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Quote1.png Now I'm in a king's cage. But so is he. My chains are Silent Stone. His is the crown. Quote2.png
Mare Barrow about herself and Maven Calore

King's Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.


When the lightning girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

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, the girl he once loved.

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.


Mare has turned herself in to Maven in exchange for the lives of her friends. King Maven held to his end of the bargain and did not pursue them. Now he holds Mare prisoner and televises her capture. He makes her out to be a leader of the Scarlet Guard. He forces her to kneel in front of him while he attaches a gold collar and leash to her. Many citizens of Norta believe Maven's lies, but some Silvers are against Maven and his tactics.

Maven locks Mare away in a cell of Silent Stone in Whitefire Palace. She is placed under constant guard by four members of House Arven, who use their abilities as silents to suppress her lightning and keep her physically weak.

Evangeline Samos, who has been betrothed to Maven by her father Volo Samos, brings Mare to court in order to distract King Maven. This results in Maven being baited into allowing Mare to be interrogated by Samson Merandus. He uses his ability as a whisper to not only search her memories for information related to Cal and the Scarlet Guard, but to torture Mare by forcing her to relive Shade Barrow's death over and over again.

Meanwhile, Cameron Cole remains with the Scarlet Guard. The Guard has moved to Irabelle, a stronghold near the Lakelander city of Trial. Cameron only wants to save her brother, Morrey Cole, but knows she can't do so without the Guard.

Cal can't seem to find his place within the Guard. Most of the Reds and newbloods don't trust him. Cal wants to save as many Silver lives as possible, a sentiment the Reds and newbloods don't share. Cameron follows Cal to secret room and suspects him of communicating with someone on the outside, but she doesn't know who.

Mare eventually wakes up after her interrogation by Samson to find that Maven has been sitting with her. He is unable to hide what feelings he still has for her. Mare grieves for the person that she had thought he was. Maven informs her that he will be forcing her to appear at court as a rescued newblood. He forces Mare to tell the lie that the Scarlet Guard wants nothing more than to make a new, all Red society. He claims that Mare came to him willingly and promises the newbloods of Norta sanctuary from the Scarlet Guard. The group in Irabelle know that she is being forced to participate in the broadcast, but some begin to mistrust Mare. While giving the broadcast, Mare sees that Jon is in Maven's court. She realizes that he betrayed them by telling Maven where to be in order to capture her.

Cameron and the Guard make plans to put their first assault into action by taking over Corvium. Cal does not think that they can successfully take the military fortress.

Once again, Evangeline forces Mare and Maven together. Mare learns from Maven that his mother, Elara Merandus, masterfully manipulated mind, starting from childhood. Maven reveals that even now he isn't sure where her unnatural influence leaves off and his own will begins. He tells her about the close friend he once had named Thomas, whom he loved. He was at the war front when he lost control of his burner abilities and accidentally killed Thomas. He asked his mother to take away his pain. She was never fully able to do so, only distort it.

Mare is forced by Maven to sit next to him while newbloods are presented to the court. He asks them to display their abilities. Halley, a newblood serving House Eagrie, whose ability is being able to detect other's abilities, reveals Nanny. Nanny is one of Mare's recruits who is a shifter, and is disguised as a Silver noble in the hopes of rescuing Mare. Nanny commits suicide before she can be interrogated by Samson.

While locked in her prison cell, Mare begins reading Julian Jacos' books. They were given to her by Maven as a form of apology for letting Samson torture her. They include old histories of the continent. They explain that Silvers were once oppressed by Reds. Mare can't believe that could ever been true.

Two princes from Piedmont, Alexandret and Daraeus, visit Maven with a request to question Mare about the Scarlet Guard. They also ask if Mare knows where Prince Bracken's missing children are being held hostage.

That night at a dinner in honor of the Piedmont guests, Houses Iral, Haven, and Laris attempt to assassinate Maven. They wish to place Cal on the throne. Jon saves Mare from a bullet, and then escapes without her. Maven is shot, but a skin healer is able to save him. After the assassination attempt, Maven clears away more of the High Houses from court, but forces them to leave their children behind as "promises of good behavior." He begins spending more time with Mare. She tries to manipulate him by using his feelings for her against him.

Maven takes the court, Mare, and Evangeline with him on a coronation tour of Norta. He speaks before Reds throughout Norta in an attempt to bring them to his side. He manipulates them into thinking that he has their best interest at heart. Mare is saddened to see how many are falling for his lies.

