War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Summary:
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.
War Storm (Red Queen, #4)Review:
I wanted to like this finale more than I did. As with most books, there were things I liked and things I didn’t. I think I’m going to organize this review like I have with a few other series conclusions in the past because there’s just too much going on for me to talk about it in my traditional format.

Things I liked-

The changing perspectives was probably my favorite thing about this book. It was done in the previous book too (see my review for King’s Cage). I really felt like we got to see into the heads of the rest of the characters that play a part in this story. I started to really feel for certain characters (read: Evangeline) instead of hating them like I did in previous books. Seeing things from her point of view, what her thoughts and opinions were rather than just the face she puts on for the world was really interesting and was the best part of this book. The same goes for Iris. I liked seeing her plans and thoughts. The way that her country works and what her values and ideals were.

I liked seeing the different parts of the world. We get to see the Lakelands and more of Montfort. I enjoyed exploring more of the world. Along with this, we’re learning more about the Newbloods and how the world is changing.

Finally, I liked the action. The fighting was exciting and fun. I thought the battles they chose and the places they strike were good choices. I was convinced that Aveyard was going to kill a certain character, but she didn’t thankfully.

Things I didn’t like-

The ending. I wanted more. This was not very satisfying to me.

Mare and Cal. I remember being pretty broken up with their drama in the last book, but reading this one and the choices they both make just annoyed me. I wanted them to just get over it all. I didn’t care if they ended up together or not. I didn’t care about them in general.

Which leads me to the rest of the characters. For a book so thick, there was so much focus on characters I didn’t care about. In the first few books, we’re learning all about these Newbloods. Rescuing them and training them, but then we just get two or three sentences here and there about them and no further development. I really didn’t appreciate that.

Overall-

I’m happy for the series to finally be over and to see it concluded (though I am excited for the novella collection coming out in May.) I found myself really struggling to pick this book up and actually want to read it. I think maybe pushing myself to finish it despite these feelings made me enjoy it less but I didn’t want to keep waiting and then forget everything from the first three books. I’m glad I read the series because I did enjoy it, but I’m equally glad for it to be over.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Summary:
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 continues 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.
In this breathless third installment in Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling series, allegiances are tested on every side. And 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 to burn all the way down.
Review:
King’s Cage is book three in this series. See my review for book two here. I put off rereading this series for way too long. I have read this book before, but I remembered literally nothing about the story. The first half of this tome was a bit boring. I’ve been noticing that this is a trend with fantasy. The first half of the book is build up and suspenseful and dramatic. The book was told in (mostly) two different points of view with a third thrown in here and there. I really liked this because we see what Mare is going through, but we still get to see what’s going on in the rest of the world. I like getting more than one perspective when it comes to fantasy. I always prefer knowing more of the world. This is especially relevant in King’s Cage because for much of the book we’re following Mare who is in captivity and not seeing or learning a whole lot about what’s going on in the world.

I am the lightning girl. I am a storm. It feels like a lie. The lightning girl is dead.”

Mare wasn’t my favorite character in this book. But she wasn’t the worst either. I think she handled the situation she was in pretty well. Essentially tortured in a handful of different ways for six months, she still did her best to learn as much as she could and remember everything to use after she escaped. She, for the most part, never lost hope. She told herself she was going to survive and escape Maven even though she was convinced that the Scarlet Guard was not going to be coming to her rescue. I appreciated Mare in captivity because she was realistic. She lashed out and screamed and yelled and smashed things, but she was also frequently afraid and didn’t hide that. She knew when to push and when to shut her mouth and I appreciated this.

“Maven Calore is not his own self. He told me as much. He is a construct, a creation of his mother’s additions and subtractions, A mechanical, a machine, soulless and lost. What a horror, to kow that someone like this holds our fates in the palm of his quivering hand.”

Our sweet villainous Maven, this book really gave me a new appreciation of him. I love a villain I can care about. Give me a villain that was made evil instead of always being evil any day of the week and I’ll love them forever. We learned SO much about Maven in the time that he held Mare prisoner. I think he’s a really complex character and we got to see further into why he is the way he is. I love him, in the way that he’s an interesting and complicated character. He’s also very smart and I’m interested to see how the story ends in the final book.

“To stand in front of a person who is your whole world and be told you are not enough. You are not the choice. You are a shadow to the person who is your sun.”

Cal really disappointed me at the end of King’s Cage.He did do much and helped Mare and we all were lulled into them finally being in a good place. And then he threw it all away because he is actually garbage. I loved him so so much until the last chapter. I really don’t even want to talk about him because I’m really salty about it.

