Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

King's Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Genres: YA - Dystopian - Romance
Find it On: Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks / B&N / Book Depository
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆


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.

About the Author:

Victoria Aveyard graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. RED QUEEN is her first novel. She splits her time between Massachusetts and Los Angeles. You can visit her online at

My Review:

I'll start this review by saying I have immense respect for Victoria Aveyard. She's the light of my Twitter Feed. Red Queen really floored me. And she grew up near my hometown, so extra kudos to her for escaping that.

But hot damn this series should not still be going.

What was once a story of Mare, an oppressed commoner-turned-princess-turned-rebel has become nothing more than a flimsy political story to whine about the two pretty white boys who are so in love with Mare.

As I was reading, I kept saying to my boyfriend, "Nothing is happening! But so many people have died! How can people be dying and nothing is happening?" Within the first quarter of the book, my favorite character died, along with a lot of other wartime bloodshed and mayhem, but it was honestly all to no ends.

The kingdom of Norta is at war, both with itself and with its neighboring countries, and King Maven is too weak to hold it all together. So what does he do? Spends 200 pages keeping Mare as a pet. We're told this is for political reasons, but if Mare wasn't literally saying that over and over again, I wouldn't believe it is. Sure, she's something of a figurehead, but is she the leader of the Scarlet Guard? No. Is she even particularly powerful? Not at all. The half of the book with Mare in captivity is nothing but Maven sticking his grubby hands all over Mare and her still kind of getting turned on by this. Oh, and she's tortured. Because she says she's being tortured. If we're talking gritty dystopia here and I'd like to see some real psychological torture here a la Kendare Blake or Veronica Roth. So you have to sit in a room doing nothing but reading all day? All right, sign me up to be a martyr for the next war! 

Cameron's narration with the Scarlet Guard was largely the only action happening, but there's a level of removal we as readers have because Cameron is so far down the chain of command that she never knows what's going on. Whenever there's a major fight or political move, Cameron more or less wakes up and is dropped into the situation. No buildup, no plot arc. One-and-done battle. Then we're dropped back into Mare's narration, never to see the fallout. In fact, I even had some weird timeline confusion within single chapters. There would be times where the Scarlet Guard would be talking about the mission and seemingly the next page they would be in the middle of it. Was there supposed to be a time jump, or did it make that little sense to everyone?

Characters were bland as can be. Mare, for all her "psychological torture" didn't grow at all. Maven is still Maven and Cal is still waffling between allegiances--what Mare sees in either of these man children is leagues beyond me. Killorn is all but kicked out of the plot. Cameron doesn't serve as anything but to further the story and Farley is the token badass chick without doing anything of note. In fact, the only saving grace character-wise is a few chapters of Evangeline's narration, and when you root for a character even though she's an offensively hyper-sexualized lesbian who supports literal genocide, you know you're scraping at the bottom of the barrel.

C'mon Victoria. Buddy. Friend. Step it up or let this poor series die.


  1. I am so glad I decided to not continue with Red Queen. I think her writing is good, but she needs to be able to develop her own plot and try to come up with a direction with the series!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

  2. Awww! I loved this book and still loved your review! It's hilarious. I agree some stuff is really stupid in the story!