War Storm is the fourth book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.
May 15, 2018
Young adult, fantasy, dystopia
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 destroy 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?
In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard's stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power... for all will be tested, but not all will make it out alive.
Mare Barrow, Diana Farley, and Davidson stand together in Corvium just minutes after an intense battle against the former king, Maven Calore. Tiberias Calore VII, Mare's former love, chooses to become the King of Norta instead of staying with her, which both angers and saddens Mare. Davidson, who is a representative of the Free Republic of Montfort, leaves to go speak with the newly formed council.
Farley and Mare talk about Cal’s decision and the future of the Scarlet Guard. The Guard plans to take the crown from Cal. The two then head to the council meeting.
Silver noble, and Cal's once again betrothed, Evangeline Samos, is waiting with her family, Cal, and his grandmother Anabel Lerolan. They discuss Maven's retreat to the Kingdom of the Lakelands and they know that his troops will heal there much faster than their own. They ask Davidson for soldiers from Montfort. However, Davidson surprises them all when he says he must return to Montfort to ask the council for troops as Montfort is a democratic republic.
After Mare announces that she will be going to Montfort with him, Evangeline goads Cal into agreeing to go with her. However, Evangeline's father, Volo Samos, says that she will be going as well. This ruins Evangeline's plans to stay behind with her true lover, Elane Haven, and away from Cal, whom she despises for taking away her freedom by choosing the crown over Mare. On the way back to the barracks, Mare meets Evangeline, and they both agree that Cal cannot have the throne. While they are glad that he is not as brutal as Maven, they both wish Cal had more of his brother's insight and lack of trust.
Meanwhile in the capital of the Lakelands, Iris Cygent waits for Maven and his soldiers to arrive with her father, King Orrec Cygnet's, body. When the boat docks, Iris' mother, Queen Cenra Cygnet, uses her power over water to pull their father's body to them where they bury it in the sea. The group then travels into the city where Iris, whose marriage with Maven was political, tries to convince Maven to help Prince Bracken of Piedmont rescue his children from Montfort. She believes they need Piedmont's alliance to win the war against Maven's brother, Cal. Then, Iris goes into a temple with her sister, Crown Princess Tiora Cygnet, and mother where her mother tells Iris she does not have to return to Norta with Maven. Iris says it is her duty, but the three plan to help Bracken themselves and take control of the war so that the Lakelands can take control of Montfort and Norta.
Mare, Cal, Evangeline, and the rest of the group travel to Piedmont to pick up Mare's family as part of a deal she made with Davidson to keep her family safe. Her family, along with Mare's best friend Kilorn, are angry that Cal chose the throne but agree to go with her to Montfort. That night, Cal's uncle Julian tries to tell Mare that Cal felt he had no choice but to pick the crown. Mare tells Julian to get back to his nephew and keep him safe. The next morning, the group travels to Ascendant, Montfort's capital built into a mountainside. Mare is weary of Davidson's house as it reminds her too much of a palace, but hopes he is being honest about Montfort's successfully democracy.
Meanwhile, Iris and Maven meet with Prince Bracken, where Iris promises to save Bracken's children by leading a team herself. Bracken happily agrees to give support to Maven, and they depart. Maven, however, is suspicious of Iris' sudden agreement to save the children herself. She promises she is winning Piedmont for both of them, but he does not believe her.
Back in Montfort, the group meets Davidson's husband Cardamon, which makes Evangeline envious, as she is not allowed to marry Elane in Norta. As they are talking about plans to meet with the council, Davidson tells Cal and Mare that they will need to fight for Montfort to get its' support. Warning sirens blare in Ascendant and the group rushes to the armory to defend against an incoming Raider attack. Davidson tells Mare that he did not plan the attack, as Raiders are wild Silvers who did not want equality and left.
After everyone gears up, they join Tyton and other soldiers onto transports. On the way down the mountain, however, the transports are ambushed by Raiders. The group is able to fight the raiders off, even though most of the transports have been destroyed. Mare is attacked by a silent, and is paralyzed by memories of the Silent Stone when she was imprisoned by Maven. However, she is rescued by Cal and Farley, and Mare realizes that Farley is badly injured.
While the battle is happening, Iris and a small group sneak into Ascendant by using the waterways, revealing that the Raider attack was a diversion and planned out by Iris. With most of the soldiers out of the city, the group sneaks into the prison where the children are. Iris is horrified to learn they are trapped in a room made of Silent Stone, as Silvers will eventually die without their powers for too long. The successfully rescue the children.
When the army returns, Mare's sister, Gisa, helps her prepare for the council meeting by giving her a dress that reveals the brand Maven burned into Mare's chest. She meets up with Evangeline, Cal, and Davidson and heads into the People's Gallery. Mare is pleasantly surprised to see that both Reds and Silvers are represented on the council as Davidson begins the meeting. The council is suspicious of Cal, as all of the Silvers in Montfort gave up their noble status for equality while Cal is still wearing his crown. The Red members, however, are nervous around Mare, who Maven forced to bring Nortan Reds to his side while she was his prisoner. Mare says that Maven is manipulative, and Farley, who does not like Cal, says that Cal would make a much better ruler than Maven. After Mare tells the council that Maven will eventually attack them even if they do not help Norta, Cal gives a moving speech promising to change Norta if he is put on the throne. He says he was raised to believe that Silvers should always rule over Reds, but he has grown to believe that equality is much more beneficial to everyone. He bows to the council and asks that they fight alongside them. The council votes and Davidson announce that Cal has his army.
On the way back to Norta, however, Evangeline believes that Davidson and the council already knew their decision beforehand. She believes Davidson wanted Cal to see Montfort so that he would be more likely to adopt a free republic and give up his crown after the war. After angrily watching Mare say goodbye to her own family, as Evangeline believes Mare should not act so weak, they board the transport. Back in Norta, Evangeline's brother Ptolemus greets her on the runway. Evangeline is happy to see him, even though both of them are angry that their father used them for his own goals by allowing Ptolemus to marry Elane because he knew that Evangeline would marry Cal or Maven. At their estate, Evangeline meets Elane in her room and the two sleep together. Two hours later, Ptolemus informs Evangeline that the Piedmont base was attacked by Bracken as he got his children back without Montfort knowing. Evangeline is horrified, as she does not believe they can win a war against Lakeland, Piedmont, and the High Houses loyal to Maven in Norta.
Maven and Iris visit Piedmont after Bracken successfully reclaimed his base. When Mare begins speaking through a prisoner, they learn that the Scarlet Guard has rigged the base with explosives. Maven is told to release the prisoners, or they will destroy the base. Begrudgingly, Maven accepts the deal and releases the prisoners that night. Back in Norta, Cal’s coalition discuss plans to attack one of Maven’s strongest cities, Harbor Bay. Cal believes that taking Harbor Bay as his capital is a better decision than claiming one of the cities that is already loyal to him. Mare asks that they destroy one of the tech towns named New Town, where Reds are forced to work as slaves. The group agrees to the plan. Afterwards, Evangeline convinces Mare to spar with her in an attempt to get Mare and Cal to start talking to each other again. Although the plan works, both Mare and Cal are hesitant to love each other again.
