Author: Victoria Aveyard
Audiobook Length: 17 hours 19 minutes
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.
King’s Cage is the third full-length novel in the Red Queen series. As it is a continuous series, the novels should be read in order and the thoughts in this review will spoil the previous novels. The series continues to be narrated from the perspective of Mare Barrow, however, King’s Cage introduces two more points of view that sporadically take place throughout the novel. The first is Cameron Cole, the 15 year old “Newblood” recruit to the Scarlet Guard that was first introduced in Glass Sword. The second is Evangeline Samos, a Silver, who the reader has been familiar with since she was first introduced in Red Queen.
While not chapter-wise or part-wise divided in half, the novel is essentially two parts: the first is Mare’s imprisonment with Maven and the Scarlet Guard working to free her and then the second is the group coming together to complete the next official battle. While I did not mind the first part as I loved the character development during this portion of the book, it did start to feel repetitive as Mare would be constantly torn between who Maven currently is and the boy she knew before. A lot of this internal struggle could have been cut from the novel, but the sentiment and story would have still read the same. Seeing the inner workings of the Silver side ruled by Maven was very interesting as it gave a new layer to the political intrigue taking place in this story. Maven gets a lot more depth in this story as more of his background is revealed, which create a sense of sympathy for the reader while he still remained a villain.
While Mare is trapped within Maven’s court, it was interesting to see what was happening with the Scarlet Guard through the eyes of Cameron. I did find her to be a strange choice of narrator as she seemed very similar to Mare, except younger. I wished instead that is was Kilorn or Farley as they could have still given that side of the story while being characters that the readers are familiar with and still want to get to know more. Cal would have been the ultimate, but based on the rest of the story, it is apparent that his character’s inner thoughts needed to remain secret. Cameron is not a bad character in any way, but her narrative was just too similar to Mare’s to be worth it. I am hoping that if she continues to be a narrator in the next novel, there will be some rhyme or reason revealed to the choice.
While Mare does grow a little more in this story (and even turns 18 in this novel), she still have more growth to go and I think she’ll get there by the end. I cannot wait to see how her story officially turns out in the next novel. As for the other characters, I loved getting to know Farley more, especially as not really caring about her when I first started the series. She has grown on me a lot and is now one of my favorites in the series. Cal is still interesting as he is a more closed-off character so the reader can infer what he is thinking, but never officially knows. Evangeline was a surprise as she is presented in one way through the other novels, so it was very interesting to get to see her inner thoughts and realize her character is more complex than I initially expected.
Overall, this series is not my favorite so far, but there is still one more full-length one to tie everything together. The story does continue to become more intriguing as the series goes on, so I will have to see how it will conclude. The introduction of multiple perspectives in the story is an interesting twist as it is no longer just Mare’s story. There is a lot more complexity in the political intrigue taking place in this story and gives a great overview of the lure of power. This was a great addition to the series that may not be perfect, but continues to have great potential.