King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)by Victoria Aveyard Published 07 Feb 2017
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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.
"King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)" Reviews
"You ask how much of it was me," he whispers. "Some. Enough."
DEAR MARE, STOP PICKING THE WRONG BROTHER.
***Warning, spoilers abound, do not continue with this review unless you have read the book.****
First of all, I CALLED IT. I KNEW that we'd be getting lots of Maven and seeing the boy behind the villain's mask in this one. And PRAISE THE BOOK GODS, I'm so glad Victoria didn't let me down. She gave us all those moments we hoped for, the explanation, the moments of fragility, the tension, everything... She gave me a beautiful, tragic, tormented villain who fell in love with the wrong girl.
....I say wrong because Mare does not deserve this Darkling, this twisted Warner of a king. Her reaction to his kiss, during the vulnerable tenuous moment between the two was what finally convinced me to give up on their love story (whereas in Shatter Me you could pick up on something in Warner & Juliette's kiss, here there's nothing. It's gone, alright, I get the message. Mare feels nothing but disgust, it's a "violation of the worst kind" -she's in control and she'll never pick the villain). While I have never felt the spark between Mare and Cal (yup, even in this book including that scene), she's never going to be Maven's. That's fine, I'll take him. Mare doesn't deserve him, even though Maven is more like her than Cal will ever be.
This is a boy who was crippled from birth by an evil woman so terrible he doesn't know what thoughts are his. I just want him to have a happily ever after. But there is none. This boy is darkness incarnate and I have a feeling he's going to end up doing something noble to save Cal or Mare or his people in the next (final) book (to redeem himself the only way a villain can) and I just can't cope.
The first book is still my favorite, but King's Cage gave me so many beautiful twisted lines. Victoria is a master of powerful prose, and she delivered some exceptional ones --as you might expect, my favorite ones were his.
"Love makes you weak. And she's right. I learned that before I even knew you."
"I'm not a fool, little lightning girl. If you're going to play in my head, I'm going to play in yours. It's what we're good at."
.... I could try to write a review of this entire book, but let's be honest, I read it for Maven and I don't have the heart to write everything up because I'm in mourning for a ship that will never sail.
(yes, I realize Maven does not have blonde hair but this gif fits perfectly)
I’m not leaving this place unless I leave behind his corpse—or mine.
No one can possibly understand how much love and adoration I have for this series. Book one and two were literal obsessions for me. I loved them so deeply that I literally took the time to annoy each and every one of my closest friends who chose to give a shit…even though 4/5 of them didn’t care for this series. I can’t even count all the times throughout a year that I say the name ‘Cal’. I know for a fact that I induced many an eyeroll from everyone around me. All year long it was Cal this, Cal that, epic ending this, epic ending that….it was unforgettable, if only to me. This was my world, and I longed for it every moment I couldn’t have it. And then…this.
It’s almost comical. Every step I take explodes in my face. I tried to save Kilorn from conscription and maimed my sister instead. I became a maid to help my family and within hours became a prisoner. I believed Maven’s words and Maven’s false heart. I trusted Cal to choose me. I raided a prison to free people and ended up clutching Shade’s corpse. I sacrificed myself to save the people I love. I gave Maven a weapon. And now, try as I might to thwart his reign from the inside, I think I’ve done something much worse.
Look, I’m clearly the weak link here. You can go to the book’s page and clearly see that the four and five star reviews are just rollllling in. And what the funniest thing to me is, where the hell were these reviews for book one and two? When I needed someone to fangirl with, when I just needed a fix, a quick look at a new perspective from someone who truly loved this series as much as me-where the hell were these amazing, glowing reviews? There was so much hate for the first two books that, okay, yes, were a bit cliche and a bit over the top, and even were a bit repetitive with the phrase ‘lightening girl’, and now people like this one? Okay…that last one was said A LOT, but still. My point is this: there was no more wrong with those two books than this book, yet the praise keeps rolling in for KC. In fact, I really wonder what made this such a success in so many people’s minds?