In the capital of Archeon, Iris is confronted in her transport by Anabel and Julian. They offer her a trade: her father’s killer, Salin Iral, and the man who ordered the killing, Volo, in exchange for Iris’ cooperation in an unknown plan. When she returns home, Maven tells her to tell her mother to send the fleet to Harbor Bay as he is certain Cal will be attacking there soon. When she protests, he reveals that Iris herself will be going there or he will lock her up in a prison made of Silent Stone.
Mare, Davidson, and the Scarlet Guard sneak into New Town with the help of a former resident Cameron. As the group separates, Cameron, Kilorn, and Mare are taken to one of the tallest apartments in the town. After a while, they see green smoke coming from the weapons sector. Mare forms a purple storm as a secret team disables the town’s hub, shutting down all of the production plants. Bombs placed by the Scarlet Guard go off around the city, but Mare is shocked when an unplanned bomb explodes underneath the weapons sector. Silver guards attack them, throwing Kilorn down the stairwell. Mare and Cameron kill a ton of Silver guards as they drag Kilorn to a skin healer. Mare and the other newbloods decide to go Harbor Bay as Davidson tells her the battle is not going as well as Cal had hoped.
In Harbor Bay, Evangeline and her brother lead the Samos fleet to Fort Patriot when they are attacked by a nymph controlling the ocean. They land on the wall and fight their way inside, only to discover that Iris herself is the one controlling the ocean. Both nearly drown as they escape out into the Bay. They find Farley and Cal who tells Evangeline and Ptolemus to get onto Iris’ battleships and turn them on her while Cal fights Iris. Mare arrives and sees Cal almost drowned by Iris as she escapes into the ocean. Although a healer is able to save him, Mare realizes how terrified she was at seeing him nearly die.
They head to Ocean Hill where Cal accepts Lord Rem Rhambos’ surrender and spares his entire household in exchange for their loyalty. Afterwards, Evangeline leads Mare to a secret passageway that leads to Cal’s bedchamber. Mare follows it, surprising Cal when she arrives so quickly after the battle. The two decide to spend the night together, but both say that nothing has changed between them. Instead, they are deciding now to forget about the world and just enjoy the night together.
Meanwhile, Maven meets with Iris and her mother, furious about the loss of Harbor Bay. Cenra promises Maven they will save the city in time, but Maven is angrier that Iris flooded Fort Patriot. Maven tells them that Cal will contact them soon and leaves for his own flagship. Iris then tells Cenra about Anabel and Julian’s plan and swears that no one else knows but her. Later that night, they receive a message from Cal asking to meet on neutral ground, which Maven accepts despite knowing that they will not come to a peace agreement.
Back at Ocean Hill, Mare and Cal are in Cal’s bedchamber when Julian arrives with Maven’s response. Although Mare believes the talk is a waste of time, Cal wants to see his brother to know for certain that he cannot be saved. They travel with a large group, including General Farley, Davidson, and Evangeline, to Province Island. Once there, Mare is horrified to learn that Maven is forcing them to meet within Silent Stone. However, with Julian and Farley’s help, she remains calm and tells Maven’s allies that he is unfit to be king because of his madness. At the end of the talk, Cal says the old Maven will never come back and says that the true war between them has already begun.
Evangeline believes that the Lakelands and Prince Bracken are close to abandoning Maven, and she believes that they will turn on Norta as soon as possible. Cal again tells Maven and Cenra that he will only accept surrender. When that is denied, everyone begins to leave. Everyone is shocked to learn that Iris and Cenra attacked Maven after Cal’s coalition walked away. They trade Maven for King Orrec Cygnet's killer, and Evangeline realizes that they are also after her own father.
Back in Harbor Bay, Mare struggles to watch the crowd cheer for Maven’s capture as it reminds her of the days when she was his prisoner. After a short conversation with Farley and Davidson, Mare and the rest of the Red coalition head into the throne room. Once there, they decide that Maven is to be executed, and Maven asks that Mare kills him the same way she killed his mother, Elara Merandus. Mare refuses and Maven is taken to his cell. The group left behind talks about the inevitable Lakelander invasion. When Cal refuses to immediately abdicate the crown, Davidson, Mare, and Farley announce that the Red alliance with them is over and they will all be returning to Montfort. Mare goes to say goodbye to Maven where she admits that a large part of her will not be happy to see him die. Suddenly, Davidson and Farley arrive with Arezzo, a newblood teleporter, who takes all of them, including Maven, to Montfort.
Meanwhile, Evangeline loses her temper when her parents begin talking about her marriage to Cal. After telling her mother, Larentia Viper, to keep believing that they are doing everything for Evangeline and not themselves, she leaves. In her own room, she finds Elane and a note from Davidson. He offers her a place in Montfort with Elane and promises fair accommodations and nothing in return. Even though Elane tells Evangeline that she cannot continue to live the way she is, Evangeline decides to do nothing and see what Anabel and Julian have planned for Volo. She then heads to dinner with Elane, where a heated conversation about cheap Red labor leads Evangeline to ask if Elane will be coming with the family to Archeon. When her mother says that Elane will return to the Rift, Evangeline reveals that she and Elane are in love. Anabel’s sudden arrival cuts the conversation short as she announces that the Reds have taken Maven. They all head to Cal’s chambers, where he declares that they will prepare for the Lakelander invasion instead of trying to fight Montfort for Maven. After a tense standoff between Cal and Volo, Volo and the others leave Cal alone with Evangeline. He tells her that he is scared, and she admits she knows Anabel and Julian plan to kill Volo and she might let them.
Iris and her mother prepare the massive Lakelander army to invade Norta and take the country for themselves. Both are horrified to learn that Maven may still be alive and in the hands of Montfort who abandoned their alliance with Cal. Iris decides to try and use Maven’s popularity against Cal and turn as many nobles as possible to their cause to destroy Norta from the inside out.
Meanwhile in Montfort, Mare returns home to her family while Maven is locked away in a prison cell. No matter how much she tries, however, she cannot get Maven or Cal out of her mind. So, Mare decides to climb the mountain outside Ascendant. Doing so leads her to the seer, Jon, who tells Mare that she has not changed the future. Instead, he warns her that losing Archeon to the Lakelander Queen will lead to the most terrifying future he has ever seen. He tells her that Cal will not survive without her or Montfort’s help and implies that he put events into motion by pushing Kilorn’s mentor, Cully, to his death, thus prompting Mare to spy for the Scarlet Guard to save Kilorn from conscription. Mare returns to Ascendant where the Generals of the Scarlet Guard and Montfort's leaders have gathered. They all agree they must attack Archeon first to have a chance against the Lakelander Queen. Unfortunately, the only path left into Whitefire Palace is through the secret tunnels that only Maven knows about. When they threaten him with torture, he agrees to help if they allow him to lead the army through the tunnels himself.
Back in Norta, Cal is officially coronated, but feels weak and empty. He knows that he does not have the full support of the Silver nobles, and sees his country already falling apart. Due to his decree of providing fair wages to Red workers, many have left their positions, leaving Norta weakened by lack of labor. At the celebration of his coronation, Cal realizes that they are going to lose the war. Julian removes him from the party and asks Cal why he was willing to give up everything for the crown. Cal says the crown is his father’s, but Julian disagrees and demands that Cal reads his mother’s diary. Once he does, Cal learns that his mother, Coriane, wanted Cal to be a king of peace and not a soldier of an unending war. While this brings Cal some comfort, he believes it is already too late.
