I had been eagerly awaiting the third instalment of the Red Queen series and danced my little heart out when it arrived. A distinct difference to my reaction to the ending of the book, why oh why did it end like that.
This is a series I have loved and enjoyed despite its flaws. Yes, its flawed, does that mean I can't enjoy it? Course not! I've yet to find a book where I am truly happy with absolutely everything (Red Rising is the closest so far.) I'm trying to make myself be more critical when I'm reading which I'm finding very very difficult.
Without question my favourite aspect of King's Cage was seeing the layers of Maven. Learning about how his mother shaped him, moulded him - essentially how she broke him. There were times where I felt something akin to sympathy, that to me makes for a wonderful villain. Don't get me wrong he's a nasty piece of work and does horrendous things but you have to wonder how much of it was him and how much was the remaining influence of his mother, Elara.
His interactions with Mare were incredible to read. I loved how Victoria blurred the line between Maven's love and obsession with Mare. He wanted to look after her but because of his warped mind seemed to treat her more like a possession. A pet he could parade around.
"I'm not a fool, little lightning girl. If you're going to play in my head, I'm going to play in yours. It's what we're good at." One of my favourite lines from the series. Thats really what the first half of the book was like and I loved it.
Something that I really didn't understand was why Cameron had a POV in this book. I realise that there needed to be someone with the Scarlet Guard but why her? Farley would've been such an interesting POV to read. A pregnant rebel leader? Um, yes please. Cameron's POV was full of complaints, about Cal and about Mare. I saw a review that described Cameron as Mare on crack and I have to agree. She bashed Mare for being self righteous but she's even worse!
I also wish that Evangeline's POV chapters started earlier in the novel. I loved her perspective and again, how layered a character she is but she appeared so late in the novel! It was a little jarring to then have to read from another perspective (because they aren't easily identifiable unless you see names mentioned.) I have a feeling Evangeline will become one of my favourite characters. I really like her relationship with Elane, its nice to see her protective and vulnerable side.
Finally, the ending. My God.
I feel like every novel so far in the Red Queen series has had Mare and Cal ripped apart at the end. Be it by their own beliefs or because one of them is captured. It's irritating. In this novel I wish it had ended differently like maybe them compromising. My ideal ending would've been Cal agreeing to be King but only if he had Mare as his Queen. And Mare agreeing to be his Queen because was suggests equality more than a Red Queen?!
Anyway, I'm definitely in need of the next book now. Like I need to see how everything wraps up.