Like I said in my pre-post after just finishing-Its not about the teams and its certainly not about who she will ultimately choose…or not choose. I just think there was so much potential for this story and it fell so so flat.
The smell of smoke gets stronger as I push on. Hope flares. Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire prince.
Let me start with my least favorite part of this whole book and what I had thought was a shoe in for being my favorite: The extra POV. I mean….what. The fuck. WAS that?? Cameron was not only a character that I hated more than I could ever POSSIBLY have hated Mare, but she was an absolute brat. She was grouchy. She was judgmental. And, what do I care what anyone thinks, I’m just going to say it: She did nothing but talk shit about Cal. FINE. It’s fine-And believe me when I say that if this was the only problem I had with this book, I would have GLADLY handed this book yet another five-I love this series SO MUCH that I’d have wholeheartedly dealt with the self-righteous and obnoxious Cameron (to this I ask reviewers why they love Cameron so much? You all have hated Mare so much…yet Cameron is just Mare on crack. She calls Cal and others out…but she might be just as bad, if not worse, than Mare. So…why?) with a smile on my face. No. Believe me when I say there are far more problems than something as simple as my bias.
Nights spent curled against Cal. Forcing Cameron to join our cause. Stolen moments rereading Maven’s sickening notes. Memories of who I thought the forgotten prince was. My cowardice. My nightmares. My mistakes. Every selfish step I took that led me here.
Look what you did. Look what you did. Look what you did.
For one….I’ve read a million and one books that are bridges to the final story, and not felt an ounce of the boredom I felt for this one. It’s just a whole lot of nothing, if I’m being honest. I suppose there was plenty of political planning, war strike planning, and even some pretty decent action scenes, but it felt so contrived, so forced that I couldn’t help but feel wholly disconnected.
Which is my next problem: Do you ever feel like you’re an outsider looking in? I mean, in a way, aren’t books kind of supposed to be like that? Of course we are merely the readers, simply observing our favorite characters from outside the book, rooting them on and hoping they make it out alive? Well, yes, in a way this is correct. But, if you really think about it, how often do you ACTUALLY feel this way? The answer should be never. You should never feel separated from your characters, you should always be so fully immersed in the world that you can’t tell where your fictitious book world ends and real life begins. There’s a fine line here you don’t want to cross, and it happened here. Not once in this series have I ever felt like the twice-removed cousin hanging out like a creeper in the back…but this book made me feel so left out, so apart from the story, that when I finally got to the part I pined for, I just couldn’t fall back into the story. In fact, when that moment hit? I deflated like a balloon. I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to love this story, no matter how much went my way. And, believe me, a ton did, all the way up to a twisted, fucked up ending. I just…simply ceased to love, to care. And this might be why my heart is still completely shattered.
Even now, when I am painfully his, he won’t let go. I would prefer death to this cage, to the twisted obsession of a mad boy king.
And, sigh, the elephant in the room, on my end: Maven. If you look back at my reviews, you can see I have never hated Maven. Sure, he has been an obstacle between Cal and Mare, and this brings out the competitive juices in me. But never has there been utter hate. I even liked Maven in book one-not as her love interest, but as a person. He was never a true problem for me because, in the end, I loved Cal so deeply that the Maven moments were inconsequential. So, when I heard this was mostly a Maven driven book, it didn’t deter me in the least. Who cares?? But I did feel that there was something icky about how he was handled. We all know he’s not truly a monster. He’s a wounded boy who grew up with odd circumstances and a repulsive mother. But we also know Victoria Aveyard’s intention is not for Maven to be a love interest-she has made this more than clear. So then...why all the Maven empathy? Isn’t it kind of fruitless after 30% to continue laying on the Maven mind games? He loves Mare in the only way he can…but even Mare can see a screw is loose. So I guess I just felt like it was cruel to Maven fans, honestly. Which is something I never thought I’d say.