Back in Montfort, Mare approaches Maven alone to try and make a compromise. While Maven tries frequently to make her react through mocking, teasing, or telling her that he is still in love with her, Mare does not react the way he expects. This, in turn, makes Maven realizes that he does love her, but that Mare does not belong to anyone, including Cal. He agrees to provide the entrance location for the tunnels. Later, he is taken to a dropjet with a small team of soldiers, including Mare and Tyton, to lead the group through the tunnels and into Archeon. On the way, Maven plans his escape and believes that he will have to kill Mare to survive.
The Lakelanders attack Archeon sooner than expected. While Evangeline tries to plan ways to save the city, she realizes that Volo and her mother consider it a lost cause and are planning on abandoning Cal. Evangeline confronts Volo alone and asks him to let her go. He attacks her, calling her unnatural for her love of Elane, and promises to drag her back to Rift. She is saved by Ptolemus as Anabel and Julian attack Volo. Ptolemus, Evangeline, and Wren, Ptolemus' lover, run for their lives. Though Cal stops them temporarily, he allows them to continue fleeing.
Meanwhile, Maven leads the Montfort soldiers to the escape train platform where he had planned an escape. However, he is devastated when the train rockets by without him and is forced the lead the group into the palace. Once inside, a missile strikes the palace and Maven escapes. Mare and the others rush to meet with the other soldiers and Mare finds Cal. He tells her that he is done being a king and is glad that she came back. However, the bridge collapses and Mare and Cal are saved by a pair of teleporters as many other soldiers die in the fall. Cal tells Mare to take care of Maven and she leaves with Kilorn. He then goes to General Farley who promises Cal that they were waiting for the Lakelanders to raise the water so they could complete the second part of their plan. Suddenly, they see Julian use his ability as a singer to make Volo walk off the collapsed bridge and fall onto the Cygnet's battleship, fulfilling their end of the deal with Iris. Iris and her mother continue the assault, believing they have already won. The Lakelanders are caught off guard though when their ships are rammed by Reds driving underwater boats. The queens decide to escape with their lives, ending the battle.
As Maven frantically searches the palace for a way out, Mare finds him. He leads her into a prison made of Silent Stone. Mare faces him bravely, even though Maven found a dagger during his search. The two fight and Maven breaks Mare’s collarbone and slices her side, almost killing her. Mare is able to grab the dagger and kill Maven before passing out herself. She wakes up in the infirmary and learns that the Lakelanders have called for a ceasefire and the invasion is over. Cal arrives and tells her that she did what she had to by killing Maven. However, it is obvious that both of them wish they could have found a way to save Cal’s broken, younger brother.
After Mare is healed, she prepares to leave Norta with the rest of the Scarlet Guard. She learns from Julian that Reds in Piedmont, the Rift, and the Lakelands are staging their own small rebellions as many of them flee to Norta with the promise of a better life. Mare then says goodbye to Cal as she believes they need some time apart to figure out who they really are. Mare knows that Cal is upset with her for killing Maven and also knows that she personally needs time to learn what she wants out of life. She travels to Paradise Valley in Montfort with her family. While enjoying the beautiful environment, Mare realizes that humans are just as capable of repairing the world as they are of destroying it. She makes a promise to herself to return to Norta, and Cal, when the time is right.
The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of War Storm contains a pull-out map of Scarlet Guard strongholds.
- There are five characters whose point of view readers get to see: Mare Barrow, Evangeline Samos, Maven Calore, Tiberias Calore VII, and Iris Cygnet.
- Cal and Maven's face-to-face confrontation will be the first time they have spoken in person to each other since Red Queen.
Rhythm of War
This article deals with the fourth Stormlight Archive novel. For the in universe work, see Rhythm of War (in-world).
Rhythm of War is the fourth book in the The Stormlight Archive. It was released on November 17, 2020.
There are secrets we have kept for so long. Watching. Sleepless. Eternal. And soon, they will no longer be ours.
The One Who Is Three seeks the captured soul, but does not know it. The imprisoned spren, so long ago forgotten. Can she free her own soul in time to find knowledge? The knowledge that damns all people of Roshar?
The Fallen Soldier caresses and loves the spear even as it gouges his own flesh. He steps ever forward, ever into darkness, without light. He can bring none with him, but that which he can kindle himself.
The Broken Sister sees her mistakes, and thinks she is one herself. She seems so far from her ancestors, but does not realize they carry her upon their shoulders. Toward victory, and toward that most important silence.
And the Mother of Machines, most important of them all, dances with liars at a grand ball. She must unmask them, find their hidden truths, and present them to the world. She must admit that the worst lies have been the ones she tells herself.
If she does, our secrets will finally become truths instead.
For a chapter by chapter summary, see /Summary.
The book is set on Roshar one year after the Battle of Thaylen Field and follows the stories of Shallan Davar, Kaladin, Venli, and Navani Kholin. There are also several other characters who receive viewpoints; Adolin Kholin, Lirin, Dalinar Kholin, Renarin Kholin, Jasnah Kholin, Rlain, Dabbid, Teft, Moash, Adin, Taravangian, Lezian, and Wit in the main text, Venli and Eshonai in flashbacks, and several others in the Interludes.
Back cover copy
After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar's crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move.
Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin's scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.
At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.
Brandon began writing Stormlight Archive 4 in January 2019, with publication planned for 2020. The original working title was The Song of Changes, which Brandon said was never meant to be the final title, and he later said the tentative title was The Rhythm of War. Eventually, it was announced that the book would be released on November 17th, 2020, although the final title was still unknown at that time.Rhythm of War was finally made the official title in February 2020, and the writing process ended in July 2020.
Initially, the book was to feature Eshonai's flashbacks, with Venli taking center stage in the present-day timeline. Eventually, Brandon began to waver on the former, wondering if Venli's flashbacks wouldn't work better for expanding on greater cosmere mysteries. Ultimately, he decided on mixed flashbacks, with part set from Eshonai's perspective, while the other part set from Venli's.
The present-day story takes place approximately one year after the events of Oathbringer. While the title suggests greater focus on singer characters, the remaining protagonists, including Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and Szeth, also feature prominently. The prologue is written from the perspective of Navani.
Wit's epilogue in Rhythm of War is something that Brandon had been particularly looking forward to for a long time.
Brandon has shared several fragments of Rhythm of War over the course of writing it, though it must be remembered that those come from the first draft, and as such are subject to change.
- Two versions of a Lirin point-of-view section: the first, in which he's walking through town looking for the Herdazian general, and the second, in which he's examining refugees coming to Hearthstone from Herdaz, while keeping an eye out for the same man. The fragment turned out to be the opening of chapter one, the first draft of which was included in Brandon's November 2019 newsletter.
- A recorded reading of a Venli point-of-view section, which can be listened to here, as Venli is getting ready to receive lady Leshwi in the conquered Kholinar.
- A fragment of the Navani prologue, which can be found here, in which Navani tries to keep the party under control while searching for her suspiciously absent husband, and another version here, which continues for a little longer after the first reading ends and features a conversation between the two.
