Saturday, 16 June 2018

Book Review: King’s Cage

The third installment of the Red Queen series, I had high hopes for this book due to not loving Glass Sword as much as I had wanted to; starting again from where the last part has ended, we see Mare having lost her lightning, her freedom and her dignity due to the the events of Glass Sword. Imprisoned in Maven's court, it is only his mercy that is keeping her alive. A slow beginning, detailing every element of Mare's imprisonment, however once the action begins it never truly ceases. Aveyard has a fabulous writing style that creates action smoothly; the build up is subtle, mostly using conversation and military tactics to orchestrate full scale rebellion. King's Cage ultimately describes Mare's physical predicament, but it can also refer to the world's mental predicament due to a fast becoming dictatorship. Much of this novel is centered around pain, both physical and mental, across many of the characters. The fantasy elements, such as the territories and the powers are such a massive part of the storyline and so ingrained into the text now that they're easily read without surprise or confusion, although considering this is book 3 of a quartet that's not overly shocking; at this point in the series you need to be committed to the very end. 

This is the first book in the series that has first person narrative from a perspective other than Mare's; a nice touch as it allows the reader to see the elements of the plot that Mare oversees or disregards. The second and third narrators, Evangeline, a metal wielding Silver and Cameron, an unwilling Newblood. Both of them have a different world view to Mare, as well as each other. The addition of multiple layers makes a massive difference to how various characters are perceived, such as both of the Princes and finally the Kingdom becomes more than simply Norta; the mythology deepens, providing the reader with more information on situations involving politics, ownership and the High Houses. Aveyard has created a beautifully described alternative world, one which is addictive; you constantly want to know more, to understand the workings of their everyday life. Although Mare is not as the forefront of the rebellion for this novel, the rebellion is becoming a genuine threat, a concern for all; there are no games being played anymore, the battles are being brought to be won; both sides are determined to see a victory.

I've said it reviews about the books in this series previously, but regardless: I do wish that there was more overall character development, as I feel like there are many characters and not as much understanding of all of them. That said, some characters had excellent development and Evangeline in particular became much than simply a nasty piece of work; she stands up to be the perfect anti-heroine. Cal also showed a lot of improvement throughout this book; we get the opportunity to finally see his intentions and feelings toward Mare. A massive part of this book was the relationship between Mare and Cal, although there were snippets surrounding their relationships with Maven too; as a couple, a brother, a past love. Maven is a fantastic villain, although it was interesting to see how his monstrous personality was shaped, made by his mother; proof that in the Silver world, monsters are deliberately made. His mother effectively cursed his life. The biggest flaw within the plot is the amount of characters that underestimate Maven; he is cold, calculating and determined. Mare also grew as an individual; it was good to see her feel pain, empathy, hope and fear whilst somehow managing to find strength at the exact moment that she would be expected to be weak.

Overall, the addition of two other narrators was a fantastic move; it worked not only in allowing the reader to see the world outside of Mare's imprisonment but also for adding fresh perspective. I liked getting inside the head of other characters, seeing their deepest thoughts and feelings as well as their intentions and loyalties. The relationship between Cal and Mare was nice to see, as the connection was there from the start of Red Queen, there has always been an attraction, the potential for a relationship at some point. At this point in the series, it is impossible not to be emotionally invested and so the ending was heartbreaking for a number of reasons, but ultimately due to it being not entirely unexpected because power always causes strong emotions in people regardless of their blood status. The characters all felt a lot more human in this book than they have previously; powers (or lack of) became irrelevant, it has become a war for equality and the rebellion grows ever stronger. King's Cage was a 5 star read as there are so many strong, interesting characters and I honestly can't wait to see where Aveyard decides to take the next and final installment.

1 comment:

  1. I really love your writing style! It really had me sucked in and was a great review.

    I have read the other two books and was waiting so long for this to come out, that I completely forgot about it. So I'm so happy I saw this, as you've reminded me to pick this up.

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