Format: Hardcover, 672 pages
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
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 demolishing 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.
War Storm is the fourth and final installment in author Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series. The story itself picks up right were King's Cage left off. This is a story about three main characters; Mare "I Will Not Be A Red Queen" Barrow, Evangeline Santos, and Princess Born, Queen made by marriage, Iris Cygnet, while others like Cal and Maven Calore are tossed a bone or two to keep readers entertained. This story takes readers from Corvium, where Mare's allies defeated Maven, to the Lakelands Republic, where we meet Iris's mother and sister, as well as The Free Republic of Montfort where we have never been before.
I have to say that my favorite character, shockingly, is Evangeline who is caught in the crossfire between her family, the woman she loves, and her so called destiny. She never once tried to change who she was, or who she loved, no matter how much restraint she got back from her own parents who wanted her to become Queen along side Tiberias Calore. I really wish that we could have seen more of Evangeline after the battle for Norta took place, and she kind of made a really brave and courageous choice. Plus, she was involved in most of the action scenes. Evangeline is a character who you really gain clear insights as to what she's had to deal with.
Iris is a powerful character who you just can't ignore. She's a silver princess who found herself married to Maven to save the tenuous peace agreement between their countries but she is cold as ice and devious as a fox. She's more than cunning, perhaps even better than Evangeline, or Mare for that matter. While she was powerful and stoic and a great poker face, she also showed some remnants of hidden or robotic emotions.
In this book, Mare is the odd one out, but in the end, she made a choice and stuck with it no matter the consequences. She's really been through so much, that yes, she did deserve a peace of mind, and the ability to save her family from what is to come. She's full of desire to take down the monarchy of Norta, no matter if he hurts Cal or not. After all, he kind of already betrayed her, didn't he? I think the best scene was Mare and Maven in a curious personal battle when all hope seems lost. I also loved the curious relationship that developed between Evie and Mare. Too bad there wasn't more of it.
Tiberias Calore showed his naïveté through the book, but you can't help but admire his desire to do good, to make everyone happy, to protect his legacy, to meet everyone’s expectations. With strings pulling him in many different directions, and hoping doing right by Mare after what he did to her, whether she wants it or not, Cal is town to pieces not knowing what is right and what is expected.
I am hesitant to say I feel for Maven, but after everything his mother did to him, I can't seem to help myself. Yes, he is a horrible character in how he treats the Reds, and Newbloods. But, let's be realistic. He was a puppet to another character who broke his mind instead of encouraging him to be better. Maven loved Mare, and yet he treated her horrifically in the previous installment. This is a story that you really see him at his lowest in his life and just wanting to have someone put an end to it. And, if that person is Mare, I think he would be happy all the way to his ending.
Let's just put this out there, War Storm isn't the perfect conclusion to a series. Its neither perfect in its entirety or perfect as a designated ending. It leaves the story at a partly open point, but it's also one that ties up many loose ends and solved the main plotline. Alas, I think this book could have honestly been 200+ plages shorter than 672, but alas I will most likely be in the minority when it comes to that position.
One of my positives is what the book title itself managed to provide readers; War. The story isn't one that holds back and saunters into the sunset without offering a messy and bloody war in a real fashion. I hesitate to say that the battles were the best part of this story, but they actually were. Things constantly shift in this story. Shifting alliances, bigger and more dangerous enemies, betrayals and coldhearted politics. I loved that we got a glimpse of Montfort and Lakelands and the differences between who is in charge and how they treat their own people.