hero. Having chapters from her point of view added a whole other aspect to her character – she’s strong, independent, LGBT representative, loving towards her family, and doesn’t actually want to be queen anymore because she wants to be with her lover even though she was literally brought up and bred to be one. It’s safe to say I can’t wait to see more of her.
“Thank you,” I whisper. Words I never thought I would say to her. They unsettle us both.”
“You want to thank me, Barrow?” she mutters, kicking away the last of my bindings. “Then keep your word. And let this fucking place burn.”
When Mare goes to the new training ground and meets other reds with the same powers as her. I really liked how she wasn’t running the place, instead she was one of them. It felt more united, like the movement of the Scarlet Guard is finally coming together.
Kilorn wasn’t a huge part of King’s Cage, and I can’t say I missed him. He’s not a bad character, but it was a refreshing change from the typical theme of the best friend that is normal and gets dragged into the war every time and always needs saving. He found a way to be useful at camp, and that’s good for everyone. The brief scenes with Mare and her family were sweet, a reminder of what she’s fighting for.
“The smell made it really hard to be friends with you.”
“Probably why we stuck together. No one else could handle my stink or your attitude.”
That’s all my thoughts and feelings on King’s Cage, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you liked the review and what you thought of the book down below.
Little Fantasy Land