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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 demolish 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.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (May 15, 2018)
Page Count: 672 pages
After the Allegiant incident I’ve been a little wary about YA series endings. Though The Lunar Chronicles helped regain my trust, I was still a little nervous about Red Queen’s finale especially after while at a signing for the author she mentioned some people may not like the ending. Thankfully my trust in the series wasn’t misplaced.
The Plot: Everything that’s been brewing over the past three books is coming to a head. Norta is in political disarray which makes for a lot of interesting tension as this country is floundering to hold onto its old ways while the new ones are taking place successfully in other locations. Cal is trying to have his cake and eat it too in trying to please both Silvers and Reds but he’s struggling. Maven has wreaked havoc on the countries and specifically the main character which causes much politically discord. Basically, everything is a mess and Montfort is the only country that’s somewhat got its crap together and everyone is trying to fix said mess before everyone dies in said mess.
The Characters: Mare has gone through hell and she’s still recovering from her battered mental state. She’s very involved in the going-ons but part of her is stuck in what’s happened. I like that she comes to a place where she feels like she needs to fix herself before she moves on to big relationships. That’s a really mature way to handle yourself. Romance isn’t going to instantly dissolve problems. Two broken people coming together can often equal a broken relationship.
Cal is very torn between the new ideas he’s been exposed to and what he’s grown up believing the majority of his life. I like that he doesn’t just instantly gravitate toward the new ideals he sees in Montfort. It just wouldn’t be realistic. Habits are hard to break. It was neat to go into his head in this final installment.
Maven even gets time in the POV slots which is well, a creepy experience. The author did a great job of making him realistic while not gaining too much sympathy as for people to make excuses for him. Maven is a very twisted person. It may not be of his own volition but i still feel like if he really really tried he could change but when it comes to it he doesn’t want that.
Iris is an interesting villain. Also very sympathetic but she still clings to wrong practices which put her in the villain spot. Evangeline I’m really torn with since I really don’t agree with her lifestyle choices. She’s definitely an intriguing character What with her relationship with her brother and her abilities. But I feel like her end suited her. Again I love Mare's family and that Farley has become a part of it. She and Farley sharing Shade's memory is so sweet and heartbreaking.
The Setting: We finally branch of Norta and see Montfort and the Lakelands. Both are interesting countries with well-fleshed out customs. The Lakelands’ gods being connected to water are really neat and I love the mountain ranges of Montfort. They remind of the Canadian Rockies with snow on the mountain tops in summer and mountains so tall trees can't grow on them. The clashes of republics and monarchies is a very interesting conflict.
Epic Things: This is morbid but Tyton’s ability to manipulate the electricity in people’s brains is a really creative way to use an electricity power. XD
The Theme: Taking time for self-healing is a big theme. Mare recognizes she needs time to repair herself before moving on to more trying relationships.
Content Cautions: There’s definitely a good bit of content in this book. In the sexual content department, there’s offscreen heterosexual and homosexual sex, and homosexual and heterosexual kissing across a heterosexual couple, a gay couple, and a lesbian couple. There’s some pretty substantial gore which includes a good deal of blood and brain matter and a disturbing sequence of two dead children’s faces warped to match two other children. There’s not a ton of swearing but there is some: thirteen uses of d***, six uses of ba*****, five uses of sh**, and one use of a**, bi***, and an f-bomb.
What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:
Forcing a Character to Face Fears - Since Mare's imprisonment, she's been deathly afraid of silent stone which is an ability preventing material. Throughout the book as soon as she sees the stone she immediately freezes, but in the end, she finally gains the courage to move past it.
How this can be applied to writing: Make characters face their worst fears and conquer them. It makes for great conflict and plus it's fun to be a mean author sometimes. 3:)
Conclusion: Overall, I enjoyed this conclusion to the series. :)
On a secondary note, I'm thinking about stopping doing book reviews since I feel like they don't get a ton of traffic unless they're like a super popular book or something. Do you like these reviews? Should I keep them or not? Let me know in the comments!
About the Author:
I'm a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. This site is the nexus of my universe.
My book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. I'm repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The genres I'm into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic - if people are dying, I'm buying.
Other Books I've reviewed by this author:King's Cage