Published: May 15, 2018
“One choice, one word, and things would be so different.”
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.
After 3 books of getting to know the characters and the world, it is finally time to say goodbye to Mare, Maven, Cal and the others. To be honest, I never really thought that I would actually enjoy this book or even the third book after that horrible second book but I am so glad that I gave this series another chance.
I would start first with what I did not like about this book.
What I really don’t like about this book is the number of POVs. 2 POVs are tolerable, 3 is endurable but I think this has 5 POVs. FIVE. I could have endure those POVs if I like the characters but I did not, I don’t even care about Iris or Evangeline. However, I understand the need to have multiple POVs in this book. It is a fantasy book and the author wants to give us a glimpse of what is going on in each side of the story.
Another thing that I did not like about this book is in relation to the multiple POVs problem. It feels quite different when you only get to know characters in the eyes of another character. And maybe that’s the reason why Evangeline feels so out of character in this book for me. I feel like the author has painted another Evangeline in my mind that reading her POV feels like I am seeing an impostor. I like her character building in the past 3 books but in this book, although I get to see her grow and stand up for who she really is, I am not that attached because I feel like I don’t know her.
In addition to this POV issues, I also have a love and hate relationship with the pacing of the book. Sometimes it is too slow with the planning and such but when the action scene comes some parts feel like a blur. It’s like Glass Sword all over again but the scenes are more elaborate. But there are a lot of things (good things) going on in this book that you did not have time to breath.
And my last issue with this book is the reason why this is not a 5 star reads and that is the new relationships that are introduced in this book. First is Evangeline and Elaine. To be honest I feel like this couple is only added to the story to make it feel like a diverse book with LGBTQ+ characters. We already have Davidson and his husband, but Evangeline and Elaine did not sit quite right for me. I have seen them in the first book and I did not get the hint that they are in a relationship or that there is something going on; but in this book it feels like everyone who is anyone knew that they have a thing. But to put the cherry on top, let’s add Kilorn and Cameron. Where did that came from? WHERE? People could have happy endings without ending up with someone else or falling for someone when you are madly in love with another in almost all 3 and a half books. And lastly, Gisa. She has a crush on Kilorn in the whole series and then in the end she likes a girl. It feels forced for me. I love and enjoy reading LGBTQ+ stories but I don’t like it when authors decided to make the characters lesbian or gay just so their books could be considered as DIVERSE.
But with all that being said and done, let’s get on with the good parts of this book starting with the world building. The author has expanded the world in a way that I can imagine a spin-off series set in the same world. We have only solved the divide in Norta, but there are other nations in this world that are still implementing the rules that they just abolished. I really enjoyed fantasy books that does not only revolve around the country or the place where the characters live in, I like to get the big picture and Victoria Aveyard gave me that. It is also one of those books where loose ends are forgivable because like I said, it is only one nation, there are still a lot more who are not willing to give up their crowns and power and that is a problem for another story.
One of the good thing about the multiple POVs is knowing the thoughts of the Calore brothers. My heart aches for Maven and I think his POV is my favorite. You can see the extent of his mother’s power even though he is gone. And my heart also aches for Cal. Seeing Cal’s POV makes me understand and like his character more than I already did. And even though this story is quite heavy with romance, I am happy to see a lot of siblings or family love in this book as well.
This is probably the first YA fantasy book that I have read where families are present in the story. We can see how Mare’s parents worry about her and how the siblings protect one another. I also love how Mare would always seek the comfort of her family when everything is a mess. And Cal also has his grandmother and his uncle. They both have families guiding them and carrying the burden along with them and that’s what I love the most about this book.
I really enjoy this book and the series as a whole. This is quite a solid conclusion for me. There are characters to mourn in this book and there are loose ends and unanswered questions. (Like who are the heads of scarlet and what is really their goals and John. I hate that guy.) But somehow, I feel satisfied as I finished reading the last page of this book and maybe that’s all that matters.
I think this book is not for everyone because I have seen mixed reviews. But the characters have grown on me and seeing their journey from beginning to the end and knowing that they have come a long way makes me happy to be a part of that journey.
Highly recommend if you want to check this out! Specially if you are someone like me who loves the dystopian genre, I think this will be the last good dystopian series that we will ever read. Because I feel like the peak of the dystopian genre has already explored all the great aspects that would make me read it.
Thank you so much for reading my book review/rant. I hope you will give this series a try if you haven’t!
Till next time!