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“They are Red. They are lesser. And they are happy. How can this be?” Evangeline. —War Storm
by Victoria Aveyard
AR Test, Diverse Characters, LGBTQ
In the splintered Kingdom of Norta, freedom for Reds and newbloods is closer than ever before. Torn between the two princes and the feuding noble Silver Houses, Norta is ripe for the taking. All the Scarlet Guard has to do is clean up the mess Maven Calore made, and create the type of nation that will never discriminate against Reds and newbloods. The first step is to rip the crown from Maven’s head.
In order to change the world, Mare Barrow must ally with Cal, the boy who chose the crown over her. Cal’s betrayal nearly broke Mare, but now she must fight alongside him if she wants any chance at winning freedom. If she doesn’t, Maven will surely overrun them all, and capture her for himself. Maven’s obsession with Mare runs deep, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her again.
For the Reds to rise, they must first go through a war storm. Scurrying from nation to nation and striking deep into the heart of Norta is only the beginning, and there are endless battles in sight. Are Mare and the Scarlet Guard willing to sacrifice everything to achieve the impossible? Or will Maven crush them and their dreams?
War Storm is the final entry in Aveyard’s Red Queen Series, and the story will not disappoint readers. As Mare and the Scarlet Guard are about to secure a future for themselves, they fight intense battles. The action-packed series features different combinations of Silver and newblood abilities, which makes every battle feel unique and fresh. Readers will love how each battle plays out differently than the last.
Of course, all those battles support the theme of war, as nearly the entire continent gets dragged into the civil war between Cal and his brother, Maven. Maven brokers alliances with the powerful nation of the Lakelands, as well as the smaller nation of Piedmont. While Cal allies with the free country of Montfort, the only nation known that allows equality for Reds, newbloods, and Silvers.
The characters in War Storm are strong and interesting. Mare has grown into a girl that’s strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at her. Another fascinating character is Evangeline Samos, Mare’s former enemy, who begins the long journey to overcome her Silver-born prejudices. These strong characters will keep readers on the edge of their seats. While not every main character gets the most satisfying ending to their arc, the ending ties up most of the loose ends and will leave readers happy. Warm Storm is a satisfying conclusion to Aveyard’s Red Queen Series.
- Evangeline is in love with her brother’s wife, Elane. Evangeline thinks, “It breaks my heart to know she isn’t really mine.”
- Evangeline’s brother, tells her that their mother wants grandchildren. “Prodding after grandchildren. She escorts Elane to my rooms every night. I think she might even stand guard outside the door.”
- Davidson, the leader of Montfort, shares a kiss with his husband, Carmadon. “They embrace quickly, touching foreheads and kissing, before Carmadon backs away.”
- During an attack on a military transport, Mare sees Evangeline lift a vehicle. Mare watches as Evangeline “hisses as she raises the heavy transport off the road, revealing twisted limbs and a few flattened skulls seeping brain like popped grapes leaking juice.”
- During a battle, Kilorn, Mare’s best friend, is thrown off a building. Mare thinks, “The crack and thud of Kilorn hitting the railing below makes me sick.” Minutes later, when Mare gets to Kilorn, he “jolts and hacks, painting the steps with his own blood.”
- Mare gets revenge on the Silvers that threw Kilorn, killing them with lightning, “I have to look away from the charred remains. Only their buttons and guns remain intact, smoking with heat.”
- When Iris meets with Cal’s grandmother, Iris pictures, “her grip changing, shifting, and then my skull exploding open, spewing brain and bone all over the transport interior.”
- Just before being ambushed, Mare sees pine needles floating in the air. One pine needle, “sprouts before my eyes, a sapling growing in midair. It spears a soldier before any of us can react.
- During an ambush, Tyton kills a lot of raiders with his ability to control lightning. Tyton, “blinks once, twice. Killing anyone within his reach, leveling them with a fury of electricity in their skills.”
- Iris thinks about the man who killed her father. The man “cut his throat. Attacked him from behind like some honorees dog.
- Mare kills a man who attacked her. She strikes him with her lightning and “then his face explodes; shards of bone and torn flesh arc forward. His body follows the momentum, slumping over me, and the thunderous touch of electricity returns as quickly as he falls.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- During a dinner party, wine is served. Mare watches as her friend, Farley, “barely nods in thanks when Carmadon fills her glass with rich, almost black wine. She drinks deep.”
- Damn is used frequently. Mare thinks about Cal’s marriage to Evangeline, “Like us, Volo needs him. Needs his name, needs his crown, and needs his damn hand in that damn marriage to his damn daughter.”
- Maven called Elane “Evangeline’s whore.”
- Silvers and Newbloods have unique powers.
- Mare is an electricon, a type of newblood that can manipulate lightning. Mare thinks, “I hardly know the depths of my own abilities. It’s the same for all newbloods I’ve met and helped train.”
- Ella, another electricon, “used her own storm to strike the central, furious blue lightning cracking stone.”
- Mare thinks about her ability to manipulate lightning, “I know what it is to pour lightning into a person, to sense their nerves sparking off and dying. It feels like a small death of your own, an ending you can never forget.”
- Prince Bracken is a mimic. Iris thinks about his abilities, “If he were to touch me, he would be able to use my nymph abilities, albeit only for a time, and to a lesser extent. The same goes for any Silver.”
- Jidansais is a telky. Iris thinks about Jidansa, “She used her talky ability to amuse Ti and me as children, juggling our shoes or toys with her mind.”
- Evangeline is a magnetron, who can manipulate metal. After lifting a military transport, “Evangeline lowers the transport again. With a twitch of her fingers, she rips off one of the doors, allowing those inside to tumble out.”
- Shadows can manipulate light. Mare sees, “The work of shadows, no doubt, manipulators of light. It sends harsh light and harsher darkness dancing across us all.”
- Nymphs can manipulate water. Evangeline sees the signs of a nymph attack, “‘Nymph strike!’ I manage to scream as another towering wave crashes—backward.”
- Evangeline recounts her first time teleporting, “It feels like being squeezed down to my marrow, all my organs twisting, my balance thrown off, my perception turned on its head.”
- Windweavers can manipulate wind and air. Mare sees, “On the opposite side of the chamber, Radis gestures to Davidson, flicking out one hand. As he does so, a sudden breeze rustles through the Gallery.”
- In the Lakelands, the people worship gods that don’t have faces.
- Iris thinks it’s a blasphemy to speak for the gods.
- Iris tries to get her betrothed, Maven, to accept her gods. When he refuses, she thinks, “Nonbelievers are not my problem. I can’t open their eyes, and it isn’t my job to do so. Let him meet the gods in death and see how wrong he was before he enters a hell of his own making.”
- In Archeon, the capital of Norta, Iris tries to maintain her beliefs. She has, “a small temple—a shrine, more than anything—filled with candles and worn emblems of the nameless gods.”
- In the Lakelands, the nameless gods are everywhere. Iris sees, “Worn faces, bland in their features, both strange and familiar, look down from the ceiling and walls. Our gods have no names, no hierarchy. Their blessings are random, their words sparse, their punishments impossible to predict.”
by Jonathan Planman