“In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And 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.”
This book starts off where the previous one ends, with Mare back with Maven and back in the palace where this all began!
I enjoyed the multiple POV’s, which adds a great layer to the story and luckily Victoria is good at ensuring that the characters voices are distinct enough so that the reader can clearly tell who POV we are listening to. This also gives us other world views outside of the palace and we can see what is going on with the rebels from the outside and the Royals on the inside, which is great as I tend to find stories that only stay in the captured character’s area rather boring (I end up going stir crazy like the characters).
Okay, so I am never a fan for the bad guy – so wasn’t all that desperate for more Maven time. How wrong I was – I really enjoyed the development of Maven’s story and getting more of a look and feel for what is going on his head! Wow we get some real understanding of what makes him tick and how broken he has been by his mother – it was great to hear about when she started to shape him into the person he is and how brutal she was in her quest to make him King! I actually started to make me feel sorry for him and start to look at his decisions in a different way – Darn you Ms. Aveyard!
I loved the interaction between Mare and Maven whilst she is his captive – I never knew which way it would go, more hatred or more love, it really kept me on my toes with what is going to happen next! As a lot of the interaction between the two is behind the throne room doors – we get to see a more intimate side to both, which through the series we haven’t had the opportunity with Maven.
I also really enjoyed Mare’s character development – as she hasn’t always been the easiest main character to swallow! She really seems to grow as a character and with her time in confinement starts to see her own flaws and address them – thank goodness as I want to like the main characters of the books I read! I felt myself start to feel sorry for her and route for her, as she tries to mend the wrongs she has done without letting that spark inside her go out! However as her captivity is very repeative in its day to day narrative and takes up a lot of the book – it was rather slow going, with most of the action happening in the later parts of the book, as I said I start to go stir crazy like the characters when not a lot seems to happen.
As I mentioned before there is some switching of POV during the book and also being able to see outside the palace walls with the rebellion – one of these being from Cameron’s perspective which was great as she doesn’t want to be in the rebellion but equally isn’t routing for Maven. So its a great unbiased opinion of Mare’s selfish behaviour and Cal’s reluctance to pick a side and all the problems there decisions cause. However this does some what cloud your judgement on all the other characters and is hard when you have to get back into there situations and muster up the feelings of pity or support for them.
We also get the ‘pleasure’ of getting a view from Evangeline’s eyes – again she seems to have gone through the same character development as the others and again darn you Ms Aveyard give me enough back story to start to come to realise why she is the way she is! Could not have been more surprised and actually she is now one of the characters I want to see more of and see what happens with her story in the next books!
My only slight disappointment was with Mare and Cal – after spending time with the tormented, tragic, tense scenes with Maven I wanted the same for Mare and Cal, sadly I just felt like there wasn’t so much tension and passion! I wanted more – as a couple they feel a little hollow for me and we don’t get much time with them to see the romance finally develop!
I definitely enjoyed how much character back stories we got in this book, but felt like perhaps a bit more could have happened to not leave us with another cliff hanger! Goodness knows what Team I am on with all this new found character knowledge! Definitely the best book in the series so far!
Actual Rating – 4 Stars
If you enjoyed this book, I think you will also enjoy;
The Sin Eaters Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter 1) by Melinda Salisbury
Shatter Me (Shatter Me 1) by Tahereh Mafi
The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 1) by Karen Miller
The Magicians’ Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy 1) by Trudi Canavan
The Way of Shadows (Nigh Angel 1) by Brent Weeks
What I will be reading next;
The Song Rising (The Bone Season 3) by Samantha Shannon