I’m not the first to say it and I probably won’t be the last my oh my gosh this book. The first book made me fall in love with all of these characters (Maven included) and now it goes and does this?! My heart feels like it was ripped right out of my chest, thrown to the ground and repeatedly stepped on. I absolutely loved this book. There are also some spoilers from book one in here (Red Queen) so if you haven’t read it yet you probably should stop reading this review now.
The first half of the book is about the hunt Mare (and friends) go on to look for more so called new-bloods. They are all hunted by Maven, the new king, who only came into power because of things his mother did for him. Mare, Cal, Kilorn, Farley and Shade are all trying to save hundreds of people on a list while Maven tries to murder them all. But Mare ends up realizing that she is on a path to becoming exactly like the monsters she is trying to kill off. But will Mare end up collapsing under the knowledge of all the people shes killed? Or has Maven hardened her heart to the point of no return?
Mare has gone from this nobody living in poverty to a “silver” princess to having everyone hate her. Shes not the weak little lightning girl they brought in from the Stils, shes someone everyone fears, even her own friends. I love her character development and some people may not have liked the way she adopted a “silver” way of thinking but she is just a girl who is trying to figure out how to deal with the mass murder. She has to deal with people yelling at her all the time, treating her like shes someone who knows exactly what to do but in reality she has almost no idea what shes doing. I’ve always loved Mare and this made me feel so strongly for her. She just wants everything to go back to normal, and while that can’t happen it allows the reader to see that she hasn’t really changed all that much. She is forcing herself to fight, to save the new bloods on her list, and to becoming a harder version of the person she once was.
I don’t even know what to say about Cal. He’s all over the place, not wanting to kill the people who would gladly shoot him, wanting to distance himself from Mare but time after time reaching for her hand. He
I love Cal, I really do, but I want Mare to end up with Maven. I don’t know why but I feel like that’s what the author is going to end up doing, at least I really hope it is. I understand that Maven is an incredibly violent king, and that I can only place some of the blame for that on his mother, but it seems like he really loves her. He could have killed her plenty of times but instead he let her go. This could be considered cruel as he kept her alive to see the destruction and murders he was committing on the new-bloods, but he was only killing all those people in a twisted attempt to get Mare back.
There are spoilers in the next two paragraphs so read at your own risk.
I did have 2 problems with this book, though they are not major ones. First off, the big plot twist that the entire book led up to? So fricken obvious, almost every book now does the same plot twist and this book was sadly no exception. I thought that maybe, just maybe, the author would try and do something a little different, maybe she would have Mare kill Maven (even though I ship them) or maybe she actually has a plan after she surrenders. But no shes just going to do what almost every other heroine has done before, give herself up with no obvious plan for the future, to protect her friends. Wow, 10/10 for originality.
The other problem I had was how much the phrases “anyone can betray anyone” and “don’t trust anyone” were repeated. Like okay we get it we need to be weary of betrayal, but this gets so annoying when its repeated almost every chapter. It also makes Mare incredibly difficult sometimes because she won’t tell her friends whats going on, leading them to not trust her. She’s one of the reasons they’ve lost some trust in her, she kept the notes from Maven a secret, no one else. That part is entirely her fault. Though I do not fault her for being the young girl she actually is and holding onto something from someone she thought cared for her. Still not the smartest idea though.
But other then these two hiccups I was fully immersed in the book, just like I was with Red Queen. I’m defiantly looking forward to reading the next book in the series and I look forward to (hopefully) loving it. I don’t wanna wait till 2017 though so I’ll just be waiting.