Author: Victoria Aveyard
Audiobook Length: 22 hours 24 minutes
VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE.
Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.
But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.
War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?
In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.
War Storm is the fourth and final full-length novel in the Red Queen series and takes place after the conclusion of King’s Cage. As this is a continuous series, this review will spoil events from the previous three novels. The first two novels in the series were from solely Mare Barrow’s perspective. The third novel expanded this into three perspectives: Mare, Cameron, and Evangeline. This novel further expands the number of perspectives to five: Mare, Evangeline, Iris, Cal, and Maven. Cameron is no longer a narrator to the story and made me really question the author’s choice again as I did not understand why it was included in the first place when there were “better” choices.
The three main narrators were the three women: Mare, Iris, and Evangeline, while Cal and Maven only had a few chapters each towards the end of the story. Cal is now adjusting to his new role while Mare is dealing with her heartbreak and betrayal. The two of them essentially spend most of the novel wishing that things were different as they want to be together, but circumstances are not meant to be. Evangeline rejoins Cal’s camp with her also having her new semi-alliance with Mare. As the three of them are on one side of the war, it was interesting to see each of their perspectives. I wish there was more from Cal as his decisions make sense objectively, but I would have liked learning more about his inner thoughts. I continued to enjoy Evangeline’s point of view, as she is not the same character that the readers first meet in the first novel. I kept hoping throughout this novel for her to finally act on her inner wishes after thinking them for two novels. Mare was the most difficult to enjoy at times, even though she is the main character. Although she has grown as a character, she still seemed to suffer from “chosen-one syndrome” where she observes, thinks her way is best, and that no matter what happens, she will save the day. It is a slight exaggeration of the actual events, but it is just the feeling her character gave me the entire time.
On the other side, there are Maven and Iris, who are busy with their side of the war. Maven’s point of view was amazing as the reader actually goes into the madness to see everything going through his head. His character is the most broken out of everyone in the series and I wish there was more done with his character. His ending is very predictable and I did not agree with it as there were hints that another one was possible from the other novels in the series. Iris was a very interesting one as she is a Lakelander, which has been at war with Norta, so their alliance with her marriage to Maven was interesting. Although I liked her in the previous novel, I did not really care about her in this one. I truly wish that there were less chapters from Iris and more from Maven as the reader would still be able to follow this side of the story.
The other characters, such as Farley and Julian, were excellent, while Cameron and Kilorn seemed to be forgotten characters. They both were there, but they were not featured much considering how important they each seemed in previous novels. Farley is still my greatest surprise as I did not care about her in Red Queen or her novella, Steel Scars, but not she is one of my favorites. I really wish that there were chapters featuring her perspective as her point of view could have added a lot more to the story. All the side characters and the main ones interacted well together as they each had their own alliances, their own wishes, and their own way to interact with others.
Overall, this novel felt a little convoluted, as there was many added subplots that seemed to take away from the main objective in the first novel. The Silvers vs the Reds and the inequalities that the Reds were fighting against was still present, but seemed to be buried in the larger political maneuverings and character alliances. I am not quite sure about the ending as the romantic one was as expected, but I had a difficult time the reasoning behind the rest. Many of the loose ends are tied up in this story and there are still some open-ended questions that either are left to the reader’s thoughts or will be addressed in the final novella, Broken Throne. There are many elements in the series that were fantastic, but the execution does did not quite work for me. It was still a series worth reading just to try it, but I do not plan to do a re-read any time soon. However, I will definitely try the next novella, as I want to see this series through to the very end.