I wonder if he has nightmares of the assassination attempt. Nightmares of his mother, dead by my hand. His father, dead by his action. His brother, in exile but a constant threat. Funny, Maven called himself Cal’s shadow, but Cal is the shadow now, haunting every corner of Maven’s fragile kingdom.
Sigh. And Mare. Oh Mare-she can make or break your love for this series….where I sit wholeheartedly in the middle. She definitely isn’t someone I’d say is a favorite heroine (or even one I truly like) but I don’t feel the way most readers do. She is kind of a badass, really. And yes, she has made me so mad I could throw my iPad across the room, but no, she isn’t unbearable, to me. She was the best she’s ever been-I can assure everyone of that. I won’t get into it, but I will say this: my biggest problem is what COULD be. I don’t know how Aveyard will end this…but I do have a problem with one outcome, and I’ll leave it alone because I, quite frankly, don’t want to be harassed about it. Just know, there is a super…depressing way this could end, and I sure hope she doesn’t choose to end it that way, because it would really break my heart.
“If your heart’s not in this, you’re going to get a lot of people killed.”
He whirls, almost knocking me on my ass with the speed and force of his movement. I have seen his fire firsthand, but never so strongly as the flame blazing in his eyes.
“Cameron, my heart is quite literally in this,” he hisses through gritted teeth.
And I’ll make my normally longer than life paragraph about Cal short and sweet. He had some extremely swoony, wonderful, amazing quotes and moments in this book-some that I could only dream of actually happening-I was beyond ecstatic. His love for Mare (and actual declaration of it) made my soul soar and I was on cloud nine…but only to an extent. That’s as far as it went because of that ‘feeling like an outsider’ deal I mentioned earlier. I could only immerse myself so far…and that might have been the final nail in the coffin, for me: My darling baby Cal feeling like the shell of the man he could be. Just….OUCH.
So, I guess that’s that. A lot of ramble, but a whole lot of deep truths from me. I can only be truthful and I can only say what I feel-there’s no room for half-truths or false pleasantries. I liked a few things about this book but, in the end, I just wanted and needed more. Evangeline was a definite plus in this book, seeing as I’ve always liked her from afar (and now I adore her), but not enough to save the breaks in this story and my expectations. I’m glad people are loving this….I’m just devastated I’m not one of them.
“Then what do you want?” When Kilorn asked me that same question, it gave me focus, purpose, a clear path in darkness. “What do you want, Cal?”
He answers quickly, eyes blazing. “You.” His fingers tighten on mine, hot but steady in temperature. He’s holding himself back as much as he can. “I am in love with you, and I want you more than anything else in the world.”
I hope even Victoria can read this review and understand I have no ill intent-I will forever be a huge fan of this series and I STILL love book one and two way more than is acceptable for my health. It is never my intention to attack an author, to attack other people’s opinions-I simply have to get my thoughts out, for my voice to be heard by those who care enough to hear it. I think I’ve always been a fair reviewer, and I hope people can see that the only thing I’m trying to say in my review is this: I’m just a girl who is obsessed with this series, and my heart and soul hurt because I couldn’t find a connection with this story, whatever the reason. It hurts me more than it hurts anyone reading this, and I have nothing but hope for an amazing final book. And if not?? I’ll forever adore the first two books and they will always be in a prime spot on my nerdy bookshelf/shrine in our living room. I just hope people can see that-I give up on series for way less than this…yet here I sit, ready for book four and hoping for all the best. I just hope my heart doesn’t get ripped in two next year. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?
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NO one knows how painful this is for me to rate and feel this way. It has nothing to do with Maven. It has nothing to do with my precious baby Cal, who, by the way, I will still marry someday and who can STILL do no wrong in my eyes. And, actually, it has nothing to do with Mare. I don't care if you're team Cal, Maven, Mare, Kilorn, or Evangeline. In fact? It had nothing to do with this hideous representation of the characters in this story, at all.
What it comes down to? This story sucked, plain and simple. Boring without an ounce of inspiration, this book is nothing more than filler, extra drama, and a total bridge to the final book. And, if I'm being completely honest, I, for once, don't see how the next book can be any better.
