Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.
Mare is held prisoner by Maven. Maven meets with the king of the Lakelands and becomes betrothed to the Lakelander princess. A few noble houses rebel against Maven because they think he’s a crap king. Maven and Iris get married. After the ceremony, the Guard arrives and saves Mare along with the other newbloods at Whitefire. Evangeline and her family flee to the Rift, which they plan to rule over as a new separate kingdom. Mare trains with the rebels for a bit. Maven’s army plans on attacking Corvium and taking it back from the Guard. The Guard defend it, with the help of the rebelling noble houses. At the end, there’s a meeting and it’s revealed that the nobles want Cal to become the king of Norta, and that he must marry Evangeline to bond the two kingdoms. Mare and Cal break up.
what happened in King’s Cage?
- Mare is currently being held prisoner at Maven’s palace. He introduces her as the leader of the Scarlet Guard, and a terrorist. Mare wonders if the Scarlet Guard will kill Maven first, or if he’ll be taken out by one of the lords or ladies.
- Mare spots Jon, the seer. So he’s still around.
- Evangeline goes to get Mare from her cell. She takes Mare to a party, claiming that Maven summoned her. He didn’t. Evangeline questions why Mare “sits collecting dust” while Corvium burns.
- Samson interrogates Mare by making her replay Shade’s death over and over again. Obviously, it leaves Mare a little broken.
- Cameron’s point of view begins here. She thinks about her brother. The Scarlet Guard reveals that the Red soldiers in Corvium are turning on the Silver officers, who they outnumber four to one. Cameron learns that her brother is still at the Choke but the Colonel doesn’t have the power to go and get him.
- Mare is given wristbands made from Silent Stone.
- Maven tells Mare that she has to bring him newbloods so that they join him. She has to lie on camera to the whole kingdom.
- Mare floods her bathroom and escapes into the hallway. She tells a servant that the entire thing is a trick, hoping he’ll spread the word and that newbloods won’t come to the palace.
- Cameron and the rest of the Scarlet Guard see Mare’s speech in the broadcast. Mare promises newbloods food and shelter to get them to come to the palace.
- Maven tells Mare that his mother messed with his head and took away his ability to love anyone. Except for Mare. His mother wasn’t able to completely take away that kind of love, but she definitely twisted it.
- Maven greets a bunch of newbloods who have come to prove their abilities and get shelter. Nanny (from Glass Sword) is there. She is killed.
- The Piedmont princes arrive at the palace. Prince Alexandret asks Maven where Prince Michael and Princess Charlotta are. Maven doesn’t know.
- Jon distracts Mare and saves her life as the party/meeting dissolves into chaos. The High Houses have turned on Maven. Houses Iral, Haven, and Laris fight the others. Maven is shot but a healer saves him, unfortunately. Prince Alexandret is killed.
- Cameron goes to see Sara to do some ability training. She learns that Maven expelled nobles who might still be loyal to Cal.
- Mare reads records of the Reformation Period so we get a bit of history of the world.
- Maven shows Mare his train (not a euphemism) and they head north on the Royal Road to start the coronation tour.
- Maven says he’s planning on ending the war with the Lakelands, which has been going on for decades as a way for Norta to control its population. Maven wants to unite the two kingdoms so they can fight the Scarlet Guard together.
- The Scarlet Guard takes Corvium. Cameron rescues her brother from a tower, along with the other Reds that he is with. Morrey doesn’t trust Cameron at first because the Silvers have been telling them that the Scarlet Guard is evil.
- Maven meets with the Lakeland king. The meeting goes fairly well, and it ends with Maven becoming betrothed to Iris, the Lakeland princess. Evangeline is relieved by this because who wants to marry Maven?
- We meet Evangeline’s mother, who is a creepy woman who can control animals.
- Evangeline takes Mare to see Maven, who tells Mare that the Mavis (this is their ship name from now on) wedding is the following day. Maven tells Mare that she is the only person who reminds him that he is alive. He wonders how things would have turned out if he had married Mare instead.
- Then we meet Queen Anabel of House Lerolan. She’s Cal’s grandmother.
- The ceremony takes place and then the sky turns black. A second lightning girl appears and everyone flees. The Scarlet Guard has arrived and is storming Whitefire.
- Evangeline sets Mare free on her father’s orders. She makes Mare promise that she won’t kill Tolly, her brother. Mare is like wtf Tolly killed my brother but in the end she agrees. Mare is set free.
- Mare goes to find Cal, who is currently being controlled by Samson. Cal attacks Mare. Samson then goes back and forth between controlling Mare and Cal in order to play them off against each other. Mare kills Samson in the end and they all escape.
- Evangeline finds her brother and they go to meet their father at the boats. They’re headed to the Kingdom of the Rift.
- Mare chats with Cal and Cameron about the goings on that she missed. They tell her that the Guard overthrew Corvium and are attempting to do the same at Piedmont.
- Mare meets Dane Davidson. Davidson tells her that the princes of Piedmont are/were working for the Guard because the Guard has the prince and princess. So the Guard currently has Prince Bracken under their thumb. He also says that Prince Daraeus is dead.
- Farley gives birth to Shade’s daughter, who is named Clara.
- Tolly marries Elane so that she won’t have to be parted from Evangeline. An interesting tactic, considering they’d have to seal the deal at some point and make an heir.
- House Samos holds a meeting with all of the rebelling Houses. Anabel Leron tells them they need to make Cal the king of Norta, and then House Samos can have the Rift. They intend to ally with Cal and the rest. Anabel and Lord Samos agree that Evangeline should marry Cal to bind the two kingdoms.
- Mare meets three more electricons. They help her train.
- Cal and Mare spar. Neither wins.
- The Guard hears that Maven’s forces are planning on taking Corvium back within the day, so the Guard goes to defend it.
how did it end?
The Guard drops in on Corvium. There’s a battle, which is going okay until it isn’t. Then Evangeline and her family arrive and save Mare. The Guard and the rebelling Houses win the battle. There’s a meeting afterwards. Evangeline’s father talks with someone from House Iral. This guy killed the Lakelander king, which was stupid because now the Lakelanders aren’t going to be happy. Cal learns that he is to become king of Norta once Maven has been dealt with, and that he has to marry Evangeline. He and Mare go outside. She slaps him. He tells her he wants her more than anything, and asks her not to leave him alone on the throne. “You aren’t alone. You have your crown.” BEST LINE OF THE SERIES IMO. Mare walks away and Farley finds her, and tells her that they have to do the divide and conquer thing on the Silvers. Yaaasssss.