- A very early version of an Eshonai flashback scene, found here, in which she explores the area around the Shattered Plains and finds humans.
- A Lift interlude, which can be read and listened to here, in which she steals food, sneaks through the ventilation shafts of Urithiru, and discusses her visit to the Nightwatcher with Wyndle.
- A Syl interlude, released in July 2020 Newsletter, in which she asks Dalinar to help her understand Kaladin's depression better
- Chapters 7 and 8, which can be listened to here, regarding Kaladin and Moash, as well as new fabrials used by the Fused.
Additionally, Tor.com publicly released full part 1 of the book, including the prologue; it, and the accompanying discussion threads, can be found here.
For a cover gallery of Rhythm of War, see /Covers.
For a gallery of the book's interior art, see /Interior art.
For a full statistical analysis, see /Statistical analysis.
This meta article is still missing information. Please help The Coppermind by expanding it.
Books & Writing
Goodreads Rating: 3.94 stars
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?
In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.
As series finales go, this one is fantastic. There’s closure with basically every storyline, our heroes find peace in one way or another, it’s all good. Except for one little thing—MARE AND CAL. I won’t spoil it here, but I just needed more from that relationship. I definitely did not get closure there.
It’s always hard to finish a fantasy or dystopian series after a war has occurred. How much do you give after the conflict is over? Do you show all the characters happy years later? Do you leave the reader with the knowledge that their society is a work in progress? Aveyard opted to do both, but I wish she would’ve went the Hunger Games route and given us more clarity with it. I just needed more to be fully satisfied.
As a series finale, it did what it came to do. Would I have preferred a few extra chapters? Of course. But isn’t that always the way?
War Storm offers a messy, imperfect ending to Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen saga
Victoria Aveyard wraps up her Red Queen saga with War Storm, a final installment that ultimately gets more points for intention than execution.
Warning: This review has spoilers for the entirety of War Storm. It’s hard to talk about the ending of a series without, well, talking about the ending. Proceed with caution.
It’s always difficult to wrap up a multi-book story, especially one as large and sprawling as Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series. War Storm, her final novel in the saga, does its best to address the many dangling plots left over from King’s Cage. (And implied within the larger series itself.) And the novel clocks in at 657 pages, so it’s not like it doesn’t make a valiant effort. There’s politics, romance, and the battle for the fate of a kingdom.
However, as a story in and of itself – as well as the conclusion to a series – War Storm is basically just okay. It wraps up most of the outstanding narrative items. By the end, we know who will rule Norta. We discover the fate of Mare and Cal’s romantic relationship. There’s even hope for a future in which magically powered Silvers and normal Reds can live together in something like equality.
The story also has some fantastic elements. We get to know more characters and journey to new places. (Both the Lakelands and Montfort seem like fascinating kingdoms.) The descriptions are beautifully written. The political intrigue is fascinating. We finally get to spend some time with several of the series’ most interesting secondary characters. (I still want more Iris, honestly.)
But the problem with War Storm is its pacing. Things either take forever or speed by like a bullet train.
The thing is, it should be impossible for an ending to feel rushed after we spent 600-plus pages getting there. And yet here we are. The final climactic battle is big and loud, with lots of imminent threats, but an ultimately toothless danger. Only Maven eventually perishes, and that only happens once he completely snaps to the dark side and tries to murder Mare with his bare hands. Seriously, Aveyard gives us so many near misses and hints at redemption with this character. But I suppose it’s a good choice in the end. Some people, you just can’t save, no matter how much you might want to. But Maven fans are going to be disappointed not just by his ending, but his treatment in the entire book. It gives us almost no further insight into his character than his mother’s evil mind control powers drove him crazy.
Even Mare’s inner conflict about him is ultimately reduced to an act of self-defense, ultimately scuttling her waffling over the worth of his life and her ability to kill. Elsewhere, after stoically insisting on his right to rule for the entirety of the novel, Cal relinquishes his throne in what feels like five minutes. The ultimate battle is won by some submarines that we’ve never heard of before. Anabel and Julian betray an alliance member, but his death is barely remarked upon. And the (quite frankly, awesome) Cygnet queens flee, never to be heard from again.
Next: But wait, there's more
Storm wikipedia war
Scarlet Guard, we’re almost finished with our latest mission: to reread every book in the Red Queen series and strategize with your fellow operatives in the official Red Queen Series Facebook Group. We’ve just finished War Storm and we are FULL of emotions. Still catching up? Check out the official recaps of Red Queen, Glass Sword, and King’s Cage, then check out this War Storm recap!
War Storm is the final full-length novel in this electrifying series, and boy does it deliver in epic battles, mind-boggling political intrigue, and stunning character development. If you, like us, are in tears over the ending, don’t forget to check out Broken Throne to find out where all of our favorites end up. One more thing, book nerds: we’re almost ready to dig in, but first we just have to point out: Not only does War Storm have chapters from Mare and Evangeline‘s points of view, we also hear from Cal, Maven, and Iris Cygnet! These new POVs add such fascinating layers to this story and we still aren’t over it. Alright, here we go. And just a reminder…
Read on for the official War Stormrecap!
What Happened in War Storm?
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
• The True King of Norta: Another battle at Corvium was fought and won by the Scarlet Guard and their allies. Cal is offered the throne and he takes it, royally pissing Mare off—and breaking her heart a little.
• I Will Not Be a Red Queen: Mare won’t stay with Cal if he takes the throne, and he won’t give it up for her. After talking with Farley and Davidson, Mare realizes that their plan is to divide and conquer. They have no intention of letting Cal keep his throne and will let infighting destroy the Silver nobility.
Check out the recaps for Red Queen, Glass Sword, and King’s Cage to get introductions to characters we’ve already met! See below for the newest Silvers, Reds, and Newbloods that grace the pages of War Storm!
• Princess Iris of the Lakelands: While previously mentioned in King’s Cage as Maven’s betrothed (and eventual wife, making her Queen of Norta), Iris is an even bigger part of the action in War Storm. She and Maven do not get along, and she fears him. Iris is quiet, calculating, and not as unassuming as she seems.
• Queen Cenra of the Lakelands: Iris’s mother, the Queen of the Lakelands. Cenra is cunning and calculating, and cares deeply for her daughters. She wants revenge for the murder of her husband.
• Princess Tiora of the Lakelands: Iris’s older sister, and the heir to the throne of the Lakelands. As their heir, she is usually forbidden from leaving her country for any reason.
• Carmadon: Premier Davidson’s husband, Carmadon is a Silver Greenwarden. Funny and sly, he hosts the delegation of Silvers and member of the Scarlet Guard in the city of Ascendant.
• Volo Samos, King of the Rift: Volo is the father of Evangeline and Ptolemus. He is brilliant and cruel, and uses his children as pawns in his poltical power grabs. At the end of King’s Cage, he crowned himself King of the Rift, a territory outside Norta.
• Salin Iral: A Silk of House Iral, Salin allied himself with Volo and the Rift, and killed King Orrec of the Lakelands.
• Queen Coriane Jacos: Deceased before the action of the Red Queen series, Coriane was King Tiberias’s first wife, Cal’s mother, and Julian’s sister. In War Storm, memories of her influence who Cal is and wants to become.
