26 June, 2018

[Review] War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen #4
Release Date: 15 May, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopian Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062422996
Edition: Audiobook and Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 16 June, 2018
Summary: Victory comes at a price.

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.

See more by Victoria Aveyard at her Website.

The final installment of the Red Queen series, one I’ve been looking forward to since I finished the first book. Major questions were left hanging at the end of King’s Cage and I needed answers. The story picks up right where King’s Cage ended. Mare has just rejected Cal as he decided to take the crown again to fight against his brother. In doing so, he’s agreed to marry Evangeline again to seal a pact between the Kingdom of the Rift and what’s left of the Kingdom of Norta. Angry and hurt, Mare latches onto Farley, the mother of her niece and the growing friendship with her. She also latches onto the offers by the Montfort government.

Shortly after alliances were made, she requests that the Montfort premier take her family to Montfort to stay for good, to keep them safe from the impending battles between the two Norton Kings and the growing threat of the Lakelands, brought on by Maven Calore’s marriage to Iris Cygnet. Things are never as straight and narrow as they appear to be however, and Mare seems to know it. Initially told in the points of view of Mare, Iris, and Evangeline; War Storm gives readers a more intimate knowledge of what has been going on beyond the knowledge of Mare and how fate has played out for these three ladies.

Iris, cunning and trained in the art of war, spends a fair amount of time hindering Maven’s movements. After the death of her father in King’s Cage and hungry for revenge, Iris eventually accepts a deal with Anabel Leroland and Julian Jacos, Cal’s grandmother and uncle respectively. If she can hinder Maven by keeping part of her mother’s fleet at bay and capture Maven in a trap, they offer to turn over both the lord who murdered her father and the King of the Rift, Volo Samos. Determined to have her revenge, Iris sets her own plans in motion to see that the war is ended and that she can return home to the Lakelands.

Evangeline, frustrated by Cal’s agreement to take the throne of Norta again and in turn forcing her marriage to him, sets out trying to fix the problems between Mare and Cal. Though she claims to not care one way or the other about either, she constantly pushes them together in hopes that Cal will come to his senses and break their engagement. Her own heart is also torn by the fact that her lover, Elaine, is married to her brother and tends to be stationed in the Rift’s stronghold. She continuously tries to find ways to set both of them free, and after a visit to Montfort, she realizes the pair might have a chance if they can escape Norta and the fighting and reach Montfort. Though it takes her a while, Evangeline eventually does stand up to her parents, making a valiant effort to escape on her own. It backfires, as she thought it would, but right as she thinks the end is coming for her, her brother Ptolemus steps in and helps her. They then escape the final battle between the Norton forces and the Lakelanders to head for Montfort along with Wren Skonos, Ptolemus’s lover.

Mare’s storyline of course follows her own internal monologue as they continue to push for better rights for the Reds of Norta and freedom. After her family is safely tucked away in Montfort, she returns into the heart of the fighting. Knowing that Maven won’t wait long after the defeat at Corvium, the coalition of Reds, Norta, and the Rift decide to strike against Harbor Bay, the strongest point of Norta’s current military. They also plan to attack the Techtown slums outside of the city to free the Reds there as well and cripple Maven. Though both attacks are successful, the fort is lost, and many of the Samos cousins along with it. With the city won, Cal declares it his headquarters/seat of power until the war is done. Mare struggles with being back in the city for a while, especially since during the battle Cal is seen fighting with Iris Cygnet on a warship in the middle of the harbor and almost dying.

Though our main chapters are done by the three ladies, Cal and Maven also get their own chapters to show what’s been going on in their heads during the war as well. Cal still wants to rescue Maven from the remnants of his mother. Maven, on the other hand, wants to be better than Cal and to ‘defeat’ the perfect son. Though the book ends with him supposedly dying by Mare’s hands in a room of silent stone (created by using the blood of many Arvens), we are never shown a body and the fact that he’s deceased isn’t pushed as much as many of the other characters who died throughout the books.

All in all, I loved this book. I loved this series. I’m terribly saddened to see it end. Even though I know there will be many great things to come from Ms. Aveyard in the future, I terribly want to keep following Mare in her healing process. But as stated in the final chapter, we all need time to heal, and it’ll be awhile before I do a proper rereading through the series. Thank you Ms. Aveyard, kudos to you.

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