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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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Villains

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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Villains (favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc.) I’m going to go with a combination of all the options. This list will include some of my favorite villains, who are the best and the worst at the same time, but also loveable. Some will be the evilesttop t t and maybe a little creepy too. Villains are some of my favorite and a great Spooktober topic!

 

1. The Darkling, Grisha Verse by Leigh Bardugo – Anyone that knows me knows that I miiiight be a little obsessed with this series and the Darkling. He’s such an excellent villain. Attractive and mysterious, he lures you in before pulling you into the dark side. A backstory that gives him a human side. He’s excellently developed and I just love him.
2. Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Creepy, downright evil, this guy is just the worst in all the best ways. He’s a character that I love to hate.
3. Maven Calore, Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – A loveable villain in the first book. Before we’re blindsided by the fact that he’s actually the villain for this series. I loved him in Red Queen and HATED him the rest of the series. Aveyard made him loveable and personable and I still love him a little even though he’s pure evil.
4. Tea, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – Tea is made out to be the villain in this story but as we read we find out that she’s doing what she really believes in, despite the fact that she knows it will upset pretty much everyone. The minute she finds out she’s a bone witch she’s already given a stigma of being bad.
5. BeiTech, The Illuminae Files by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – I think this interesting twist of making a corporation the villain of the story is really cool. Though there’s more to this villain I won’t spoil anything. I think this was a well thought out and well-executed villain.
6. Empress Celestine, The Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – There’s still much to learn about this particular villain, but so far she’s very intriguing. She’s the worst, but I find myself liking her more as we get deeper into the series.
7. Nova/Insomnia, Renegades by Marissa Meyer – The main character who is a villain, but seems to start to have conflicting feelings about being a villain once she finds herself surrounded by heroes.
8. Martin Chatwin, The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Martin is just the worst. He’s basically psychotic on top of being pure evil.
9. Adelina Amouteru, The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Adelina was one of the first characters that made me realize I might like villains more than I thought.
10. King of Hybern, ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas – This guy sucked. He was actually the worst and I hated everything about him. Greedy and selfish, not satisfied with what he already has so he has to stir up all kinds of drama.

Who are your favorite, best, worst, most evil villains?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Summary:
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red-the color of common folk-but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince-the friend- who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: She is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known-and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.
Review:
Glass Sword was a story that kept me trapped within the story until the very last page. There were tears and laughter and all of the other emotions as well. I fell even more in love with the characters in this story.
I reviewed the first book of this series, Red Queen, here. Feel free to see what I thought of the first book and how my feelings for these characters have changed. My favorite part of this second book is the development that Mare Barrow has undergone since the beginning of the series. She is strong and clever and passionate and feisty. She’s grown from a girl who’s decided that her fate is to fight in a war that isn’t hers and will likely die for it. Now she fights for something she really believes is worth fighting for. She’s found herself made into a leader and a symbol of a revolution that’s getting a bit out of control. I like Mare because she’s flawed. She does what she thinks is best, even if it may cause some problems before it proves to be the best choice in the end. There was so much about Mare that I liked. She was betrayed and hurt and it was shown by her actions. She was dealing with horrible events and she didn’t just get over them like too many other books do. There may be a lot going on, she may be starting a revolution but she’s still a bit broken inside and that’s shown. She’s finding that there’s a darkness alive inside of her.

“The girl I see is both familiar and foreign, Mare, Mareena, the lightning girl, the Red Queen, and no one at all. She does not look afraid. She looks carved of stone, with severe features, hair braided tight to her head, and a tangle of scars on her neck. She is not seventeen, but ageless, Silver but not, Red but not, human-but not. A banner of the Scarlet Guard, a face on a wanted poster, a prince’s downfall, a thief…a killer. A doll who can take any form but her own.”

I liked Cal in the first book but I like him even more in Glass Sword. He’s just lost everything he’d ever thought he had. He’s just trying to figure out who he is now that he’s lost his family and his crown. He still manages to do his best to help even though he’s not sure if he’s ready to fight for a cause that’s fighting his brother and the only life he’s ever known. I really enjoyed seeing the crown prince try to figure out who he is now and what his next step is supposed to be.

“His bright flame has grown dark indeed.”

These two characters had the most significant development and I loved watching them grow. There were so so many new supporting characters introduced. The variety of abilities and personalities all together was an interesting addition to the story but I feel like it didn’t really allow for much development of these supporting characters. There was just too many. I have a feeling we will get some more in the next book, but who knows.
This story is fast paced and exciting. There is so much action and adventure I couldn’t put it down. We get to see and explore more of the world. I’m excited to continue on with this series and dive into the next book! There was darkness within this book. Characters doing and feeling things they didn’t know they were capable of feeling or doing. It was a dynamic that kept me interested in the story for sure.

“Lightning has no mercy.”

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 listening to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m currently reading Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy on my Kindle (thanks to NetGalley!) I’m also reading Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Captured By Magic by Linsey Hall.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished listening to Supernaturally by Kiersten White. I also recently finished reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Keep an eye out for my reviews!

Antonia- Most recently, I finished Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll be reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Also possibly City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.

Antonia- I’m thinking I’ll read The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile; it sounds like such an interesting story.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? 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!

www wednesday picture new

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I am currently listening to Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel, the third and final book in the Themis Files trilogy. Head to our master review list to see my thoughts on the first two books in the series.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I’ve been interested in this premise since I first saw it and have finally gotten around to reading it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just finished The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I received it as an ARC courtesy of NetGalley. Keep an eye out for my review in the next few weeks!

Antonia- I just finished Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I am hoping to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard or Uprooted by Naomi Novik or Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy. I have too many books in too many different formats available to me right now so I never know what I’m going to read until I choose.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I’ll probably try to finish the Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR List

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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Books on My Fall 2018 TBR.
top 10 tuesday
1. The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin – I’ve heard so many good things about these books. I bought them recently and I really want to get around to reading them.
2. The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead – The third and final book in The Glittering Court series I’m excited to pick this one up and see where Tamsin’s story takes us.
3. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – I’m rereading all of Clare’s books before Queen of Air and Darkness comes out in December.
4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – With all the bloggers that rant and rave about this book and the rest of the series I’m a little ashamed to say I haven’t read it yet. I have all of them but haven’t managed to pick them up for some reason.
5. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Another book that my fellow bloggers have brought to my attention. It’s sitting on my shelf begging me to pick it up.
6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – I’m rereading this series since buying the final book, War Storm. Glass Sword is next up for this series.
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’m due for a reread of the series. I just had a baby so I think I’m going to read them out loud to my daughter, an attempt to make her a baby Potterhead.
8. The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas – I bought this book of novellas, finally. I’m not ready for the heartbreak it’s going to cause but it’s on the list.
9. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – Another book of novellas that I’m super excited to dive into.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Bookstagram led me to this series. I’ve heard mixed reviews but I really think I’m going to like it.

What books are on you TBR list for the upcoming season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.