“Those who know what it’s like in the dark will do anything to stay in the light.”

Cameron is the other main point of view that we get. I liked seeing things from her perspective because she’s so different from most of the other players involved in the events occurring. She wasn’t really brought into any of this by choice and her attitude just that much more to the story. Her POV gave us eyes into what was going on within the Scarlet Guard and I think it was the perfect perspective because she’s not a super important member of the team. She wants to mostly stay out of everything. She wants to save her brother and stay out of it. So she’s sort of an objective viewpoint because she world love to just watch the world burn if that meant she could save her brother and get away from it all. She’s fierce and stubborn and I loved her chapters.

“We will not break, and we will no longer bend.”

The final character I want to mention is only relevant because somehow Victoria Aveyard has me feeling all the feels for the villains in this story. Yes, I’m talking about Evangeline. I hated her in the first two books. But somehow Aveyard has me feeling bad for her and even liking her for certain things. I think it really speaks to the authors abilities when you can make me change how I feel about characters like I did in this book.

“As you enter, you pray to leave. As you leave, you pray never to return.”

Overall, I enjoyed the third book in the Red Queen series. I think there were good parts and bad as there is with most things. I was excited to get to see more of the fantasy world this takes place in. We travel with several of the characters and it was great to get to see more of the world. I’m very antsy to get to the final book, so I’m going to stop here.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Summary:
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but a twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the kind and all his nobles, she discovers an ability she didn’t know she had. Except…her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.
From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

Review:
This is a great fantasy series that’s told in the first person by our main character, Mare Barrow. I liked this. I feel like we get most fantasies told in the third person, but with the first person, we just get thrown into the story with the necessary bits and pieces being told to us through Mare as they come up. I enjoyed seeing the world build for me this way. I think this world was built very well. I also liked that it was focused more on the struggles that the Reds faced and the extreme difference of the treatment and lifestyles between those with Red blood and those with Silver. This was a really interesting dynamic.
I really liked our main character, Mare. She’s a girl who’s mostly resigned to the fate that she sees as inevitable. Being conscripted and going to fight in the war is her future and she’s accepted that, but until then she will continue with the small rebellions that make her feel better even though they’re not actually making a difference. Mare really cares about her family and Kilorn. I like the family aspect of the story because it shows Mare’s loyalty. She’s loyal to those that she loves and will do whatever she needs to in order to keep them safe and well taken care of. I think the only thing that bothered me when it comes to Mare is that things just sort of happening to her. She’s a thief so she’s bound to get into trouble but by chance, she runs into someone who gets her a job so that she doesn’t have to go fight in the war. On her first day there she finds herself in the craziest situation. I think this is something that’s a little overplayed. The main character just finding themselves in trouble or having magic powers, it’s just a bit overdone at this point but other than that I really liked Mare.
The two princes went back and forth trying to win my favor. I like them both and I’m not going to say which I like better. Cal has a ridiculous sense of honor and what he’s ‘supposed’ to do. He knows that things should change and that life is ridiculously unfair for anyone with Red blood, but he doesn’t think he can and/or won’t do anything to change their lives. I understood his thought process but was also frustrated by it. That about sums up my feelings with Cal, I understand him but he frustrates me. Maven. Oh, Maven. I loved him. I loved his friendship and relationship with Mare and I really wish he hadn’t done certain things because this was totally a ship I could get behind. I can’t say too much without giving anything away. I loved Maven for who we thought he was. I did not like the real Maven.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters. They were entertaining and believable. I liked the world that this story took place in. I’m excited to see where this story is going with the way that Red Queen ended. This book was written well and overall was a fun relatively quick read that left me wanting more.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

wwwwww

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows. I’ve heard so many good things about it and so far they’re all true. I’m currently listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler.

Antonia- Technically I haven’t started it yet, but Amanda and I recently received copies of The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey from the author in exchange for our reviews. I’m really excited to start this dystopian/paranormal; I’d gotten a little sick of dystopians recently because it feels like they keep following the same patterns after awhile but this one sounds so unique (especially when you add in vampires??).

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. It was super interesting and I liked it very much. Keep an eye out for my review later this month!

Antonia- I just finished The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. It exceeded my expectations and I’m excited for the rest of the series. My review will post tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I think I’m going to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I think I’m also going to start Allies by Bella Forrest on my Kindle in the next few days.

Antonia- I have so many books to read! I think I’ll either start Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones or catch up on The Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall.