When the group arrives in Rocasta, Mare learns that the Lakelander War is really a way to control the Red population in both countries. Maven has also secured an alliance with the Kingdom of the Lakelands, which will end the war. Upon arriving in Rocasta, the group finds a hospital full of bleeding Silvers. They learn that the Scarlet Guard, and Cal, have taken Corvium.

Cameron and Farley enter Corvium upon the Guard's victory. Cal has brought some Silvers under his protection by convincing them to surrender. Some Silvers have fled Corvium, and many others were killed. Cameron learns that a group of Silvers have refused to surrender and have taken a group of Red soldiers as hostages and locked themselves in one of Corvium's towers. Cameron's brother is among the hostages. She runs off to save him and Cal offers to help. He hopes to exchange the Red soldiers for the Silvers' freedom. Cameron has other plans. She enlists the help of Harrick, who is an illusionist. They rescue the Red soldiers and many of the Silvers die. When she is reunited with Morrey, she learns that he believes Maven's lies and doesn't trust Cameron or any of the Scarlet Guard.

Maven takes Mare and the rest of his entourage to the Choke where he meets with King Orrec Cygnet, to formalize the alliance between Norta and the Lakelands. In order to seal the alliance, Maven breaks his engagement with Evangeline, and proposes to Princess Iris Cygnet. The group returns to Archeon.

Two months pass, and Mare continues reading Julian's books. She learns that the Silvers' abilities "came from corruption, from a scourge that killed most." She notices Julian has written a note that says Silvers "were not a god's chosen, but a god's cursed."

Mare and Evangeline are forced to participate in Iris and Maven's wedding. After the ceremony, the Scarlet Guard stages an attack that comes to be known as the Wedding Battle. During the fighting, Evangeline helps Mare escape in exchange for a promise to not kill Evangeline's brother, Ptolemus, who had killed Shade. Mare reluctantly agrees. Upon being freed, she immediately goes searching for Cal. She finds him, but he is under the control of Samson. Samson alternates controlling Mare and Cal in an attempt to get them to kill each other. They are eventually able to break his hold and work together to kill him before escaping Archeon.

Evangeline, Ptolemus, Wren Skonos, and House Samos use the distraction of the battle to escape Archeon. They are returning to their family's lands in the Rift where they will form a new kingdom with Volo as the king. Evangeline is happy because she is finally free of Maven and will be returning to her loved Elane Haven.

Mare and Cal arrive at a military base in Piedmont that the Scarlet Guard has taken over. Mare learns her family and Kilorn Warren are there and waiting for her. She is debriefed about her imprisonment and meets Premier Dane Davidson of Montfort. Farley gives birth to her daughter, Clara Farley-Barrow. Clara's father is Shade. Mare spends the majority of her time training with Cal, and they give in to their feelings for each other. She also meets three other electricons. She is excited to meet others like her and begins training with them as well.

Houses Samos, Iral, Haven, Laris, and Lerolan gather at the Samos estate to formally create the Kingdom of the Rift. Cal's grandmother, Anabel Lerolan, appears and declares that she cannot support them while Cal lives, and that the support of the other Houses relies on Cal being placed on the throne of Norta. Volo Samos agrees to her terms. For the moment, the Rift and the rebelling Houses will ally with the Scarlet Guard and Montfort agains Maven and the Lakelands. Anabel and Volo agree that Cal and Evangeline will marry. Evangeline is heartbroken and livid.

Mare's family tell her that they want her to leave with them and stop fighting in the war. She says that she can't stop yet. Cameron decides to stay with the Scarlet Guard, but she will only fight in a defensive role because she doesn't want to become a monster. Cal confesses to contacting his grandmother and that she helped rescue Mare from Maven. Cal and Mare declare their love for each other.

The Guard and Montfort learn that Maven and the Lakelands are planning to retake Corvium. With the help of the Rift and the rebelling Houses, they travel to Corvium and successfully defeat Maven's army. During the battle, King Orrec Cygnet is killed by Lord Salin Iral.

After the battle, the coalition gathers to discuss their next steps. Anabel informs Cal that he is being made King of Norta. Evangeline hopes that Mare's temper will ruin the alliance so that she does not have to marry Cal. Cal gives a speech about changing the ways of the kingdom and giving Reds more equality and freedom. The Silvers pretend to support him. While he hesitates, Cal still accepts the throne he was born and raised to want. Both Evangeline and Mare are devastated by this decision.

Mare walks away from Cal. She is found by Farley and Davidson who tell her that they are going to let the Silvers destroy each other in their battle for control. Mare heartbrokenly agrees that is the best course of action to achieve freedom for Reds.






The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of King's Cage contains a removable timeline of the Scarlet Guard and an interview with Elizabeth Banks, the director of the Red Queen tv series.[2]