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King’s Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series (click here for my review of Red Queen and here for my review of Glass Sword). Admittedly, I pushed this one back on my priority list for quite a while, mostly due to me not having liked Glass Sword at all. It was confusing and lacked intrigue and direction. Maybe Glass Sword just suffered the typical second book syndrome, but even after several of my fellow bloggers assured me that King’s Cage did not have the same problems, I wasn’t too eager to pick it up. Well, I guess it is time for me to join the ranks and say that King’s Cage is in fact better than Glass Sword, but I am still not fully back on board with the series.
The first time I opened the book, I immediately noticed a vast improvement. The book has a map! I remember being completely lost in terms of the country’s scope and the different towns and the travel time between destinations in the previous book. I was bored with the amount of moving back and forth and my lack of understanding where anyone was going, so this was a big plus already.
Then we are right there with Mare, still prisoner to Maven. The torment and weight of the situation was palpable throughout the entire time. It gave us a vulnerable Mare, which was direly needed in my opinion, because no one person can do everything, but it also gave us real insight into Maven and why he is the way he is. I enjoyed those chapters a lot, despite the slightly repetitive nature of the scenarios that played out. I know that Maven isn’t a good person and I am not making excuses for his behaviour, despite understanding that it might not be entirely his fault, but he is still the person I like to read about most in this series. (Yes, once again, the villain is my fave – what a surprise!) I think it really helped to see his side of things and Mare’s reactions to his confessions.
King’s Cage brought about another change though and it’s one I am still not sure how to feel about. There are multiple POVs this time around and just for the sake of keeping some surprises, I won’t tell you who they were from. I am not going to lie though, it took me quite some time to even remember who this person was and to this day, I still only have a hazy memory of them. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with the series. Aside from the people that appeared in the first book, I have troubles remembering anyone, just because there are too many people that are very insignificant for long-term plot developments. The names and abilities start to blend together, so I actually needed these constant reminders of who did what for what house and which color belonged to whom etc.
Overall, I liked the direction the book went into. Stakes were upped again, I started to like Mare better again as well, even though she is still not one of my faves. Cal is just cancelled, there’s something about him that just rubs me the wrong way. Maven is still my wicked darling. And I really had a change of heart when it came to people I previously disliked whole-heartedly *cough*Evangeline*cough*. I still don’t believe this series has a strong priority in my mind, but I am curious to see how it all ends. I think there is the real possibility to not go the classical route and insert some great twists instead.
Fazit: 4/5 stars! Improvement from Glass Sword for sure!
Have you read King’s Cage? Or the Red Queen series as a whole? What are your thoughts?