Hello! I’m back with two posts in one month, it’s kind of crazy! I finally have time to read and I am enjoying this summer so much. I read War Storm about two weeks ago, but I didn’t have access to my computer (or time) to post until now. As I’ll mention later on, I haven’t read the other books since they came out, (one each year), so I was a bit shaky on the plot, especially the events in King’s Cage. (On that note, check out my review of King’s Cage!) For those who don’t remember the last few books, I highly recommend the “Red Queen Series Recap” by EpicReads on YouTube. It was very helpful!
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
~ages 14 to adult
~ War Storm is the fourth and final novel in the Red Queen series. It continues the story of Mare Barrow, a Red-blooded citizen of Norta, who accidentally discovers that she has powers that are always reserved for the Silver-blooded royals. Eventually, she helps lead a Red revolution against the royals, seeking an equal society. Each one of Aveyard’s novels is filled with action, romance, magic, pure fantasy, and wonderful writing. Read it!
This was one of the best endings to a fantasy series I’ve ever read. It was satisfying, dramatic, and perfectly grand. I love this world, and I will be sad to see it go. The parallels it draws between our world at it are so interesting to read. The book mentions the bison decimated in “North America”, and how they were brought back by the same people who destroyed them. I only wish that would happen in our world. It was (and has been) hard to read about the deep racism and bigotry within the Silvers and place those thoughts in our world. It’s incredibly difficult to imagine people who truly believe in their superiority over another person, even though I know they certainly exist in real life. I love the concept of this story, the plot twists, the characters, and the magic system. It’s one of the few amazing pure fantasy novels in the YA world, and I enjoyed every minute I was reading this. As you may be able to tell, I highly recommend this series!
I wish I remembered the other three books better, because I did feel a bit out of touch with the characters, especially Mare. Unlike other characters, she did not change much throughout the book, and I would have understood her internal conflict and PTSD more if I remembered the last one.
My favorite character in this book was Evangeline. Her progression from an absolutely horrible, entitled brat to the less horrible, more humble person she became in this book was really fun to read about. I was so happy with her decision at the end of the book, and I loved how her position was mentioned in one line at the end of the book (perfectly satisfying). I also loved her relationship with her brother. Their first priority was each other, and it felt like a real sibling relationship, unlike many others in fantasy novels.
For some strange reason, and this is a testament to how good a writer Victoria Aveyard is, I really, really like Maven. He’s an incredibly intriguing character, and I could truly feel and understand Mare’s and Cal’s difficulty in killing him. I LOVED the last scene where he is fighting with Mare. It’s so subtle (and another thing I love about her writing), but we could see how Maven wasn’t able to kill Mare in the end when he relaxes his shoulder just a bit, and she’s able to kill him. Hands down, one of my favorite scenes in the book. I simultaneously want to hug him, cry over him, and kill him for all he’s done.
To our next character, Cal! He is my least favorite character in this series. From the start, he’s been an arrogant idiot, and his final choice to give up the crown in this one only redeemed him a bit. He’s always acted superior to and in control of Mare, and I was very frustrated with them going back to each other throughout the book. I did enjoy the ending where she finally separates from him, even with the hint of her wanting to go back.
Overall, I thought the third book was better than this one, but within a very close margin. This world is so interesting, and while this book was a bit clichè with the whole race magic revolution, I loved it. I haven’t read a pure fantasy book like this in a long time, and it’s been really nice to have followed this series each year a new one was released.
My only serious critiques of the book were that there was too much information in too small a space, and that there was no sadness in the book. On the topic of the former, the book was beautifully long, but it felt rushed in certain areas. It could have been better to separate it into two books, or shorten some of the beginning. I think the beginning was too long, and the end way too short. The final war between the Lakelanders and Nortans was so quick, and won so easily! Maybe it’s just that I was rushed reading it (had to catch a flight), but I wished there was more detail about that battle itself and the defeat. For the latter, no one died! You’d expect at least one main protagonist to die during the violent war going on, but none of them did. Only Maven and Volo Samos died, and they were the two main villains. I bet that Farley would die, and while that would be devastating, it would have been an important message about loss during revolution. Yes, soldiers died, but none of the central characters. Our main characters were constantly on the “brink of death” which irritated me.
As I said above, I highly recommend this book to everyone in need of a good fantasy series, and am both sad and happy to be done with this book! (It also doesn’t hurt that the covers for these books are absolutely gorgeous!)
Let me know what you thought about this book/series in the comments below! Thank you!!