Trapped in the King’s Cage

It took me long enough but I finally got around to reading the third book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, King’s Cage. I know that some people aren’t keen on this series but I’ve really enjoyed it so far (reviews for Glass Sword and Cruel Crown) and was excited to dive back in. This is gunna be a short review as I don’t want to spoil anything for the previous books and therefore I can’t say much!!

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I really enjoyed the character development that we got throughout this book, both for our main characters but also those who were introduced in Glass Sword, as well as learning a little more about the world as the characters stray further into it. I feel like the world building was done well and wasn’t just dumped on the reader.

For me, though, once reaching the end quarter of the book I was suddenly not enjoying it. In fact it was making me annoyed. I didn’t want to take my time with the writing anymore I just wanted to get it over with and finish the damn thing. The last 50 pages in particular were quite a drag for me. I’m still not entirely sure why this was, I would probably have to re-read the book to find out and I’m in no hurry to do that. But it was a surprise when I had been enjoying the rest of the book so much to suddenly really not wanting to be there. Fingers crossed that for the next, and last, book I enjoy it all the way through!

Cruel Crown

This is a novella comprising of two short stories, Queen Song and Steal Scars, from the Red Queen world by Victoria Aveyard. Before I had read this book, it’d been a while since I had been in this world, having read Glass Sword in January 2018 and getting around to this book in January 2019. I had been worried about diving back into this world and becoming confused, and yes, at the very beginning I was a little confused as to who I was reading about and at what point in time within the story I was at, however, this was quickly resolved and I knew what was going on. I also feel like the stories work well even if you don’t fully comprehend how they link to Red Queen as you read them, Victoria Aveyard has done a really good job in making them accessible to readers at any stage within this series.

Now onto the stories themselves, the first story within this collection,  Queen Song, is set well before the events within Red Queen and follows Cal’s mother in her journey to the court and how the world ended up like it did before Mare came crashing in. It’s quite a sad story, as you may be expecting if you remember being told about Cal’s mum in the first book, however, as I didn’t remember it took me off guard and was quite emotional.

The second, and last, story in this collection is Steel Scars, this book focuses on Farley and her rise within the Scarlet Guard. These events are much closer to the time of Red Queen, with the very end of the story overlapping slightly. It was really interesting to me to read about how this organisation works more and to see it from the point of view of someone within this system rather than from Mare’s view, where she doesn’t understand how it works or why.

Both of these stories were really interesting and I feel that they added significant value to the world, they’ve also made me more excited to read book three and continue with the series! I gave it 4/5* as a novella and I really do recommend if you enjoy the main books within the Red Queen series.

Alice by Christina Henry, a review

A friend gifted me both books in this duology in 2016… 2 years ago! But I finally got around to it during BTAT 2018 and oh my GOD I should not’ve left it for so long!! This book is so damn good!

This isn’t a happy retelling with fluffy rabbits running late and a helpful caterpillar. No. This retelling is dark, gritty, and one you don’t want to read to kids.

We follow our main character Alice, who at the beginning of the book is interred in a mental hospital on the ‘bad’ side of the city since she went to her family raving about a man with rabbit ears. Whilst there she befriends a man who calls himself Hatcher through a hole in the wall between their cells, and they become as close as they can be in the circumstances.

Without spoiling too much, they manage to leave the asylum, and their lives from this point onwards just get even weirder and dangerous. I really want to just gush about this book but I can’t spoil it for you before you read it! It’s so incredibly dark and is definitely not aimed at children, with so much intense world building and ugh, it’s just amazing!!

I had thought about going through where I tabbed and annotated the book and mentioning specific points but I’ve literally added more than 40 different tabs to this book so I had to give up on that!

I have one tiny gripe with this book, and that is that our protagonists seem to solve their problems too easily and quickly. However, I’m withholding full judgment on this until I read Red Queen as there could be some sort of plot point there. This is 100% a 5/5* read and I urge you to pick it up. I am so excited to get to more of Christina Henry’s work!!!

Glass Sword, between the lines


For me, this was another five-star read (after giving five stars to Red Queen too). I sat up and read this all in one night/morning (mainly because I wanted to finish it before I got the train back to my University after visiting my parents for Christmas!). I really enjoyed getting to delve further into this world and see how everything is developing and progressing. You get to see each and every character evolve and come into their own as well as finding out a lot more of their background, motivations and emotions, as some characters seemed a little hollow in Red Queen. Don’t worry, they’re filled in inside Glass Sword! The ending made me even more eager to get into the next book and left me on an absolute cliffhanger which leaves Kings Cage as an enticing read which I’ll definitely be starting sometime soon!