The latest novel in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series is no joke, people.
Red Queen took a little while to capture my attention a few months ago, although its sequel Glass Sword, really drew me in to this fascinating fictional world.
However, King’s Cage takes all of the awards here.
Warning: spoilers ahead.
To start with, the character progression is so well-executed. Personally, I don’t find Mare to be the most likeable character, but I can acknowledge that she’s multi-dimensional and far from boring. Her fierceness and protective instinct have only grown, especially now that she’s lost one of the people closest to her. However, she’s also as abrasive as ever, and that doesn’t always serve her well. She is hardened by her experiences, though, and no one can blame her for that.
Cal is the very definition of brooding, but I can’t help but be drawn in by the wounded prince who wishes he could save both sides in a bloody war. I was never really a fan of his, but there was something about him this time around; I now have a bit of a soft side for Tiberias the Seventh. One of the most frustrating things about him, though, has been his refusal to formally choose a side. At the end of King’s Cage, he finally does, and it’s one of the best scenes that Victoria has written in the series so far.
And then there’s Maven. I can’t lie, every scene with him was painful in so many ways. I believed in him throughout Red Queen. I never saw his betrayal coming and it still stings. That’s a testament to Victoria, of course, and the way she has crafted his character. I’ve never found it so difficult to let go of a villain. He is, in so many ways and through no fault of his own, still a boy who has no idea which way is up, but make no mistake, a villain is precisely what he is.
I love that the connection between these three characters in particular seems to develop more and more layers. In my opinion, it’s never been a simple choice between any side, and I think that complexity was showcased best in this book.
Check out my book review of Cruel Crown, a novella by Victoria Aveyard.
Victoria has also managed to make this series a really great reflection of politics (and how badly certain people in power are mucking things up nowadays) in the real world while still ensuring that it stands on its own as great YA fiction.
I can’t even imagine what’s in store for us all in the next novel. I’m not sure I can even handle anything else, but I’m already so excited to dive in again. Is book 4 here yet?!