• Where We Begin: Premier Davidson has to return to Montfort to petition his country to provide more troops and healers to the Scarlet Guard and Nortan cause. A delegation including Mare, Julian, and the now-betrothed (again) Cal & Evangeline will be sent with him to report on the way the democratic nation functions. Evangeline tells Mare that she wants her to stop Cal—Evangeline doesn’t want to be queen, nor does she want Cal to be king.
• Orrec’s Funeral: Maven accompanies Iris to the Lakelands for her father’s funeral, and it’s quite clear they hate each other, though Iris says that she can manipulate him fairly easily. Cenra begs Iris to stay in the Lakelands, but they know she must return to Norta with Maven. They hatch a plan to sway Piedmont from their tenuous alliance with Montfort to the Lakelands: Iris will volunteer herself to rescue Prince Bracken’s children.
• Back with the Barrows: Mare is reunited with her family and Kilorn, and she and Farley tell them the plan: there will be no more Silver kings. Later, Kilorn and Mare run into Julian, who has clearly chosen the side of the throne. He tries to get Mare to go easy on Cal, and she rebukes him.
• Evangeline in Ascendant: Queen Anabel tells Evangeline that her husband, the former King of Norta, had a male lover. Once they reach Ascendant in Montort, she is equal parts awed and disgusted by the freedom she sees. Davidson introduces them to his husband, Cardamon, and tells Evangeline she could have the same (she could have Elane) in an equal world. Same sex marriage is considered “a waste of Silver blood” in Norta.
• A Raider Attack: While at a dinner party hosted by Davidson and Cardamon, Raiders—Silvers who refuse to live in an equal world—attack the city. During the battle, a Silence attacks Mare, which sends her spiraling until Farley kills him. The delegation finally overtakes the Raiders, and the rest escape into the night.
• Iris’s Mission:From Iris’s point of view, we learn that the attack was a ruse to lure everyone out of the city so that she and her team can sneak in and rescue Prince Bracken’s children, who are being held as collateral in a prison of Silent Stone.
• The People’s Gallery: Mare is inspired by the show of equality in the People’s Gallery as Davidson lobbies his nation for more support. Davidson, Farley, Mare, and Cal field questions from the politicians about the wisdom of propping up not one but two Silver kingdoms (the Rift and Norta). Cal tells the assembly that he will be different from his father and, in a surprise show of humility, bows before them. The assembly votes to give more support to the cause.
• The Base Falls: Mare & co. learn that Prince Bracken’s children were taken, and Bracken stormed the Piedmont base that was controlled by Montfort and the Scarlet Guard. Many Reds and Newbloods were killed or imprisoned, though many more escaped. Using the connection between the Newblood triplets, Mare and Cal speak to Maven, who mocks them both. Farley informs him that the base is wired with explosives, and he agrees to release the prisoners to save his soldiers.
• Evangeline as Matchmaker?: In the most unlikely twist, Evangeline, Elane, and Ptolemus plot to get Mare and Cal back together in the hopes that Cal will abandon the crown for Mare. She forces them together (to which Mare responds “you might as well just shove us in a closet and lock the door” which killed us). They talk for a while about battle plans and honestly, out hearts were breaking at all the things they left unsaid!
• Iris’s Choice: After a rousing speech to Nortans, Iris is accosted by Anabel and Julian and asked to delier a message to her mother: they offer up Salin Iral and Volo Samos as a trade for removing Maven from the throne.
• Assault on New Town: In their (ultimately successful) mission to liberate the techie slum of New Town, Kilorn is nearly killed by a Silver, but a Newblood healer saves his life (and thank GOD, because it also appears that there’s ~something~ going on with him and Cameron Cole).
• Assault on Harbor Bay: OEvangeline never believed that her father would put her and Ptolemus on the frontlines, but here they are. They are attacked by Lakeland Nymphs, including Iris Cygnet commanding an ocean. Panicked, Evangeline and Ptolemus nearly drown as Iris floods Fort Patriot, and they see that their sea assault has failed. They run into Farley and Scarlet Guard soldiers and Evangeline feats for Ptolemus’s life (we still haven’t forgotten that you murdered Shade, Ptolemus!!!) After regrouping with Cal, Evangeline and Ptolemus are jumped onto battleships to shoot cannons at Iris’s boat.
• Mare Arrives on Scene: She is terrified to see Cal battling Iris, especially when he falls into the water and nearly dies. After continuing the battle, they win Harbor Bay, and the palace at Ocean Hill (his mother’s favorite place) is prepped for Cal to take over. The Lord of House Rhambos surrenders to Cal and calls him the “True King of Norta.” Mare and Cal reunite, though they both promise it changes nothing.
• Maven is Still Terrifying: In Maven’s first narration, we learn that Queen Elara still whispers inside his head. He laments losing Harbor Bay to Cal and still wonders what life would be like with Mare at his side.
• A Summit of Kings: Cal requests a summit with Maven, and he agrees to meet on Province island, Rhambos Territory. Much to Mare’s dismay, Maven has outfitted the island in Silent Stone. As they all prepare to leave—both sides refusing to acquiesce—Anabel and Julian’s plan is fully revealed: Iris and Queen Cenra betray Maven for the chance to kill Salin Iral. Evangeline realizes that they plan to trade her father, as well, but says nothing. When Maven is handed over to Cal, Mare, and the rest, it’s pretty pitiful: he speaks to his mother’s voice, saying “I did as you said. I did as you said.”
• Back at Harbor Bay: Maven is brought before the leaders of the alliance and is sentenced to death. In a last-ditch effort to tug on the heartstrings of those who loved him, he requests being buried with his mother and to die at Mare’s hand. Mare refuses. Later, Farley, Davidson, and Mare bring their ultimatum to Cal: they will end the alliance unless he steps down. Cal, in turn, refuses. Instead, he promises to end Red conscription and give them better living conditions. Not satisfied, Montfort and the Scarlet Guard end the alliance and steal Maven away.
• Evangeline’s Love for Elane: We start to see how Evangeline’s love for Elane has eclipsed her loyalty to her family. She finally tells Cal that she thinks her father will be killed, but that she doesn’t want to do anything to stop it. Without him, she will finally be free.
• Jon the Seer: Back at the Montfort capitol, Mare sees Jon, who tells her that she hasn’t done anything to change her path: to rise, and rise alone. We then learn a SHOCKING twist: Jon set Mare’s path in motion. He killed Kilorn’s master all the way back in the beginning of Red Queen so that Mare would try to save her friend from conscription. In our humble opinion, this is a BRILLIANT plot point. Our minds? Blown. Jon also tells Mare that the Lakelands plan to attack Archeon, and if they win, cal will never regain control of Norta.
• Cal’s Coronation: Cal’s coronation is sparsely attended, missing many entire High Houses. Power outages are becoming more common as the techie slums are abandoned, due to his proclamation of freedom.
• Coriane’s Diary: When questioned by Julian why he won’t abdicate, Cal tells him “this is my father’s crown.” Julian replies, “But the crown is not your father. It isn’t your mother either. And it won’t bring either of them back.”We learn that Julian gave Cal a copy of his mother’s diary, and Cal sees that she didn’t want him to be a warrior: she wanted him to bring peace to Norta.
