Movie-like finale for this fantasy fiction

Book: War Storm

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 664; Price: Rs 399

Spoiler Alert: If you have not read the earlier three books in this series, perhaps you shouldn’t even take up the book, let alone read this review. War Storm is the concluding part to the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

Aimed at young adult readers, War Storm takes up from where King’s Cage left off. Considering the writer has screenwriting as her major at college, no wonder the book reads more like a fast-paced action film, and less of a novel. That is also the book’s biggest draw—you cannot put the book down if you are trying to find out what happens to the messy triangle of Mare Barrow, Tiberias Calore and Maven Calore; and to the other characters such as Evangeline and Ptolemus Samos, Dane Davidson, Kilorn Warren, Cameron Cole and Diana Farley—among so many others.

To give Aveyard credit, though, the novel is a great insight into human behaviour, as she explores the relationships among all these characters. Enemies in the first book become allies, even friends, in the last. Love, what it means in the face of principles and ideologies is very keenly observed. To make it more interesting, Aveyard uses POV of five different characters and what drives them.

Much of the book is dedicated to describe the war that is happening in the fictional universe that has Norta and Lakelands engaged in a never-ending skirmish. There are four different battles described in the book. Almost as if the book is less about the characters and their choices and more about the war itself.

However, that brings out the choices that each character makes, in the face of a certain … death. But, as said in the beginning this book cannot, rather should not, be read in isolation. If read by itself, War Storm would not make any sense. Any person who wants to pick up this title will have to read the previous three books—Red Queen, Glass Sword, King’s Cage—and perhaps even the companion collection of prequel novellas, Cruel Crown, to be able to enjoy the entire world as created by Aveyard. However, the book is meant for just the young adult category, anyone older might not really enjoy it like the targeted audience.

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