I'll hold out hope, though. Cal is a number one BBF, and I will see this all the way to the end.
AHHHHH CAL TIME CAL TIME CAL TIME CAL TIMMMMEEEE I CAN'T EVEN AHFDFJKSFHKJSFHSKDJHLFKHDSFHLSDFJKLSDHFHSDLKJFHLSJDHFSDHFJSHDJLKFH
Me reading this book:
After one semi-intelligible novel in Red Queen and one genuine flop in Glass Sword, King’s Cage was going to be 26-year-old Victoria Aveyard’s Hail Mary on the series that was supposed to be the “next big YA thing” but has been a painful lesson in hype versus realistic expectation. Does it succeed in doing so: I so badly wanted to say she turned things around but she didn’t – and that’s putting it nicely.
Here’s the thing that I’m still wondering about with Victoria Aveyard – how did things go so wrong for her? I mean, she had it all: HarperTeen and Epic Reads carefully controlled the reviews of the book by pre-leasing copies to targeted BookTubers whose opinion they could count on to be positive; the marketing campaign, if anything, was maybe too aggressive, with people hyping up Red Queen all over the place – on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – and calling it the next Hunger Games, Divergent, Selection, and that everyone should buy it.
And we were like – Sure Thing Entitled White People! We Believe You!
I can’t remember a release as advertising-intense as this since Divergent was out and it worked that time round so then how, exactly, did it all torpedo in Aveyard’s face and not turn her into the Suzanne Collins success she was constructed to be by her publisher? The odds were in her favour. She had plenty of high-powered connections; she breezed casually straight to a publishing and movie deal with barely any effort at all; she had it all. BookTuber reviews are pretty good at swaying public opinion and masking any problems of a book by pillowing the internet with praise, so I never expected to see 1 star and 2 star reviews piling up on the main comments page.
So… what the hell happened?
I can chalk up to only a few things. The first, Veronica Roth entered the scene with the very first Hunger Games-inspired book and by the time Victoria Aveyard published that door had clearly and loudly shut. The second, Aveyard accidentally compared her work to be on par with Game of Thrones, an act in itself which is just setting yourself up for failure because then people are automatically disappointed when it’s nowhere even close. Beyond that, I think people are just tired of reading Game of Thrones and Hunger Games knock-offs no matter how good the publicity departments claim they are. I think YA publishing is finally starting to come out of its coma and realise that they have GOT TO STOP pushing the same derivative plot before we all tear our eyes out.
And finally, Victoria is kind of… elitist… There’s a line between being proud and being stuck-up and I think Aveyard crossed that line without meaning to. And in a world that is becoming incredibly impossible to separate the artist from the art, Aveyard tends to come across as elitist. Next to the release of Red Queen Aveyard released an article on her blog (http://victoriaaveyard.blogspot.com.a...) that didn’t really help that image.
But her personality really became even more apparent when she started lashing out to critics on Goodreads and caused probably the biggest awkward silence in book reviewer history.
To be honest, I gave her a pass on that one because she was new and I can understand people lashing out on what people say on goodreads. But she has to understand that criticism is a part of being in the entertainment industry and I can tell you for a fact that most of the reviews on goodreads are tame in comparison to what’s out there.
If you can’t handle what people say on goodreads and you’re a writer then man you’re in the wrong industry because there are going to be people that say things much worse in the future. You shouldn’t be lashing out at these people. You should be using goodreads as a practice ground. Plus a lot of criticisms from people – who weren’t paid by HarperTeen to give it five or four stars – are pretty valid, and if Aveyard had listen to one or two of their comments I feel this series really could have been pulled up from its death-spiral. In response to a lot of fair criticism, Aveyard just doubled-down and placed the blame on piracy, ARCS, and 1 star rogue reviewers which is insane because on average five star reviews outnumber 1 star reviews about 60, 000 to one.