• Maven is STILL Terrifying: Maven is imprisoned in Silent Stone, but he still hears Elara’s whispers. He muses that he will likely kill Mare at the end of this.
• Evangeline’s Last Defiance: The Lakelands are attacking Archeon, but Volo won’t allow Cal to use Evangeline and Ptolemus on the frontlines—not out of love, but to protect his lineage. Evangline has finally had enough; she attacks her father and tries to leave, only to be attacked by wolves under her mother’s control, her metal armor stripped away by her father’s ability. Ptolemus, finally growing a spine, attacks their father and kills the wolf. Finding Cal, Evangeline tells him, “If it isn’t too late for me, it isn’t too late for you.” She plans to travel to Montfort.
• The Trains: Maven convinced Montfort and the Scarlet Guard that only he can get them into Archeon by telling them which tunnels are still in use, but only if they take him with them. Once they get to the Treasury at Archeon, a bomb hits and Maven escapes.
• I’m Done With Crowns: After reuniting on the battlefield, Cal tells Mare that he’s done with crowns (finally!!!). Abandoned by his children, Volo is killed by Julian as the final piece in their deal with Iris and Cenra.
• The Defeat of the Nymphs: Using new technology that the Lakelanders were completely unaware of (i.e. submarines), the Scarlet Guard overtakes the Lakeland fleet. Iris, Queen Cenra, and their remaining soldiers are defeated, and they retreat.
• Maven’s Death: Maven tries to escape, but finds all of his passageways flooded. Mare finds him and so ensues a terrifying, heartbreaking fight. Maven tries to appeal to her feelings, but Mare tells him this: “the last person who loves you isn’t standing in this room.” Discussion point, Scarlet Guard: did Maven let Mare kill him? He shifts his weight off of her arm, allowing her to swing with her dagger. When she does, she says his eyes seem satisfied. Cue ugly sobbing. TBH, we’re gonna miss that little psychopath.
• Epilogue: Work must be done to rebuild Norta, but in the meantime, Mare returns to Montfort. She decides that she has to figure out who she is, and she has to do it without Cal. Eventually, though—she will return for him.
That’s it for this War Storm recap!
Red Queen (novel)
Novel by Victoria Aveyard
For other novels, see Red Queen (disambiguation) § Literature.
Red Queen is a young adultfantasy novel written by American writer Victoria Aveyard. Published in February 2015, it was her first novel and first series. Aveyard followed up with three sequels: Glass Sword, King's Cage and War Storm.Red Queen won the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author and was nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Mare Barrow is a Red living with her parents and a younger sister, Gisa. Her three older brothers, Bree, Tramy, and Shade, serve in the front line of a war fought between the northern Kingdom the Lakelands and the Barrows’ homeland, the Kingdom of Norta. Norta is currently ruled by King Tiberias Calore VI, one of many "Silver" citizens, whose silver blood and supernatural powers allow them to rule over the more numerous yet powerless red blooded population. Mare is jealous of Gisa because her skills in sewing earned her a job working for Silvers, and Reds who have jobs don't have to conscript in the war. When Mare learns that Kilorn Warren, her best friend, will be conscripted, she plans an escape and meets with a colleague who directs her to Farley, a captain of the Scarlet Guard, insurgents composed of Reds who want to bring equality between their people and the Silvers. Farley demands an exorbitant sum of money in exchange for Kilorn's escape.
Mare's plan to steal from a Silver with Gisa goes horribly wrong when live news reports that the Scarlet Guard bombed Silver buildings, inciting Silvers around them to grow violent. Gisa's hand is broken in the chaos, forcing her to quit her job and stop supporting Mare's family, whilst diminishing Gisa's dreams of becoming a seamstress. Unable to bear the guilt she feels towards Gisa and her family, Mare goes to a tavern and began stealing from random people to occupy her thoughts. While there, she gets sloppy and is caught while attempting to steal from a boy. Surprisingly, instead of turning her in he gives her money. He informs her that his name is Cal and he works as a servant at the palace. He walks her home and listens as she informs him of her tragic life. He gives her another coin out of pity and leaves. The next day, Mare is taken to the king's local residence and given a job as a servant. She discovers that Cal is Tiberias Calore VI's son, Prince Tiberias Calore VII, who granted her her work in the palace in order to protect her from conscription. During the Queenstrial, where Silver nobility compete for Cal's hand in marriage, Mare accidentally displays electrokinetic powers against Cal's eventual bride, Evangeline Samos. She is captured, but because the king fears of an uprising should a Red be discovered to have supernatural powers, Mare is made a bride of Tiberias' second son, the shy Maven, given the name Mareena Titanos, and a cover story: the daughter of a Silver general who died on the battle field and was adopted by the Reds in the war zone. Mare feels torn as she realizes she is in love with Cal, her betrothed's brother and the future Silver king. However, she soon grows to develop feelings for Maven instead.
Suddenly having to live as a noble within the king's ranks, Mare slowly acquaints herself with Maven and Cal while also befriending Julian Jacos, Cal's uncle and a librarian who teaches her how to control her powers. Mare is permitted to say goodbye to her family by Cal and learns the return of her brothers Bree and Tramy, but not Shade, who was beheaded by Silver officers for reported desertion. Furious that her favourite brother was killed, Mare joins the Scarlet Guard. While meeting with Farley to discuss plans, Mare is infuriated when she learns that Kilorn joined, and surprised when she sees that Maven joined as well. This new revelation brings Mare and Maven closer together and they become lovers. The plan involves disrupting a royal ball and killing several important Silvers. However, an unexpected and mysterious bomb goes off, killing many innocents in the process, and also resulting in the capture of Kilorn, Farley, and other members of the Scarlet Guard. Though the rebels are able to be freed thanks to Julian's help, Mare is alarmed when she learns that Farley was not responsible for the bomb dropped at the palace. The bomb gave Silvers the ability to paint the Scarlet Guard as dangerous murderers to the public.
Due to the attack of the Scarlet Guard, the Reds are punished by the Silvers with the lowering of the age of conscription from 18 to 15. Mare herself is ordered to broadcast the new law. Julian confesses that his research concludes that Mare's blood has a genetic mutation, allowing for a person with red blood to have Silver-like powers, and be stronger than both; furthermore, she is not the only one with the mutation. Shade also had the mutation, which was why he was executed; the only reason Mare was spared was because her powers manifested while she was viewed by many Silver onlookers, thus preventing a cover-up. Julian also mentions that he needs to go into hiding so he leaves Mare a list of names of people like her. After another meeting with Farley in a free zone that the Silvers have been avoiding, Mare, at Maven's suggestion, infiltrates the king's residence in the capital, Archeon. There, through the underground-roaming Undertrains, the rebels stake an invasion. Mare attempts to convince Cal to allow the Scarlet Guard overtake the castle, and admits to helping them. Cal, stung by her betrayal, refuses and arrests both Mare and Maven, leading them to the castle. However, once in the presence of Queen Elara and King Tiberius, Queen Elara reveals that she and Maven have been manipulating Mare the whole time in a plot to grant Maven the title of King and murder Cal. Maven hints that he and his mother caused the explosion to paint the Scarlet Guard in a bad light. Elara then uses her power of mind control to force Cal to kill his father on live television, thus branding him and Mare traitors and allowing Maven to become king. It is also revealed that Elara murdered the King's first wife many years ago in order to become Queen and gain more power.
