Top Ten Tuesday | Loathsome Characters from My Favourite Books

 

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, we get to talk about our most loved characters in our least favourite books/series. I’ve debated over and changed this post twice. Twice. I first thought I’ll go the easy route, then I changed my mind at midnight. Here are the characters I hate (or strongly dislike). So prepare for a hate-filled post.

I warn you now that there may be some SPOILERS ahead. Look at the header of each book before you proceed.

 

Evangeline in King’s Cage

I wanted to talk about how Victoria has done Shade wrong. He is, by far, my favourite character in the series. Then she kills him off. But I want to talk about the metal-manipulating character who loves to hate anything that breathes. I absolutely hated Evangeline in the first two books, but once I read King’s Cage, I grew to understand her, and I don’t hate her so much now.

 

Mirabella from Three Dark Crowns

Oh, I shouldn’t have picked this book. I’m a huge emotional reader, and Three Dark Crowns made me angry. I love the story. But Mirabella, the elemental, decided to steal another woman’s man. I get that she didn’t know he was taken the first time she slept with him, but she just couldn’t stop. I can’t stand the character, and I hope she dies horribly. 🙃

 

Jarek from The Last Namsara

Jarek, the Commandant of the Dragon King, may just take the cake. I wanted a dragon to eat this bastard. Feel my anger? Yeah. He saved Asha, now the dragon hunter, and for his reward, he gets to marry her. He subtly and not so subtly threatens Asha and contorts his power, then uses it to bring turmoil. I felt Asha’s fear when I read the scenes between the two. He creeped me out.

 

Marcus from A Torch against the Night

Again, I can easily go the quick way and choose the Commandant, who I’d like nothing more to see dead. Okay, I’d love for her to get gutted, dismembered, beheaded, and skinned, but I’m talking about Marcus here. He’s the new Emperor and would love to break Helene, his Blood Strike. You witness how he falls apart, yet he retains his wickedness. I do not look forward to what he’ll do in A Reaper at the Gates.

 

Callum Harker from This Savage Song

When I think of this series, I want to cry all over again. The ending of Our Dark Duet bloody gutted me. And I’m holding back tears right now. Verity is a place to avoid. I wouldn’t want to visit it even if I could see August. I love you, boy. But with my luck, I’d get sucked dry by a monster. Now Callum freaks me out. He brings shivers down your back when you think of him. He sees no point to make his city better. He thrives on hate and has shaped his daughter into his image. A large part of me was happy when he died.

Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

91519King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Published by: HarperTeen

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopian

Extent: 528 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase


Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.


“He’s terrified.

For a second, it makes me happy. Then I remember―monsters are most dangerous when they’re afraid.”

YES. Finally, yes. King’s Cage is the book I’ve been hoping for in this series! But be warned. You’ll need a good supply of Kleenex, a support group at the ready, and strong liquor. I had nothing, and this book has gutted me.

Packed with ruthless political plays, heartache, and trickery, King’s Cage brings you back to Maven’s playground. Mare is now his prisoner. As Maven strips away her lightning ability, he prepares to annihilate the Scarlet Guard and his brother, Cal. As they watch, the resistance braces for war and recruits Reds and New Bloods, while Cal will sacrifice anything to get Mare back. But Norta barely holds itself together when Silvers turn against their own.

Victoria touches on the political landscape in Red Queen and Glass Sword, but it explodes in the third instalment. I’ve been waiting to see more politics in King’s Cage, and Victoria doesn’t let me down. Throughout each chapter, you see how much dedication she puts in to her work. She meticulously details every passage, scene, and conversation. They are well thought out. The storyline hooks you from the first chapter. And while several readers hate the pace of King’s Cage, I love it. I don’t expect a war to start off fast. It’s slow yet brutal. But when that speed is needed, Victoria just punches you in the gut with it.

She also presents new POVs, which I enjoyed reading and were wholly needed. This world unleashes itself onto you. Victoria jumps from Norta, to Piedmont, to the Lakelands, then to Montfort. Her world building expands greatly. She then throws in some fantastic battle scenes and introduces new characters who, I know, will probably just add to the ever-growing list of people who I’ll mourn.

 

“I live in a shrinking world where the only thing I can trust is Maven’s obsession. Like the manacles, it is a shield and a slow, smothering death.”

Maven uses Mare to taunt the Scarlet Guard and Cal. He turns her into his own tortured pet. And under his control, she loses her lightning power by Silent Stone and Silence guards, who neutralize abilities. I found her character development inspiring. She refuses to let him break her. She still owns her spark he can’t touch. And honestly, I’m proud of her. Through betrayal, pain, and a heartbreaking revelation, Mare emerges from the ashes of her former self and steps up to be ther leader her people deserve. The book realistically illustrates Mare’s grief, loneliness, and PTSD. And these elements adds new layers onto an already complex story.

I’m no Team Brothers. I’m Team Mare. When I read the epilogue, I wanted to punch both of these boys. I don’t understand Team Maven. No, he didn’t shield her from his world in King’s Cage, and he certainly didn’t protect her from torture either.

 

“You are only a shadow, and who looks at shadows when they have flame? Who would ever choose a monster over a god?”