Some people were supposed to hate it because art is supposed to be subjective. It’s only worth making when there’s a plurality of opinions, good and bad. And it is possible that it’s not quite as good as you think it is: Harper Collins is not known for having the most on-the-job editorial staff. (Check out the Continent by Kiera Drake scandal if you don’t believe me.)
I’m currently completing my BFA at USC as well and just for clarity – I’m a woman – and I cannot stand it when girl screenwriters in my class go, “Male writers can’t write women.” And my response was, “That’s funny the last script you turned in the lead character had sex with the chiselled ripped-up doctor by page three and just talked about it all the way after. Meanwhile the black guy over there had his female black lesbian throw a guy through a window on page 1.”
I have a feeling Aveyard probably belongs to that clique of writers that believe because a man wrote it it should be set on fire. She’s constantly bashing actors like Tom Hanks and other male screenwriters. (Don’t get this one: The thing is, she’s a screenwriter as well, someone who wants to work in Hollywood. Did, like, no one tell her that pissing off one of the big-name actors or people she could get a job from was, like, I don’t know – a good way to never eat a hot meal ever again?)
There seems to be this growing fury and vindictive agenda of women writers pitting themselves against male writers, especially if the men catch a break. Why do that to people who don’t know you and have no idea who you are and have worked probably just as hard for their big break? If there are showrunners like Shonda Rhimes then there’s no excuse why no one else can be like her. And FYI, maybe there’d be more things like female producers and directors if they didn’t keep immaturely dropping out of Hollywood over “creative differences”.
Not to mention Kathleen Kennedy’s New York Time’s article a few months back that Star Wars doesn’t owe men anything, which is just a cruel thing to say—why does one group’s success hinge on another group’s complete eradication and extinction? One of my favourite movie critics, Grace Randolph, made a very insightful and thorough video here if you’d like to see it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16OOg... .
I totally believe in sexism in the film industry but heckling people over Twitter who have gone further into the movie industry than you doesn’t really do much to fix the problem. If you want to change it you have to be productive. Work towards your own success. Write the stories you want to see and hire the people you want to see. Don’t knock male writers who have worked just as hard as you and perhaps harder to get their big break in the screenwriting business just because they’re men.
Just had to throw that out of the way before I got into the review.
Whew! Time to get in to the novel.
I didn’t realise I drifted so far off topic.
Sorry my peeps!
My major problem with this series is its glaring inconsistency. I think Aveyard is probably much suited to television than she is to blockbusters, because though she easily get’s that whole laying down the track for an oncoming train element of TV writing, this same ability really destroys any cohesiveness of her novel, where she manipulates time and events on the fly to suit her writing.
There are moments where you feel she’s changed the entire behaviour, attitude, and abilities of a character to service the plot and her endgame. For instance, in this book she says Mare was uneducated and how that lack of education is what keeps the Reds down in the dust, but in the first book when Shade sent a letter to her family she was the one who read it aloud.
And like Sarah J. Mass, Aveyard suffers profusely from what I call “Quotablity Syndrome”. With Sarah J. Mass I think it’s probably because she’s accustomed to fan-fiction (sometimes fan-fiction authors are hit and miss), but with Aveyard I think her problem originates with imagining every scene spoken aloud in the teaser trailer for the movie that Universal Studios has not even talked about. By that I mean that she is constantly focused on ensuring the words and passages sound euphonic, rather really understanding what she’s saying or taking a step back and realizing how dumb her character looks saying it. It’s what’s made Mare insufferable in both books. Here are some of my favourites from the past two books if you don’t believe me:
If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.
Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.