Mare and Cal are sentenced to death and put in an arena with their powers stifled. Mare and Cal battle their former sparring partners, including Evangeline, and manage to kill a few Silvers before they retreat. They are rescued by the Scarlet Guard and they escape by the Undertrain before Maven can stop them. Inside it, Mare meets with Farley, Kilorn, and, to her shock, Shade, who faked his death and is also a part of the Scarlet Guard. Mare vows to take revenge against Maven, and use the list she acquired from Julian to seek out others like her.
- Mare Barrow: The 17-year-old Mare is a Red who steals for a living, but the discovery that she holds supernatural powers causes many to try to vie for her allegiance. She holds tremendous electrokinetic powers, which she uses to either absorb or release lightning. Thus explaining her nickname "The Little Lightning Girl".
- Tiberias "Cal" Calore VII: The elder son and heir of King Tiberias Calore VI through his first wife, Coriane Jacos. Though he is engaged to Evangeline, he is in love with Mare, a fact that she uses to further her goals in the Scarlet Guard. He is a Burner, which means his Silver powers allow him to manipulate fire. He doesn't get along with Mare's best friend Kilorn.
- Maven Calore: King Tiberias VI' second son through his second wife, Elara Merandus, and thus Cal's half-brother. He is shy, but Mare's sudden engagement with him makes him open up. Like Cal and his father, Maven has the ability to control flames. Maven is deeply jealous of Cal, partly because he thought his brother had won Mare's heart, the way he had won their father's. In contrast, Mare had preferred Maven over Cal.
- Diana Farley: A captain of the Scarlet Guard who leads them in the campaigns against the Silvers. She is strongly dedicated to the cause.
- Tiberias Calore VI: The current king of Norta who has married twice, producing two sons: Cal and Maven. He holds the ability to manipulate fire, which he passed to both of his sons.
- Elara Merandus: The mysterious and sadistic current queen of Norta and the mother of Maven. Mare dislikes her since the very start of their meeting. She is able to read and manipulate people with the ability known as Whispering.
- Julian Jacos: A royal librarian and the brother of Cal's deceased mother, Coriane, making him his uncle. He is the last known person to hold the power of a Singer: being able to control people through his voice.
- Evangeline Samos: A haughty girl who is made Cal's fiancée after being declared the best of the aspiring princesses. She holds a grudge against Mare, particularly after the latter humiliates her by expending her electrokinesis and repelling her magnetic manipulation, a trait of the House Samos.
- Kilorn Warren: Mare's best friend and an apprentice of fishing. Mare seems content to eventually become his wife, until her engagement with Maven makes them drift apart. The attempt to spare him of conscription is the catalyst of much of the novel's plot. He doesn't get along with Cal.
- Lucas Samos: Evangeline's cousin who, like her, holds the power of magnetic manipulation. He is one of the few Silvers whom Mare befriends and trusts with certainty.
- Rane Arven: The instructor for the Silver Elites who has the ability to negate the powers of other people, known as Silencing.
- Ptolemus Samos: Evangeline's older brother. Like her, he is a Magnetron, able to manipulate metal.
- Sara Skonos: A friend of Julian who works as a nurse with her ability to heal people, known as Skin Healing. She seems to know the truth behind the death of Cal's mother, Queen Coriane, and Elara thus punished her by mutilating her tongue, making her mute.
- Tristan: Farley's loyal right-hand man in the Scarlet Guard. He is killed by Ptolemus Samos when caught in the attack on the Hall.
- Ann Walsh: A member of the Scarlet Guard who is about the same age as Mare. She works as a servant in Mare's room in the Hall and tells Mare the time of the midnight meeting with the Scarlet Guard. On the attack of the Hall, she is captured but escapes with Farley and Kilorn. While making sure the way is clear for Mare and the others to come back to the Whitefire Palace, she is captured and commits suicide with a pill before the queen is able to interrogate her. Her last words were "For Tristan".
- Gisa Barrow: Mare's younger sister who works as an apprentice for a seamstress, until her broken hand terminates her from the job.
- Mare's other family members consist of a war-weary father, a homemaker mother, and three older brothers: the hunky but unperceptive Bree, the sycophantic Tramy, and the lean but smart Shade. Out of the three, Mare is the closest to Shade, who is 19 years old.
- Coriane Jacos: The late wife of Tiberias Calore VI and sister to Julian Jacos. Coriane was known as the "Singer Queen" because the Jacos house were Singers. Queen Elara did not like Coraine becoming queen so Elara murdered Coriane and took the crown, killing Tiberias at the end of the book.
Red Queen has been generally well received. The Guardian gave the novel four stars. Vilma Gonzalez of USA Today described the novel positively, revealing that "Aveyard’s compelling debut is richly imagined, addictive, chilling and suspenseful. She breathes new life into her own unique Game of Thrones story enlivened by exciting, character-driven plot twists that have me clamoring for more. This scintillating tale of betrayals and blood-spattered crowns is not to be missed."
However, Grand Forks Herald's Cassidy Anderson stated "Ultimately, this book was over-hyped. It's still a fun read as long as you are not looking for anything with a lot of depth or meaning to it."The Christian Science Monitor described the book as a dystopian novel.
Kirkus Reviews saw "An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends."
Publishers Weekly found "There’s an unmistakable feeling of deja vu to this first installment in the Red Queen trilogy, which shares several plot points and similarities with the Hunger Games series, ... Fortunately, Aveyard’s conclusion leaves the story poised to depart from this derivative setup."
Common Sense Media wrote "With its courageous protagonist, action-packed plot, and romantic possibilities, Red Queen is a winning series start for fantasy and dystopia lovers."
Gennifer Hutchison, a writer and producer on Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, was hired in 2015 by Universal Pictures to adapt the novel into a feature film. Pitch Perfect 2 director Elizabeth Banks was in talks with the studio to direct and produce the project.
In May 2021, it was reported that Peacock is in developing a television series adaptation of novel. Banks is set to direct and also set to star in a supporting role.
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Read a full summary of King’s Cage, book #3 of the Red Queen series now! This page is full of spoilers so beware. If you are wondering what happened in King’s Cage, you are in the right place!
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4.02 stars on Goodreads
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The Red Queen Series
#0.5 Cruel Crown
#1 Red Queen
#2 Glass Sword
#3 King’s Cage
#4 War Storm
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in King’s Cage?
King’s Cage starts where Glass Sword left off. Mare has turned herself in after the death of her brother Shade in an attempt to save her friends. King Maven held to his end of the bargain and did not pursue them. Now, however, he holds Mare prisoner and televises her capture. They make her out to be the leader of the Scarlet Guard. Many believe the lies that Maven spins but even some Silvers are against Maven and his tactics.
Maven, who is engaged to Evangeline, locks Mare away in his castle. Mare is under constant guard by the Arvens and wears manacles that suppress her lightning.
Finally, she is called forward by Evangeline. She has had enough of Mare’s easy treatment and insists that she be interrogated. A man named Samson does the deed. He is able to extract information from her mind in a very painful process. He also makes her relive her mistakes and Shade’s death.