The Queen may be dead, but she has destroyed Maven. What she has done to him unsettles me. Her ghost chills me every time Maven explains his upbringing. It still doesn’t excuse him though. I thought his obsession with Mare in Glass Sword is disturbing, but it does not compare to what he does to her now. Now seeing their relationship, if a twisted connection is what you call it, makes the story more complex. She witnesses who Maven was, what he could have been, and what he is now. Is that outlook a form of empathy? I don’t know. Their relationship borders on frightening. But he is one character who completely surprises me. Victoria pushes him down a path I wasn’t expecting. I thought I could anticipate his moves. But no, she shuts me down every time.

 

“The crown is in the heart, and the heart do not change.”

Sometimes I love Cal, and sometimes I want to throttle him. Pick a side! Choose her! She is right there. I predicted that his arc may take him a direction I won’t support. He’s the heir who hasn’t made a choice yet. He fights for Reds, he enlists the help of New Bloods and other countries, yet he does not choose a side. I don’t like where he’s going. All I see is pain, blood, and heartbreak.

One salvageable quality he has is loving Mare. We get to see their love story. Three books in, I was getting worried Victoria might not show it. But my God, she does. But come on! That epilogue still haunts me.

 

“An all-too-familiar ache rises in my chest as I settle onto my throne. I do my best to keep composed, quiet, and dutiful. Loyal to my blood. It’s all I know.”

I do not believe I can type these words, but I feel for Evangeline. I still don’t. Even a month after reading this book, I can’t wrap my head around my turnaround. Let’s just say you get perspective of this merciless character. And a part of me is rooting for her.

King’s Cage steps up and becomes the story I’ve been looking for. I cried. I laughed. I seethed. And I cried some more. I’m not ready for the final book.

 

What are your thoughts on the progression of the Red Queen series? Can’t get enough of it? Let’s talk!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Wrap-up: February 2017

february-wrap-up

I loved February. I got to read the books I’ve been dying to get my hands on. And my heart, psyche, and well, mind are all in revolt. I can’t count how many times I’ve cried. So here are the reads that kept me up past midnight!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Naturally, my first carnival book is, in fact, my favourite. Yes, Caraval has a insta-love feel to it, but the author makes a nice twist to it. The hype is real, so magically real, and I can’t help but gush about this book.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kelley’s books are always instant buys and instant reads for me. I’ve read most of her work and probably own well over thirty of her books. I’ll warn you now: this book is dark and may trigger some readers. Kelley has an uncanny talent for writing complex and utterly intriguing characters. I can’t get enough of the series and hope to get my hands on the next instalment.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I need a support group, stat. Please. King’s Cage is a vast improvement from Glass Sword. You can feel how much time and effort Victoria put into this book. It’s deliberately slow paced, yet it smacks you with intensely real emotions at the end. The sequrel cannot come soon enough.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A poignant tale of a girl falling in love with the Goblin King and finding herself and her music in the Underground. I knew I had to read this story. Don’t expect anything similar to the Labyrinth. Wipe the slate clean and prepare yourself for this gut-wrenching love story. Highly recommended!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Book Haul: January and February 2017

I’ve been waiting forever to buy these books. Ah! Okay, clearly I didn’t have a huge haul for these two months, but I’m giddy to see them in the mail.

January

27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I’ve read a lot of raving reviews for this book. And each one just solidifies my need to buy Caraval. The story has intrigued me from the first day I heard about it. It is my first carnival-themed novel, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like. I was wrong. I love it. Caraval is one of my favourite books for 2017!

I’m tempted to buy a UK edition, too. The book designs are simply beautiful!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


February

91519King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Queen Victoria, you bless us with another enthralling story….And now I sound obsessed. Great.

I can’t wait for this book! I’ve been waiting for a good year or more. And while I saw the betrayal coming, Victoria’s debut novel just sparked something in me.

Victoria is an outspoken author, but that trait draws me to her books. And I hope that her views will translate into some interesting stories!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I can’t get over that Sarah, aka JJ, expands on the Goblin King universe! And I’ve been drooling over this cover for months. I have huge hopes for Wintersong. And I love how she incorporates German folklore. She also draws a lot of inspiration from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, which is one of my most beloved movies. It contains layers and undertones in each shot, so I expect nothing less for Sarah’s debut novel.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

31338270A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Not too long ago, I finished reading City of the Lost, but I can’t even enough of it. Kelley weaves in these dark and twisted arcs that just hook you from the very start. This series is a departure from her fantasy realm, but she has touched on mystery, thriller, and crime in her other series, though. So I have a feeling this book will ignite a new love. City of the Lost is definitely one of favourites!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Waiting on Wednesday: King’s Cage

WoW4_edited-3

Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, is a weekly meme that showcases upcoming book releases that readers are eagerly awaiting.

91519King’s Cage

Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: February 2, 2017

Extent: 448 pages

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Why Am I Waiting?

I haven’t read Glass Sword yet (yes, I know I need to! And this WoW is yet another I-haven’t-read-the-sequel-yet-BUT post), but I’m still counting down the days to King’s Cage. We have only 161 days to wait. The Red Queen surprised me. I didn’t know I would like it so much. Scratch that. I love it. Supernatural beings controlling humans? You had me at the word “controlling.” (I’m not sure if you should worry about that sentence…) And how can I say no to reading a beautifully designed book? With the first book, I couldn’t put it down, and I went through a tough reading slump afterwards.

With King’s Cage, I want to see how Victoria takes this captivating series and also want to see how far her characters will push themselves. And I’m not sure if I want to kill Maven or not. I’m still debating.

And no, I have yet to read this book’s blurb! I don’t want to be spoiled. The things I do to myself for this blog. 😑