Title: War Storm
Author: Victoria Aveyard
⭐️ 3.5 / 5
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 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.
I’ve been looking forward to this fourth and final instalment in the Red Queen series for some time. My local Waterstones tends to be pretty lax on publication dates so I managed to get my hands on my copy 48 hours before release, which was great for me. I have a lot of mixed feelings on this book so you’ll have to bear with me whilst I talk around specifics and avoid spoilers.
The character development in this book was great. Mare came on leaps and bounds. She’s been a bit whiney up until this point but she was much better in War Storm. She made straight decisions, wasn’t afraid to voice and carry through her opinion and was an all-round bad-ass, family loving, loyal friend and excellent member of the rebellion. Cal, on the other hand, became whiney and uncertain, causing more problems than he really needed too. It was so clear which path he should be taking but his convoluted ideas of loyalty and duty etc. get in the way and make him a frustrating character to read. We get into Maven’s head too as a couple of chapters are from his POV. Somehow we are even made to feel sorry for him (almost), or at least sympathise with him to a certain extent, even though it is obvious he is irredeemable. Victoria has a knack for swaying reader opinions towards a character, as I discovered in King’s Cage with Evangeline. If Evangeline is your favourite character, as she is mine, you will really enjoy War Storm. I found myself looking forward to her chapters and I was pleased at where her story finished up in this novel.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the rest of the characters and story arcs. For a start, the blurb left me expecting an exhilarating final battle with character massacres, stakes higher than ever and who knows what else implied. This was not delivered and none of my expectations came to fruition. In the past when Victoria has written against my reader instincts, this has been great because she had something far more exciting up her sleeve. This time, the novel felt anti-climactic. That being said, I thought the ending was neat and tied up loose ends in a way that rounded the series off appropriately, I just expected much more.
As with the rest of the series, the world building throughout War Storm was impeccable and a real strength. We once again delved deeper into Piedmont and the Lakelands, learning more about their people, the way they live (including their diet), the political situations and the geography of their landscapes. Nothing was missed out from their technology and infrastructure to their faith systems or lack thereof. Victoria’s worlds are so comprehensive that I almost feel I could step right into the pages and into those places.
I did enjoy reading War Storm and I’m glad I now have a complete series to binge again and again, despite my small disappointments with the conclusion. I cannot wait to see what Victoria writes next because she clearly has talent by the gallon!
Have you read the Red Queen series yet? What did you think?!