King’s Cage is the third installment of the bestselling Red Queen series. Fans and readers of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy or Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes will enjoy this book. Recommended with reservations. May not be appropriate for younger YA due to sexual content (see Cons).
In our distant future, nuclear war has changed our world. A mutation gave rise to Silvers – people with silver blood and amazing abilities. Now in power, Silvers subjugate Reds (normal people with red blood and no abilities). Then Mare Barrow arrives: a Red with the ability to control electricity.
In King’s Cage, she is the prisoner of mentally unstable King Maven.
- Victoria Aveyard has created a rich world full of conflict.
- Mare’s character learns that pushing people away is a mistake. This makes her more likeable in King’s Cage.
- King’s Blood is not the end of the series. To some extent, it reads like a bridge novel.
- The story contains other POV characters, such as Cameron and Evangeline. I enjoyed getting inside Evangeline’s head, but Cameron seemed an odd choice.
- The author has an LGBTQ+ agenda that becomes evident in this book. One of the characters is a lesbian and there is a brief bedroom scene with her girlfriend. While not descriptive, it made my 12-year-old uncomfortable.
- [spoiler alert] Mare and Cal begin a sexual relationship. When Farley is having her baby, she convinces the nurse to give Mare the equivalent of a morning-after pill.
Conservative parents should be aware of the sexuality aspects in King’s Cage.
I read it after my daughter, so she was interested in my reaction to the lesbian characters and the fact Mare and Cal had sex. Both scenes made her uncomfortable. We were able to discuss authors’ agendas and whether these aspects were integral to the story.
- What kind of character is Maven? How did Maven’s mother contribute to making him into the King he becomes? Do you like him or not? Why?
- What new things did we learn about Evangeline in King’s Cage? Do they make you like her more or less? Why?
- How does Mare and Cal’s relationship evolve over the course of the series? How do you feel about it?