Parts dramatic, enthralling, and sprinkled with purpose, romance and humor, Aveyard adds to the sprawling world she has created and gives more insight into the depths of her characters.
The third installment of the Red Queen series, “King’s Cage” starts off were the second book had left off, with protagonist Mare Barrow coming to terms with the decisions she has made. In despairingly haunting details of entrapment, Aveyard keeps in tune to her books themes, keeping Mare grounded to her snark, her strength and the hope she can continue to fight against the increasingly unstable King Maven.
Fans of the series get a better look into the childhood of Maven under the care of his wicked mother, Elara Merandus, who used her powers of manipulation to corrupt those around her. Aveyard also introduces more characters, adding details to the sprawling landscape that was created in the first two books. More Silver-Blood houses are added and give more depth into how Silver royalty works, and which players in the series have more pull.
The book jumps from Mare’s perspective to Newblood Cameron’s, and lastly to Princess Evangeline Samos’s to add more story besides Mare’s prison and to thicken the plot as character’s move to make plays throughout the story.
The story lags in certain points, losing rhythm, but never the plot’s themes. The book keeps it’s fight scenes, war-talk and hints that readers will soon find out how Newbloods came to be. The story of Mare becomes even more embellished as readers get a third-person view on her thoughts and feelings, as well as how many of the characters see her. In a refreshing twist, it’s revealed that not all see our hero as a hero, much less a martyr which is over-used in many young-adult novels, and gives Mare a more real approach.
The fantastical side of the story doesn’t overshadow the key concepts of decisions, love, hope, or consequence. Overall, fans will enjoy all the twists and turns offered but although Aveyard is staying close to the original characters’ readers have fallen in love with, the end becomes predictable to the second book, and drags where too much was done to move the plot along to get the the last ending twist.
Some characters seem to be dragged along with the story with no real purpose as they had in the original books. The story focuses on even a shorter amount of people than it had before, loosing some of merit, but not the humor or sass many of these characters bring.
Overall, readers will enjoy the high’s and lows with the book, and without giving too much away, it is clearly set up for a fourth installment of the series. The Lightening Girl returns to bring hope back to those she sacrificed for in order to help the dawn rise red.
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