And the romance:
This is always a huge problem for female writers. I see this all the time in class and when screenwriters and authors get defensive. They go: How dare you ship my characters the novel isn’t about romance! That is so sexist! And then I’m like: Dude, if you didn’t want shipping to happen then why did you have the main character make out with both the brothers? Unless you suffer from amnesia or are slightly unconscious at the helm of your laptop, you wrote that love triangle into the book Aveyard and it’s too late to change it now. If you didn’t want it to be about romance then don’t have them kiss. Have Mare be asexual or something! Don’t even bring it up! Make the brothers totally unattractive or that she’s too distracted with her situation, but when Mare spends every couple of pages tripping over these boys Mary Sue-style don’t expect people to not have readers ask you about the romance! You put it in your bloody book! I can see she was trying to make the novel like Reign from the CW, but it backfired and for some reason she’s not interested in it anymore. A pure sign of ill-plotting on her part. To be fair, Aveyard’s not alone. Female writers always trip themselves up on the romance. I think it’s just a habit. One that Aveyard is yet to break.
My feelings on Mare: ...I got nothing...
What I imagine must be that poor rebellion’s feelings on Mare at this point in the story and we're pretty much on the same page:
Yes. We get it already. You're imprisoned. After reading most of Aveyard’s oeuvre I wasn’t surprised to find that Mare continued being her hundred-watt-Mary-Sue old self. Aveyard has mechanized her to whine and complain every few pages, and say she is a bad-ass despite there being an enormous lack of evidence to support that theory.
Lastly, the plagiarism. Ah. This is a weird one. I’ve seen tonnes of more reviewers on Goodreads, of late, start to actually call authors out on it, which is great to finally start seeing. I think that to call something inspired instead of plagiarised is just changing the label to something more socially acceptable but it’s essentially the same thing. To be clear, Aveyard's work is not a heavy amalgamation of research and historical elements deftly woven into a fantasy threat like Martin's work.
If that was the case then I wouldn't have had a problem but there were some serious moments where I felt that it was a very narrow margin between plagiarism and not-plagiarism. I was surprised to see people finally call Veronica Roth out on it since she’s been pretty much immune her whole career. In Aveyard’s case, I think the plagiarism is pretty baseless; to me it’s not really plagiarism but rather really thick imitation of two novels: The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, which are all heavily embedded in her work—more like plastered all over—but in the kind of way that leads you to believe she thought she could make a shit tonne of money if she only changed stuff slightly around and fed it into a book about teenagers.
I think it's sad because this act alone really destroys books when you write by someone else's voice and imagination. In class they gave us this quote that I kept thinking about:
And it's true in this day and age originality sells above all else because people are tired of the same circulating plot which is why I think I just couldn't plug into King's Cage. With King's Cage, it just can't escape the gravity of its creative influences - unlike so many other books that can take the same idea but steer it down a whole different alleyway of implications.
There were just too many uncomfortably close moments where I was thinking to myself, That reminds me of something. And it wasn't just this novel but in Glass Sword there was the very glaring Peeta and Katniss bread reference with the coin where my jaw literally hit the floor—was she honestly stealing that scene from the Hunger Games. I mean…really! Really! What is YA these days, fan-fiction? [Scene: I remember the burdened boy who gave me a silver coin when I was nothing. With that one gesture he changed my future, and destroyed his own.] I think I just can’t forgive any more YA authors that steal work from the Hunger Games because I’m just fed up. Can people at least steal passages from a franchise I don’t read every Christmas? It's "not plagiarism" exactly, but it's not "originality" either, which makes it just awkward for me because I can't help think on some sort of spectrum that it's not entirely "the right thing" either.
I think this series is pretty dead in the water. Aveyard might have started off aiming high but it’s sunk to gliding, passionless mediocrity at this point. It’s lost a lot of its original WOW-factor. What’s sad about this series is what I’m finding sad about a lot of YA books these days. Good idea but poor execution and bad characters. This book, in my view, could have easily have scored a movie deal back before it was published but now I can understand why they never greenlit. First impressions are everything these days and Mare has just done too much damage to doctor at this point; and based on its sales it’s doing nowhere near the numbers to power a box office solely on its brand power.
