King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

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.

Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ 

Well for the first time in a while I’m reviewing a book that hasn’t been out for a few months; in fact, it’s been out just a month so it’s practically brand new in comparison to my last few books that I have reviewed. And boy was this one a doozy. To sum it up all in one word…?

DAMN

Like seriously, this book was another roller coaster and I’m not a 100% sure since it’s been a while since I read the earlier books (like a whole year and hundreds of books later), but I’m pretty sure this is the first one where we have a few chapters written in perspectives other than our main character, the Lightning Girl and Red Queen of the story, Mare Barrow. While Mare’s point-of-view is still the center focus, we do get a few chapters from Cameron Cole and Evangeline Samos and get inside their heads. As I said, it’s been a while since I read the books, but I remember being rather irked with these characters, however, getting inside their heads makes them more sympathetic as you see there are just two more pieces on the game board like Mare who despite their abilities are being manipulated by those around them.

In any case, most of this book is about Mare’s imprisonment by Maven Calore. Because she has power like a Silver, she is forced to guarded by members of House Arven who have the ability to ‘silence’ her ability and wear Silence Stone manacles on her wrists. This kind of imprisonment has a pronounced effect on her mentally and physically. It probably also doesn’t help that a Whisperer mind-rapes her to find out what she knows and to torture her since Mare killed his cousin. Mentally, Mare changes to become more suspicious even with those she loves when she finally gets rescued and because she was forced to relieve horrible moments and face her faults in a way that no therapist would ever recommend or allow (bad Merandus). It’s harsh, but I think in some ways the torture helps Mare grow up even more and to evolve to be better than who she was before she was taken captive. However, I think what is equally hurtful to her is having to deal with Maven who betrayed her; she gets to know him even more in her captivity and while a part of her feels sympathy towards him for what he suffered because of his mother, she also cannot forgive him for

However, I think what is equally hurtful to her is having to deal with Maven who betrayed her; she gets to know him even more in her captivity and while a part of her feels sympathy towards him for what he suffered because of his mother, she also cannot forgive him for what he has done to her and done in his quest for power. Yet I think she still cares for him despite herself, or at least for the man she thought she knew and sometimes glimpses. And Maven? Well despite his mother’s best intentions to cut his feelings out, he still cares for Mare in a twisted love sorta way now.

In any case, there was a major romance type drama at the end. I won’t tell you what. Only that it involves Mare and Cal. Honestly, I’m torn between which Calore brother Mare should be with. Yes, Maven did bad and is still being all evil, but we know a lot of it is because his mother used her powers and did magical brain surgery in her son to make him into what she wanted (talk about your twisted maternal love). And yes his love now is a bit twisted towards Mare thanks to Mommy Dearest, but with him, you get a sense if Mare would just give him a sign that she was his, he’d move the world to be with her. Cal, well he loves Mare and has a far closer relationship with her than his brother on multiple levels *HINT HINT*, but he is also more duty-driven in that he feels that he must rule and make sacrifices for that fact and to do what is good. Even if means giving Mare up, or making his royal mistress instead of making her his wife (notice I say wife, because Mare doesn’t give a flip about being Queen).

*sighs*

Anways, if anyone has read the books, I would love to hear whether you’re hopelessly torn in this love triangle or if you ship Team Maven or Team Cal.

 

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