SARA’S BOOK RATING
I give it 3 stars overall.
Let’s be friends on Goodreads:
Cameron, a newblood who is able to silence other’s powers, is with the Scarlet Guard division that is led by Farley. They are in the tunnels of Isabelle, a Scarlet Guard stronghold near a city called Trial. She only wishes to save her brother but finds herself with the somewhat fractured guard. Cal can’t seem to find his place, and most of the reds don’t trust him. Cameron certainly doesn’t trust any of the Silvers among them. Including Cal. Cal is busy trying to save as many Silver lives as possible, a sentiment that Cameron doesn’t share. She follows him to a secret room and suspects him of communicating with someone on the outside though she doesn’t know who.
Mare passes out after her interrogation with Samson but finally wakes to find that Maven has been sitting with her. He seems to have some feelings for her. Mare is grieved for the person that she had thought he was. Maven is going to use her by forcing her to appear at court as a rescued newblood.
She attempts to escape but is unsuccessful. For all the world to see, Mavin spins a tale that Mare escaped the Scarlet Guard who wants nothing more than to make a new, all red society. He says Mare came to him willingly and he promises newbloods sanctuary from the scary Scarlet Guard.
Most of her friends know that this is all a show but some, even in the Scarlet Guard begin to mistrust Mare.
Mare finds that the traitor, Jon is there in Maven’s court.
Cameron and the Scarlet Guard make plans to put their first assault into action at a place called Corvium. Cal does not think that they can succeed against the fortress.
Mare learns that Maven’s mother masterfully manipulated his mind when she was alive. Maven, even now, isn’t sure where her unnatural influence leaves off and his own will kicks in. He once had a close friend named Thomas that he loved but accidentally killed when he lost control.
Eventually, the newbloods start to trickle in at Maven’s beckoning. They are asked to display their powers. One older woman can easily determine what a person’s powers are. She outs Nanny, Mare’s friend, who had been sent by Cal to try to rescue Mare. Nanny had been posing as a man by changing her appearance. She commits suicide before she can be questioned.
After this Mare begins reading her old tutor, Julian’s books. They include old histories of how the silvers were once oppressed by the reds. Mare can’t believe that it was ever true.
Two princes from Piedmont, one of Maven’s ally cities, pays a visit. They question Mare about the Scarlet Guard and if they are in Piedmont. They also ask if Mare knows where their missing prince and princess are.
Later at a ball, a group of Maven’s own families, Iral, Haven, and Laris, attempt to assassinate Maven. They wish to put Cal back on the throne. Jon saves Mare from a bullet, but he escapes the room without her. He doesn’t return to court. Maven is shot, but a skin healer saves him.
After this, Maven clears away most of the families from his court. He no longer trusts anyone. He begins spending more time with Mare. She tries to manipulate him by using his feelings for her against him.
Cal talks the Scarlet Guard into waiting to attack Corvium saying that Maven is causing his own downfall.
Mare learns that it was Cal that created the machine that took Mare’s power away.
Maven takes Mare, Evangeline, and many others on a coronation tour. He speaks before reds in an attempt to bring them to his side. To make them think that he has their best interest at heart. Some are falling for his lies.
As they travel to Rocasta, a military city, Mare learns that Maven and other royals see the never-ending wars as a way to control the red blood population. Maven has already blackmailed the Lakelands into becoming his ally.
What they find in Rocasta is a hospital full of bleeding silvers. The Scarlet Guard has taken Corvium.
Cameron and Farley enter the city. Cal brings some silvers under his protection when they surrender. Some silvers flee, many are killed. Cameron learns that Maven has taken a group of red soldiers hostage. Cameron’s brother, Morrey, among them. She runs off to save him, but Cal catches up and offers to help. Cal hopes to exchange the slaves for the Silver’s freedom. Cameron has other plans. Cameron saves them on her own, and many silvers die. When she gets the red soldiers away after a fight, she finds that they have been fed lies by Maven and they do not trust Cameron or any of the Scarlet Guard.
Maven takes Mare and the rest of his entourage into the Choke where he strikes a deal with the king of the Lakelands. Their two territories have been at war for years, but now they will call a truce as they, together, eradicate the Scarlet Guard. Evangeline is cast aside as Maven accepts an engagement with the Lakeland princess, Iris. They all return to Maven’s castle.
Two months pass and Mare learns more from Julian’s books—that the Silver abilities “came from corruption, from a scourge that killed most. We were not god’s chosen, but a god’s cursed.”
Evangeline uses Mare to disrupt Maven. They all know that Mare is his weakness. But Maven still marries Iris. After the wedding, a storm cloud gathers. It is another newblood with Mare’s own ability, and she comes with the Scarlet Guard. Evangeline helps Mare get away and frees her power. In exchange Mare promises not to kill Evangeline’s brother.
During the following battle Mare and Cal are reunited but the Mind Whisperer, Samson, forces them to fight each other. Finally, they kill Samson and get away.
Evangeline and her family, Family Samos, uses the distraction to make a getaway. They are going to start their own monarchy, with her father at the head. Evangeline is happy because she can be with her lover, Elane, and have a crown without marrying anyone.
When Mare and company reach the Piedmont branch of the Scarlet guard, Mare’s family is there, and she spends time reuniting with them as well as her friend Kilorn. Soon she is debriefing everything she knows.
Farley has her baby. The father is Shade, Mare’s deceased brother.
Mare meets the General of the Scarlet Guard, Dane Davidson. They were the ones that took the Bracken children, the princess and prince of Piedmont.
Mare and Cal spend a lot of time training. She also trains with the other electricons.
Evangeline’s family gathers while others declare their loyalty. Cal’s grandmother, Anabel of house Lerolan, joins and declares that she cannot support them while Cal lives and should be made king. She is going back on her bargain to support them if they let Mare go. She tells them that they can have the Rift but not Norta. For the moment the Rift will support the Scarlet Guard against Maven. She makes an agreement that Cal will marry Evangeline to join their two nations. Evangeline is livid.
Mare’s family wants her to leave with them and get away from this war. She says she can’t. Cameron decides to stay around to defend and help how she can, but she doesn’t want to fight and become a monster.
Cal confesses that he had contact with his grandmother and that on his behalf, she made the deal for Mare’s rescue. He tells Mare that he loves her.
How does King’s Cage end?
The Scarlet Guard learns that Maven is attacking Corvium, the stronghold that the Scarlet guard currently occupies. The Rift has agreed to help them, an alliance that everyone is uncomfortable with. They all travel to Corvium, and together they fight off Maven’s army in the rain. The Rift arrives just in time. The king of the Lakelands is killed.
Afterward, Mare, Cal, and leaders of the scarlet guard meet up with Evangeline and other leaders from the Rift. They offer Cal his place back on the throne, but the Scarlet Guard are opposed to this decision. Evangeline hopes that Mare’s temper will ruin all alliances. Cal makes a speech about changing the old ways, and most Silvers pretend to agree. Cal is hesitant but accepts his throne. Both Evangeline and Mare are devastated by this decision.
Mare walks away from Cal. The Scarlet Guard is going to let the Silvers destroy each other in their battle for control.
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There you go! That’s what happened in King’s Cage. Hope you enjoyed this recap of King’s Cage with spoilers.
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