By Chloe Sladden Turner
This new instalment in the Red Queen series, King’s Cage sees Mare Barrow trapped, and itching to oppose the king while Farley and their friends are left to train reds and new bloods, if they are succeeding in a rebellion. The rebellion represents a fantasy filled twist on the conflict between class, race and genetic discrimination seen within society.
The Lightning Girl – Mare Barrow has been imprisoned where Silent Stone blocks her powers. Powers that red bloods like Mare shouldn’t have, given that the superiority of silver bloods replies on them having supernatural powers running in their family lines. Maven – the new king and Mare’s former betrothed (back when she was forced to pretend to be a silver blood due to her abilities) is not prepared to let Mare go, having imprisoned her in exchange for saving her loved ones.
At the base of the rebellion, Captain Farley is dealing with the loss of Mare’s brother and her former love Shade. This leaves a grieving Farley to be the strong intimidating captain for her team in the rebellion while waiting for the arrival of her first child. Cal (Maven’s brother), Killorn (Mare’s best friend) and new blood Cameron (with a distaste for Mare) aid the rebellion with Farley, while struggling with their own problems; especially as Cal struggles with what side to fight on, and on getting Mare back.
At the palace, Mare is made to parade around noble silver-bloods and forced to convince new bloods to come to Maven’s aid and not her friends’. Maven’s betrothed Evangeline (previously chosen as former heir Cal’s betrothed and queen at Queen’s trial) has plans of her own, including faking her future marriage to Maven, as she is forced to be with the woman she loves in secret. Mare’s only hope is either Evangeline comes to see common sense, or her friends are able to risk the rebellion to rescue her, neither seeming likely.
A rebellion is starting to rise, Mare and her friends must find their places in it before Maven can separate them any further than he already has. The political and survivalist ideals of both sides of the rebellion are written with wit and intelligence, that you never know whether Mare and her friends will be separated or come together, as something could happen at any moment.
While members of the rebellion will find happiness along the way but also great sacrifice, as Mare must find her lightening, Farley her strength and Cameron her purpose but while the conflict between the prince brothers Maven and Cal (both on opposing sides of the rebellion) destroy them all, in more ways than one? The personal and inner conflicts of the characters remain just as intriguing as the developments in the rebellion plotline.
Aveyard’s use of alternative voices in the chapters, switching between Mare, Cameron and occasionally Evangeline provides three unique perspectives on three different sides to this rebellion, allowing it to capture your attention until the shocking ending, that both warms and pulls at the heartstrings.
King’s Cage is not the end, as a fourth instalment to the series, War Storm is out now!