By: Victoria Aveyard
Book #3 in Red Queen Series
Content Warnings: Violence, blood, death, confinement, torture, language
King’s Cage starts with Mare at Maven’s knees. She’s a rebel tamed and on grand display for his whole kingdom to behold. Systematic oppression had made Mare Barrow a prisoner in her own home. Now Maven has literally collared her with the intent to lock her away in his palace.
It was difficult watching Mare wither away. Maven installed Silent Stone in her cell silencing her powers and sapping away her physical and mental strength. Fortunately, she managed to show some spark while bantering with Maven. Maven even lets memories of his upbringing slip giving more background to his sadistic nature. Both probe each other’s emotions to see if the betrayals they’ve inflicted on each other are still raw. Although in Mare’s case, she’s also encouraging her formerly betrothed’s obsession so he can protect her from the rest of his court.
I loved the organized chaos in this installment. The web of political intrigue has even more threads of ambition and preservation woven in. Anybody can ensnare anyone else at any given time! New kingdoms are on the rise, propaganda splinters loyalties, and unexpected alliances take form. In short, readers who like political machinations may enjoy this book.
So many kinds of battles went down in King’s Cage, but I thought the story dragged on a bit until about mid-way. I think Mare’s repetitive inner monologue was partially to blame. I also thought Cameron was a strange choice for narrator. King’s Cage actually tells the story from Mare, Cameron, and Evangeline’s perspectives. I love Cameron as a character, but there was some overlap with Mare’s narrative since they share similar experiences. At times they even sounded the same.
In my humble opinion, Cal might have been better suited to narrate, since he at least offers a unique vantage point. I would have liked to view the conflict from the mind of both a Silver prince and a sympathizer to the Reds’ plight. That’s an interesting conundrum that could use more exploration.
All in all, I think the Red Queen series is still going strong. Just as Mare’s father, the same man who said he’d never heal, is in better shape and walking around, I have high hopes for the final installment.
More Musings & Magic
I think Aveyard was clever in having several of their conversations take place in Mare’s cell. Maven sits next to her like he’s calling on an old friend. In a way he’s shackled by his twisted feelings for her, which go against his political interests.
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