Latest Reads: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: Available Now from Orion

Source: Netgalley then Purchased copy

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.

We are on book 3 of the Red Queen series and it is just getting stronger and stronger, with multiple layers and intrigue being woven into every separate novel, deepening the mythology and making all the character arcs ever more gripping. Therefore I add a cautionary note to readers to ensure they read Red Queen and Glass Sword first, before entering the utterly riveting story that is King’s Cage.

I love these. There are a very few absolute stand out series in this genre, although a lot of very good stuff, but with Red Queen and beyond Victoria Aveyard has created an immersive, beautifully described and intensely addictive other world with a cast of eclectic and troubled characters and a divisive and ever changing political landscape.

I won’t say too much about this instalment just in case you are reading this cold, but suffice to say our heroine  Mare, is in an untenable situation, brought about by the events of Glass Sword, she is now living the consequences. For a lot of this book you live that pain with her as she wonders if the life she has is worth continuing on with. Meanwhile more political maneuvering and a war that is widening its grip goes on both around Mare and in the background, leading to an explosive, thrilling and emotionally charged finale. Oh what will happen now? I can’t guess – another one of the reasons this is so good – but boy am I keen to find out.

I like that the author throws surprises at us regularly, not only with regard to the ebb and flow of wider loyalties but with how you view individual characters. One of the mainstays of the series showed us a whole new side in this, it was both fascinating and made you view previous actions in a different way, that is what Ms Aveyard does so well. There is good and evil in here – but good is not always honest and evil is not just born but made – those are the themes that come to the fore a lot in the Red Queen series, none so much as they do in King’s Cage. Murky motivations abound on all sides.

The magical fantasy elements are just ingrained into the stories now, its like that is just life, the abilities of different groups within the varying factions just pretty much the norm and having them there makes for some extensively thrilling, edge of the seat battle scenes. The intricacy of the world building is intensely good, more understanding of the history and the way different factions came into power, all beautifully imagined and flowing through the narrative, you never quite know where the next friendship will be thrown aside as the battles, both civil and extended, rumble on with often powerfully emotional consequences. Especially when you are invested. I’m invested. I love these characters. I’m probably slightly weird in that my main sympathy lies with Maven. But you know. I like the divisive ones, the ones who show so many sides you can’t grasp onto a single one of them..

Overall King’s Cage was a gorgeous, intense and beautifully written rollercoaster ride of a read, it took me but moments to be absorbed once again into Mare’s world and I seriously cannot wait to go back.

Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading!


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