So, I just finished the final book in the Red Queen series.
It’s the first ever series I have ever finished in the history of the world.
It was okay.
Warning! This book review consists of spoilers for the book series and War Storm so please refrain from reading this review if you haven’t read the books yet. There are spoiler free parts (only for War Storm) and spoiler filled parts.
Onto the 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 destroy 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 destroy 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 destroying 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 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.
Despite the description, this book is actually a messy, imperfect and odd way to end the Red Queen series. It’s very long (being 662 pages) but, for some reason the series feels unresolved. I will go into the specific reasons why in the spoiler section.
For now, let’s focus on what the book did right. In War Storm, Mare and other main characters feel so much more human and have clear motivations other than to defeat the Maven. Mare’s family is fleshed out more (especially Tramy), Evangeline’s love interest Elane burns a fire in her heart, and Cal is tied to the crown, his noble personality taking charge.
Also I love the settings in this book. They stomp out the places we’ve been in the other books by a long shot. Translation: Montfort is beautiful.
Why was the book unresolved, you ask?
“So I’m guessing we won,” I (mare) sigh, too surprised to even comprehend what that means. I have no idea what a real victory would even look like.
“Not entirely,” Kilorn rubs a hand over his dirty cheek, smearing grime across the clean parts of him. Idiot, I think kindly. “They managed to limp back out to sea. I think the big shots are negotiating a cease-fire right now.”
IT ENDS WITH A BLOBFISHING CEASE FIRE FROM THE LAKELANDS.
In the ending pages of the book, this unresolvedness just keeps on going with a light air of “We’re safe, but only for a while.”
Another thing that was unresolved was Evangeline and Elane. I mean, there are a few lines at the very end of the book that state that Evangeline is an honored guest of Montfort, but not much else.
Even Maven’s death felt unresolved! In the last few minutes of their battle Maven let Mare kill him. The main thing in the end was how it “wasn’t too late” with Evangeline rebelling against her parents for Elane and Cal putting the crown aside for Mare. Was it too late for Maven? What if he stayed alive?
Maybe this was Victoria Aveyard wanted to portray. Maybe she’ll make another series following Mare and the others a year or so later (maybe even a different crew in the same world— like the Grisha Trilogy and SOC).
I loved the parts with the Lakelander queens, the rickety alliance between Cal’s crew, Montfort and the Scarlet Guard and the little lines hinting at Evangeline and Elane’s relationship. (If you have read the book you know which line I’m talking about.) Montfort provides a free democratic country to compare the corrupt nations of Norta and the Lakelands to, which is another reason why I’m swooning over the bison filled mountains. The bison are great.
Despite how much I liked about War Storm, the novel was one of the shabbiest of the series.
I didn’t like Maven this time around (he just seemed lazy, angry and spoiled) and he didn’t seem like the scheming little guy he used to be. He feels more like time bomb just waiting to blow, or one of those characters who you know dies first in a horror movie.
Another thing I greatly disliked was the vagueness of everything, which I don’t think was problem with Aveyard’s writing as much as it was just stuffing an epic conclusion, or a whole blobfishing WAR into 662 pages.
Lastly, I would like to point out that the book didn’t seem as clever when it came to major plot points. Take Iris’s siege on Bracken’s children for example. The guards were stupid and distracted. Why? How did Montfort survive as a nation with these idiotic guards? Why did Davidson, who is clearly an intelligent person, let these imbeciles guard a prisoner of war?
If I had to rate this book from one to ten , one being absolute scum and ten being a gift from the heavens I would give this book a six.
Translate that into stars and this book is 3.5 stars out of five.