4 out of 5 stars
War Storm has everything I hoped this series finale would have: Liberty! Equality! A backbone for Cal! Little-to-no Cameron!
In War Storm, the war is truly that: a storm shifting course, gathering strength, breaking and holding. Mare and her partners in the quest for Red freedom (the Scarlet Guard, the nation of Montfort), must accept an uncomfortable alliance with Cal’s broken, imperial Norta, all in order to overthrow his usurper brother, Maven. On every side, factions scheme to gain the upper hand. They may win together, only to fight over the spoils tomorrow.
After a slight wander in the last book, Victoria Aveyard has locked her main characters in again: Mare’s anger and guilt are given purpose, Cal finally owns his deep-seated need to ascend to the throne, and Maven – oh, the best character in this series – Maven’s evil manipulations have clean lines and hard edges, which he still uses to cut tiny blood droplets of sympathy from the reader.
Aveyard’s world-building was also always clear and efficient. Her world has rules, and they’re easy to follow. It makes all the political and emotional double-crossing, the wars and tricks and stabbed backs, really fun to read.
This is the only book in the series I got as an audiobook. It’s weird to jump in late, but the voice cast does a great job. Evangeline sounds a bit like a phone-sex operator, but I guess that’s the idea for a beautiful, conniving, snake-in-the-grass type. The guy narrating Cal’s chapters sounds like Christian Bale doing his low, rumbly Batman voice – I laughed in surprise when he first came on. Again Maven is the standout character here: he’s crazy and he knows is, and that internal monologue is even more compelling read out loud.
This is a very satisfying end to a great series. I can’t wait to see what Victoria Aveyard writes next. Plus she is adorable on Instagram, so go enjoy: @victoriaaveyard.