The highly anticipated new novel from New York Times number one bestselling author of RED QUEEN.
Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal.
Now a king, Maven continues weaving his web in an attempt to maintain control over his country - and his prisoner.
As Mare remains trapped in the palace, the remnants of the Red Rebellion continue organizing and expanding. As they prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows, Cal - the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart - will stop at nothing to bring her back.
In this breathless new novel from the bestselling author of the Red Queen series, blood will turn on blood and allegiances will be tested on every side. If the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?
Read by Amanda Dolan, Adenrele Ojo and Erin Spencer
(p) 2017 HarperCollins Publishers
- ISBN10 0062310690
- ISBN13 9780062310699
- Publish Date 7 February 2017
- Publish Status Active
- Imprint Harperteen
- Format Hardcover
- Pages 528
- Language English
I just don't know where to start with this review, so much happened over the course of 500 odd pages it's difficult to write a concise review.
The story picks up straight after Glass Sword. It had been so long since I read it I had to give myself a little refresh and I found this great little website that I want to give a shout out too called Book Series Recap. It gave me a nice little summary of Glass Sword which allowed me to go into King's Cage poised with all the knowledge I needed. So if you ever need a series recap I would recommend seeing if these guys can help you out.
Mare is currently stuck in a situation of her own making. She is trapped and she cannot leave. There are days when she is not sure if she can or should go on. Every day gets harder and harder. I enjoyed seeing more of Maven. It was quite interesting to see what his mother made him. How his mind works.
I loved that this book had different POV. It allowed you to learn what was going on in the different areas of the world. This made is so much more immersive. It was so interesting to see inside Evangeline's head. She was so different to how I expected. The way she portrays herself to the world is so different to what she actually thinks. Cameron was less interesting internally to have as a POV but it was good to keep up with what was going on with the Scarlet Guard.
The beginning of this book is quite the slow burner but the last third of the book more than makes up for it. There is so much action at the end of the book you almost forget that the beginning was so slow paced. This book has lots of twists and turns. It is full of betrayal, new allegiances and the same old status quo.
'A cell is still a cell no matter how you dress it up'
I was heartbroken with the ending of this book. I could see what was going to happen but I was still torn into a million pieces when it happened. The pain was so much I had to stop about 2 pages to the end. I just couldn't take it.
In a way I am glad I only just read this because I am not sure I could have waited over a year to see what happens next. I am eagerly looking forward to clearing some time and sitting down with War Storm.
“Those who know what it's like in the dark will do anything to stay in the light.”
This was my favorite book in this series so far!
Mare is now stuck as Maven prisoner. While she wants to escape, he is trying to hold his own in a court that wants his thrown or to control him. Maven is struggling to figure out who he is without his mother controlling his life, and Mare is dealing with multiple people she loves deaths on her hands.
It's been a few weeks since I read this book now because I needed to get my thoughts together. I loved this book so much. Seeing not only Mare, Maven, but the other characters as well was what made this book for me. I love multi-pov books when they are done right, and this one was! Because we got to see what was happening in multiple different parts of this world, we really get a sense of what is happening in it. Maven has 'control' but he also doesn't. Not only is the rebellion of the red army happening, but his own court is falling apart. He's also struggling to figure out what is his wants for the country are all while possibly getting into something he has no idea how to control. Also, his new bride to be I kind of like and want to trust, but this book has me trusting no one.
“Now I'm in a king's cage. But so is he. My chains are Silent Stone. His is the crown.”
Mare is growing on me, I say this because I go back and forth between liking her and being so frustrated with her that I start disliking her. She is finally growing though and realizing that her choices affect everyone. This book not only sees her grow as a person because of the huge struggle she is facing but also with her powers as well. She starts to understand them better, and I loved finally seeing her control them.
“The crushing weight of silence hangs heavy as always. For a moment it's too difficult to breathe, and I wonder if this is how I die. Drowned in this bed of silk, burned by a king's obsession, smothered by open air.”
Now Cal, please for the love of this series, do not listen to your grandma! By the way, I thought she was dead and the fact that she's now trying to call the shots... yeah no, go back to wherever it is you were hiding. Because I am already so done with her and she just arrived. Or Cal can finally get a backbone.
