Title: War Storm (Red Queen #4)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
If you’re like me, the ending of King’s Cage left you – well, there’s no better way to put it – hanging on a cliff. Waiting for the next book was emotionally (and almost physically) painful. The promotional quotes and snippets, not to mention the teasers Victoria Aveyard herself posts on her social media (because she damn knows how to tease us!) only made the waiting more unbearable.
But now, it’s FINALLY here!
And it is as epic as promised.
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?
War Storm immediately picks up where King’s Cage left off. We find now 18-year old Mare Barrow on the precipice of war – war for the throne of Norta between the Calore brothers, war against the combined forces of the Lakelands and Piedmont and, most especially, war for equality between Reds and Silvers. It’s the culmination of everything Mare has ever fought for.
I was actually a little wary going into this book for a number of reasons. First reason, the number of POVs. I get the need for it in King’s Cage since Mare, being held captive by Maven, is mostly absent from other key parts of the story so Victoria Aveyard needed other characters to be her readers’ eyes. Five, though, just sounded a lot to me especially since, from what teasers were released before the book was published, most of the characters who get their own POVs appear to be together in the same place.
Another concern I had was the length of this book. At over 600 pages, the longest in the whole series, War Storm is a hefty book. I had a problem with the way King’s Cage was paced. The first half moved too slow for me, so I was worried that with its length War Storm might have the same problem.
I shouldn’t have worried.
Needless to say, with everything that is happening, War Storm has a complex storyline. Aveyard, however, deftly weaves together story threads she has laid out in the first three books to tie it off as neatly as she can, paying careful attention to what her characters’ arcs call for. The world building is rich and expansive, the pacing almost seamless, and that ending, golly gosh, it gave my broken heart hope. I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to this series.
I loved reading about Montfort, the faraway democratic country where Red and Silvers live in peace, and the Lakelands, Norta’s longtime enemy country. They’ve been mentioned so much in the previous books that it was nice to finally have part of the story set in those two locations.
Also, for such a hefty book and so many POVs, War Storm moved right along. It just hit the ground running. The transition between chapters went along smoothly, too. Each character had their own agendas and motivations. They see things differently, react differently. Using several POVs actually made realize just how unreliable a narrator Mare is. Her POV is heavily influenced about what she feels (and how she thinks she must feel) that often times she doesn’t pay much attention to what’s in her periphery (I mean the girl was basically clueless about her brother and Farley being together in Glass Sword. I should have realized this sooner.)
Another thing I loved about this? Well-written female characters. It’s a strong point of this installment in the series. From the protagonist Mare Barrow to former competitor Evangeline Samos, I loved how Aveyard fleshed out her characters showing their development and just how much they’ve changed throughout the four books. I only wished she could have done more for her male characters, Maven and Cal, especially Cal since I think his character still has a lot more to give.
Overall, War Storm is a strong finish to such a good series. It ties off much of what has been laid out in the previous books, but still leaves room for readers to imagine the Red Queen world continuing beyond the pages.