Genre: Fantasy (Dystopia) Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4.5 stars Series: yes - book 4
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?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
This is a lovely finale, full of twists, turns and rapid pacing. Again, this is a more nitpicky review. Like with KING’S CAGE, there are multiple POVs throughout.
I liked Iris as a POV character, her cunning and determination come what may. As a ‘villain’, she was very sympathetic seeing her motivations and actions. She’s a schemer to match Maven, antagonists to each other despite publicly being allies. The way she was dealt with at the end, the resolution of her aims, was a little bit of a let down, if I’m honest.
With Iris introduced, we get another party at play, another evil to be defeated – the Lakelanders. It was very realistic, that the chaos would bring another power-hungry player into the mix, but they became the final villain. Considering the series started as Scarlet Guard vs the Nortan Kings, to have it ending with a coalition vs the Lakelanders felt a bit odd.
However, with the Lakelanders in play, the alliances are brilliant. There’s Monfort, the Scarlet Guard, House Samos, the pro-Maven and pro-Cal factions of Norta, Piedmont and the Lakelanders to scheme, ally, betray. The alliances are so fragile, and watching everyone try to balance radically different desires while maintaining their alliances against their mutual enemies was so much fun. This shifting chessboard of many players was the best part of the book.
Oddly, I’m not sure I liked seeing Cal and Maven’s POV. Yes, it gives and insight into their minds. Cal’s arc is best in his chapters, and there’s a crucial moment or two that wouldn’t be seen otherwise. Seeing just how much Elara’s messed with Maven’s mind is unsettling. However, I’ve quite liked seeing the two Princes from other people’s POV – namely Mare. Their rivalry and love for Mare is so crucial to the story, but it’s always been framed through Mare’s desires. I almost wish we’d only had that, not the two boys’ view on it.
Cameron basically isn’t in this book. I think it’s two chapters, and she does little in them (her big victory comes through Mare’s POV). While she wasn’t my favourite character, if she was going to be a POV character, then I think she should have been present throughout – and done something.
I’m rather sad that I’m at the end of the series now, but at least I have the companion book – BROKEN THRONE – to read next!
Read my reviews of other books by Victoria Aveyard