King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard was a book that I couldn’t wait to start reading.
This review doesn’t include spoilers for this book, but it reveals information that you probably don’t want to read if you haven’t read the previous two books in the series.
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 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.
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 North as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.
Mare’s story picks up where it left off at the end of book 2. She is Maven’s prisoner, suffocated under the weight of Silent Stone and isolated from the rest of the world. Mare is also dealing with the emotional consequences of her decision — she’s torn between her overwhelming desire to kill Maven (which she’s powerless to do), and the vestiges of the feelings she had for him (or who she thought he was).
“There are pieces of me, small pieces, still in love with a fiction. A ghost inside a living boy I cannot begin to fathom.”
Her chapters are full of turmoil and angst. I can’t really fault her for it, since she’s dealing with physical and psychological torture that doesn’t have any end in sight. The only thing she has left is her rage, even as she’s being used as a tool to achieve Maven’s own ends.
Cameron is another narrator, sharing what happens with the newbloods and Scarlet Guard that Mare sacrificed her freedom to save. She’s still struggling with her own rage, and it isn’t helped by the Reds and Cal viewing the newbloods as a weapon to be used.
The last perspective didn’t make an appearance until close to the end of the book, and I won’t give away who it is. I’m just going to say that I was shocked at who it was, and what was going on in that person’s mind!
I loved the shift from one POV to multiple POVs — it gave me a broader understanding of what was going on while Mare was held prisoner, letting me see not only her own experiences, but also a bit of what was going on with the newbloods.
While much of this book was slower moving than the other two books in the series, I still found myself just as engaged with the story. Instead of being so focused on the action, I really got a better feel for what was going on inside the minds of the characters. But when the action did happen, MAN WAS IT GOOD!
Just a heads up — make sure you have the last book lined up. Because just like Glass Sword, you’re going to want to jump right into War Storm. The ending was just as shocking.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn't an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 15
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars