War Storm

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

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This will be a pretty short review for fear of spoiling much for this book (or the series), but wanted to share my review since I did finally finish reading this.

I’ve noticed that when I know I’m reading the last book in the series, I really drag my feet reading it. It takes me forever. Usually this is because I love the series so gosh-darn much that I know if I start reading, I won’t get anything done. Or get to sleep. And sleep is precious to me and time is in short supply right now.

So I did finish reading War Storm this fall and I was very, very happy with it. It’s no easy feat to wrap up such a massive story and really, no matter what you do some of your readers are going to be unhappy with you. I couldn’t imagine having to write a series with so much hype around it, knowing you’re kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t with your story decisions.

I am glad this series is wrapped though. The Red Queen series was one I loved with such an intensity that it actually made the reading experience kind of exhausting. There are few books that really get in deep enough that my thoughts tend to drift back to them over and over again, to the point where it feels consuming and obsessive. Throne of GlassRed Rising, The Passage, The 5th Wave, and Game of Thrones have all been that way for me and there’s honestly only so many of these series I can take at a time.

I am looking forward to the book of short stories I know are coming in the Red Queen universe and I know Aveyard is working on another project that looks super intriguing. I do hope she’ll come back to this universe…so much world-building was done for Red Queen that there’s a lot of story to be mined here.

And yes, I still really, really want to be best friends with the author…she’s kind of my spirit animal!

King’s Cage

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

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I felt a little cheated at first. The Red Queen series was supposed to be a trilogy. Somewhere along the way, it was quietly changed into…a quartet? A quintet? At any rate, I have spent all these months since I read Glass Sword being hyped to see how the series wraps up in King’s Cage. Oh well. I got over it. More books to read I guess.

Though I’m not sure my heart can take the stress any longer. I never see the twists coming if Victoria Aveyard is writing. I’m kind of as stupid as Mare in that way. But there were a lot of twists in this book and So. Much. Stress. It took me a little bit to get through this book because I couldn’t handle the book’s stress on top of regular life stress. I need the next book like yesterday. In some ways I wish I hadn’t started the series yet so I could just read them all at once.

A lot of people didn’t like Glass Sword that much and were hoping King’s Cage would be better. I liked Glass Sword a lot and I thought King’s Cage was just as good. I think Red Queen is still my favorite of the three, but I don’t have a lot to complain about with this series. Mare doesn’t bother me as a character. I don’t find her annoying or self-centered. I think expecting her to be a well-rounded human being at seventeen, eighteen years old is a lot to ask of a character. People who don’t like Mare will most likely be pleased to know that you get two other narrative viewpoints in this novel, though it’s still mostly Mare.

Side note that has nothing to do with King’s Cage: Victoria Aveyard is pretty anti-Trump on Instagram and you can really feel why in this book. I’d image it’s difficult not to write about a rebellion against an oppressive regime and really come out on the side of someone like Trump. I try to keep politics out of my blog, but I have to give Victoria props: the dedication page features a quote from Hilary Clinton and the acknowledgements close out on thanking everyone, many by name, fighting the good fight. You go girl! So proud of you using your platform and your art to fight!

Also, I maintain that Victoria and I are going to best friends one day. Girl is GOALS.

 

 

Glass Sword

By Victoria Aveyard

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If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

The second book is really where the overtures of The X-Men come through in this series. Mare and her friends are looking for more New Bloods which means we’re exposed to a host of fun new powers. Once these New Bloods are collected, they obviously move into a training phase to prepare for the coming war.

If you didn’t like Mare in book one, you won’t like her here. Much as in all second books, the hero has to make some questionable choices and do questionable things, from which they’ll need to reassert themselves for the third book so we love them by series end.

There is a major death in this book, but it didn’t really sadden me. I think others felt differently though.

All in all, looking forward to book three!

Red Queen

By Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

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I. Could. Not. Stop. Reading. This.

The kind of book that makes you stay up late two nights in a row to finish. The kind of book that makes you totally ignorant to people speaking to you, even when they call your name. The kind of book that makes you wish you could magically make books two and three appear in your hands.

Fast-paced, engaging, with plenty of plot twists and mind-blowing secrets.

Oh and Victoria if you’re reading this, let’s be BFF’s because, girlfriend, you’re kind of living my dream life. International best-seller at 26, debuting at #1 on the NYT best-sellers list, three-book deal, international book tour, and movie in production. Oh and your hair is amazeballs. Yup, let’s talk.