One of my favorite characters is still Kilorn and I am so so happy to see him still doing what he started in Glass Sword. Yes, he can be problematic at times, but it looks like he has moved on from that and him and Cal are finally getting along.
“To stand in front of a person who is your whole world and be told you are not enough. You are not the choice. You are a shadow to the person who is your sun.”
The other two pov's I'm going to be really vague about, but I'm just going to say I loved them! Seeing things from their pov's was so nice and really helped me understand why they acted the way they did in Glass Sword.
I cannot wait to read the final book War Storm and finish this series and find out what happens next!
Previous books in the series
The Red Queen series is one of the most disappointing series I've ever read. Book one started strong for me, although I still had issues with it. In fact, I rated it FOUR stars! Then Glass Sword was one of the absolute worst sequels I've ever read, getting a one star, ranty review. But I decided to give King's Cage a try anyway, thinking maybe the series would redeem itself. Alas.
So what went wrong with this series? The number one reason I despise these books is because all Mare does is whine, especially in Glass Sword and King's Cage. Every single page that Mare appears on - whining and complaining. I get it, her life is tough. How sad. I've read a lot of books with about a lot of characters who have a lot of crappy luck, and never have I read one that made me hate a main character THIS much.
I had forgotten how bad it was, really. I downloaded the audiobook and immediately remembered how much I hated Mare. Why did I immediately remember? The first few chapters are one long whineeee. Literally, Mare sits in a cell and whines about how badly she wants to be OUT of the cell, then when she gets out, she whines about how she wants to be back IN the cell. I. Hate. Her. I really thought I must be at least an hour into this whinefest, when I looked at my phone and saw that there were SIXTEEN AND A HALF hours left in the book! Sixteen!
Which brings me to my next point: why is this book so long?? Red Queen, the only decent book in the series, was a respectable 383 pages long. A normal length for a YA fantasy book. Of course, Glass Sword grew to 444 pages, having to make room for all Mare's complaining. And this one? King's Cage is over 500 pages long! I'm not saying that a YA series can never be over 500 pages (ACOTAR is one of my favorite series!), but I am saying that it should definitely be under 500 pages if half of it is filler. While serious events have occurred in this series so far, the whole thing could be considerably shorter if we didn't have to spend so much time inside of Mare's head.
I didn't make it far enough into King's Cage to know if it continues the rinse and repeat formula of the previous book, but I definitely made it far enough to know that I was right to say I wouldn't continue the series at the end of my Glass Sword review. I'm not sure if I had on rose-colored glasses while reading Red Queen or if the next too books really actually declined that much, but I won't be giving the series a third chance.
The plot of King’s Cage would normally make for quite a slow book. I’m sure some people found the whole thing to be very slow, because it’s such a long book and it starts with Mare being held captive by Maven, which goes on for quite a while. However, Aveyard introduced two new points of view, which I loved, and I thought this helped mix things up a lot so I was never bored of reading about Mare in the palace.
Introducing these points of view also helped expand the world this series is set in. I really enjoyed learning more about the various places the characters were visiting, and thanks to Mare’s captivity, we learnt a lot more about the court and the politics than we did in the previous book.
I really liked the look into Maven’s character. Aveyard developed him quite nicely, and we learnt why he acts the way he does, as well as more about his relationship with his family. After reading this, I don’t understand how people think he can be redeemed, or how they can ship Maven with Mare, because I think it’s made pretty clear that Maven is irredeemable. There’s no coming back from the things he has done. And HE LITERALLY CHAINED MARE UP, DRAINED HER POWER, AND KEPT HER PRISONER. Nope.
I don’t particularly ship Mare with Cal either but, guys, THAT ENDING. “You’re not alone. You have your crown.” *mic drop* This was the most beautiful moment, and I really hope that Aveyard follows through with what she set up here. If she backtracks I’m going to be so disappointed.
I’ve really excited for the series finale, War Storm, and I’m really struggling with waiting until May to read it. I can only imagine how fans who read King’s Cage last year are feeling! But still, only two months to go. I can’t wait!