You might have heard that the movie is being made. To be clear: the movie is ‘IN DEVELOPMENT’ which means that Aveyard is trying to channel as much buzz as she can by telling everyone they are making it. But with there having been no news in almost three years, Universal’s packed slate with Fast and Furious 8, Jurassic World 2, and a plethora of other movies lined up, I think Universal has probably passed by now. After all, Universal is one of the few companies that can challenge Disney for a seat in the billion dollar club; and I don’t see them jeopardising their outstanding reputation for a YA novel when book adaptations have shown to be pretty financially unsuccessful these days (just look at how the Divergent series died – and Aveyard is repped by the same literary agency that reps Veronica Roth so there’s probably that conflict of interest for the studio execs).
Can this series be saved? I honestly don't know why but I'm going to pray that the 4th book is the charm here and keep my fingers crossed. Even if this series has bombed I'll be interested to see what projects Aveyard starts in the future.
3.5 Stars... So politic and sh*t this wrench my gut.
What can I say? This series kept more and more like a dystopian fiction, more than being high fantasy. However, I like this one a bit better that Glass Sword due to politic game, more Maven, and because THIS ONE GAVE ME MANY FEELSSS *angry* *giddy* *angry* *giddy* and then *wrathhhhhh*, not made me all bored like GS!
1. CAl & MARE and Politic attitudes.
I love that the characters are not totally black or white. There are what they are because of how they been raised, their family background, and whatever around them.
Cal & Mare, as much as I'm frustrated of how different attitudes of Cal and Mare are ( and we know they love each other! ) but they just didn't get along well about their politic thoughts. *love* bicker* *love* bicker* *ugh* BUT in other way, it's interesting for me to see how they insist on what they believe. ( Not like some Soup Opera 'Oh I love you, I will give up my revenge and choose to be with you' boo )
Cal is Silver, been born and raise like a Silver. Mare is new blood ( but her heart is Red ) Their issue and scene is just SO WHATTT?!?!????? [spoilers removed] But I don't judge them. I don't think Cal or Mare is right or wrong. They always remind me of two sides ( in my society ) in politic days. Silver aka. Superior one & Red aka. Inferior one that's why I understand them both. *Except if I read this in politic days, I might be RAGEEEE at one of them here because I pick a side* Hahahaha but now no I like them both.
2. More MAVEN and his complicated character
Love this one of how it gave me many pages of Maven ( which is my favorite parts among all ). Gosh how I love his character. This boy is broken, complex, and interesting. We saw how he love Mare, have soft spots for her, BUT He is still wicked and cunning ( Not bad turns good in sudden just because of looovvve ) Whatever, He love her in his poisonous way & Their tension IS the BEST! Goshh His Love. Her Hatred. Just wrench my gut! My Heart bleed and I'm in pain.
So it comes to my complaint... ARE TWO BOYS LOVE HER NOT ENOUGH!!!!????? In Glass Sword, I remember I felt sorry so much for Killoin. and I pray, I PRAY that my favorite boy Maven will not love Mare like Killon does. Then I read King's Cage and what I got? Gosh He love her, love so much. His confession made my heart giddy and hurt cuz I'm afraid to know the end. As much as I'm happy at every scenes between Mare and Maven I read, but it still prickle my heart cuz I know in every breath that in Mare's heart, she hate him. She will never love him as loving his brother.
Stop. Just stop torturing my heart. Stop playing with my feelings. I don't know.. it's like Mare and Maven more get along together in term of their inner personality, but just because she think he is evil so she insists every bit in herself to not feel for him. Damn. It would be very interesting to see them as Silver King & Red Queen together.
That's what all. TALK BOOK WITH ME BELOW PLEASE!
REVIEW TO COME AFTER RELEASE DATE!
Hello Goodreads, I'm back, already suffering from King's Cage withdrawal syndrome and more heartbroken than I care to admit.
King's Cage was the most powerful, deep and contradictory installment of Red Queen so far. The first half nearly drove me to give it three stars, it was unbearably slow and made me question my decision to continue this series many times. I felt like I was drowning in a swamp, trying to move yet stuck in the same place for so long I lost the concept of time. But in the end it seemed that the countless pages where nothing happened were necessary to understand the characters and set the foundations for the second half, which was undeniably mindblowing, full of epic fight sequences and moments to elate you only to shatter you minutes later.