Thanks for reading the W’s we came up with this week. What are your answers? Feel free to leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m still working on getting through Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa on my Kindle. I haven’t picked it up since last week, but I’ll probably finish it in the next few days. I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman as I type this. I’m over halfway through and still somehow have six hours left. I’m also reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I finally picked it up and I’m glad I did because it’s super interesting and I’m only less than fifty pages in.

Antonia- A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I cannot stop with this series. I blew through the first two books in a couple days and will probably read this last one just as quickly. I’m so glad Amanda practically threw these books at me.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just yesterday finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I’m doing a reread of the series so I can finally read the last book that came out this year.

Antonia- I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury. I read this 600-something-page book in about a day. It was amazing. Expect to see my reviews of this series soon.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- After I finish Big Little Lies I will probably pick up Glass Sword, the second book in the Red Queen Series. I have quite a few books on my TBR list for this month but I don’t know what order I’m going to read them yet.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I barely started listening to the audiobook for The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg but got distracted by the ACOTAR series. There’s also a couple new books in The Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall that I’m excited to read. But I still have a bunch of new books from my haul from Book Outlet that I need to read so it’ll all depend on my mood when I finish my current read.

Thanks for reading! What are your W’s this week?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Popular Books That Lived Up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is the top ten popular books that lived up to the hype. This is going to be a fun one for me because I frequently buy or read books because of the hype.

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1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I read this series book by book when it was first released. But even back then there was so much hype that was all accurate. This series still gets hyped up all the time, which says a lot right there.
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – If you read any of my posts on a regular basis you already know how obsessed with this series I am. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I jumped on this bandwagon pretty early and had to wait for each book to be released which made it ten times worse.
3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – After reading ACOTAR I knew I needed to check out her other series as well and I’m super glad I did. I can’t wait for Kingdom of Ash to be released.
4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I originally got these books from the library a few years ago and loved them so much I had to buy my own set.
5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – The first two or three books were already published and I had to not so patiently wait for the next three. But I also had to wait for the Infernal Devices and now I’m not so patiently waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness.
6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I am realizing that I am easily convinced to buy books. I bought this one not too long after it came out and have had to wait for each book to come out. Now that the whole series is out I somehow haven’t managed to reread them all.
7. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – I totally bought this series for the hype. I wouldn’t say they’re the best books in the world, but I’ve enjoyed them enough to read them more than once.
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I love a good fairytale retelling so when I heard the hype for these I obviously had to see what the deal was.
9. The Gender Game by Bella Forrest – Once I signed up for Kindle Unlimited (after I got my Kindle as a Christmas gift from my mother in law) I saw this series all over and eventually gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, these were fantastic books. I love everything Forrest writes.
10. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I was super late to jump on the bandwagon for this one. I read this last month and I was just blown away.

This is my top ten for this week. What popular books have you read that lived up to the hype?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

www wednesday picture new.jpg

What are you currently reading?

Amanda-

ebook – Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to fly through this book. It feels like I’ve been reading it forever. I think it’s because it’s full of Japanese mythology which is a topic unfamiliar to me so I’m reading slowly so I don’t miss anything important.
audiobookAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman. This book has been super hard to get through. It’s such a long audiobook and I actually had to return it and then put another hold on it from my library. I’ve made it about halfway through and I’m making more progress on it later today. It’s interesting but a lot of detail so it requires more of my focus than other audiobooks.
physical book – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. When the final book in this series came out I knew I was going to have to reread the whole series (I like to reread but I also only remembered a few basic details from this series). I’ve finally made the attempt to start the series reread but I plan to read other things and not binge read these books.

Antonia-

I’m currently reading If I Should Die by Amy Plum. This series has exceeded my expectations and I’m really excited to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda-

audiobook – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. It was fantastic and my review will be posting sometime in the next few weeks.
physical book – Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. I just finished reading this last night. I have already written the review and it will also be posted in the next few weeks.

Antonia-

I just finished Until I Die by Amy Plum. I’m really enjoying this series so far. You’ll see a review for this one tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda-

ebook – Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow. I received this in return for an honest review. I’ve heard good things about it and the description sounds super interesting.
audiobookThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This has been on my TBR list forever so when I saw it was available to borrow from my library’s audiobook collection I made sure to grab it.
physical book – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This has been on my TBR list for at least a year and I’m trying to make a conscious effort to knock off some of the books that have been on there for a while.

Antonia-

Next I think I’ll read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Amanda’s been yelling at me to read this series for forever and I’m excited to finally get around to it.

These are this week’s W’s! What’s your reading update for this week? Let us know your W’s in the comments and thanks for reading!