“We're not a god's chosen, but a god's cursed.”
Mare spends six months imprisoned, tortured, living at the mercy of a wicked boy-king who keeps her in a cage because that is the only way she'll stay with him, who uses her to serve his own ends and each day steals a piece of her and replaces it with hopelessnes and anger, while the Scarlet Guard makes new allies and strives to end his reign of lies. With threats of civil war, rebelling houses claiming power and newbloods who shift the balance between Reds and Silvers, the kingdom of Norta will either be reformed or engulf in flames. For there is only one throne and two Calore sons, divided by betrayal, ambission, and a stubborn lightning girl.
“I am Mare Barrow. Not Mareena, not the lightning girl. Mare.”
Who is Mare Barrow? A self-centered hypocrite. A murderer. A traitor. That's what I would have told you in the beginning of King's Cage. It is no secret that I am not particularly fond of Mare. In fact, a sadictic and rather cruel part of me enjoyed her tortures and her despair, all those moments when she finally felt the weight of her mistakes and rush decisions. Who are you to judge Cal ? I wanted to shout. How can you possibly blame him for not taking a stand after all the horror and injustice he has witnessed when the path you follow is paved with more blood and reverse discriminations in the name of common good? I wanted to peel off my skin every time she claimed she knew Maven so well, Maven of all people, an evil and broken boy who kept up with his atrocities even when his puppeteer was gone, while she never tried to see things from Cal's perspective. I still hate this self-righeous Mare. But thankfully, in King's Cage, she proved that she is more. And she somehow taught me that not a single character in this series is purely evil or purely good, the same way she learned it. I want you to remember this day, folks. The day I admitted that Mare Barrow became a tolerable and relatable heroine. I can't say the same about Maven, though. It is true that he wasn't born a monster, that his madness is the result of his horrible mother, and after his confessions he gained my understandment, but not my sympathy. Some choices were his. The slaughtered babies, the court manipulation, the power games, they were his. What he feels for Mare is not love, just a sick obsession. And I'm looking forward to his downfall.
“Red. Red as blood, red as fire. Red as the anger eating us both alive.”
Tiberias Calore is not the flawless prince I thought he was.
And that revelation was not the result of Victoria Aveyard's efforts to twist his character to make readers love him less, like I believed at first. Don't get me wrong, he's still my favorite character, but I'm afraid I idolised him. The bitter truth is that he is not good at making decisions, like Maven, and Mare and Cameron and everyone else knew from the start. He is noble, and kind, and a great strategist, he loves Mare despite reason in a way that warms you up inside, but he has his weaknesses.
I believe that what Victoria Aveyard tries to say in every sentence and every page is that power is alluring. A siren whose call no one can resist, regardless the colour of their blood, their rank and social status. And once you embrace power, and give in to its seductive touch and whispers of greatness, it taints you. And inevitably you lose something. Your humanity. Your kindness. Your soul. Your ideals. Your loved ones. Some things you can never get back. And I can't help but commend Victoria Aveyard for the way she delivers it. In King's Cage she masterfully delved into her characters' depths, she gave them multiple dimensions and made the reader invested in them, besides the intricate plot with the intrigue, the politics and the battle scenes that were undoubtedly epic. While my loyalties are still the same, I finished it more open-minded. And that's probably the reason the ending hurt me this much. In a way, when I read this series only for the plot was better. My feelings varied from annoyed to angry, and as soon as I finished each book I didn't think about it twice. But this time, it will haunt me. Because it has torn me apart.
“Now I'm in a king's cage. But so is he. My chains are Silent Stone. His is the crown.”
On a brighter note, I cheered for Evangeline (who may or may not have been the biggest and scariest badass), I swooned over shirtless Cal and I experienced a rush of adrenaline each time a fight was described or a new conspiracy was set into motion. If it hadn't been for the first half, King's Cage would deserve all the stars in the sky!
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