Quote1.png "Rise, Red as the Dawn" Quote2.png
— Motto of the Scarlet Guard


War Storm is the fourth book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

Summary[edit | edit source]

VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal's betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart - and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her - Mare resolves to destroy the kingdom of Norta once and for all... starting with the crown on Maven's head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal's powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything - and everyone - in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard's stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power... for all will be tested, but not all will make it out alive.

Plot[1][edit | edit source]

Mare Barrow, Diane Farley, and Davidson stand together in Corvium just minutes after an intense battle against the former king, Maven Calore. Tiberias Calore VII, Mare's former love, chooses to become the King of Norta instead of staying with her, which both angers and saddens Mare. Davidson, who is a representative of the Free Republic of Montfort, leaves to go speak with the newly formed council.

Farley and Mare talk about Cal’s decision and the future of the Scarlet Guard. The Guard plans to take the crown from Cal. The two then head to the council meeting.

Silver noble, and Cal's once again betrothed, Evangeline Samos, is waiting with her family, Cal, and his grandmother Anabel Lerolan. They discuss Maven's retreat to the Kingdom of the Lakelands and they know that his troops will heal there much faster than their own. They ask Davidson for soldiers from Montfort. However, Davidson surprises them all when he says he must return to Montfort to ask the council for troops as Montfort is a democratic republic.

After Mare announces that she will be going to Montfort with him, Evangeline goads Cal into agreeing to go with her. However, Evangeline's father, Volo Samos, says that she will be going as well. This ruins Evangeline's plans to stay behind with her true lover, Elane Haven, and away from Cal, whom she despises for taking away her freedom by choosing the crown over Mare. On the way back to the barracks, Mare meets Evangeline, and they both agree that Cal cannot have the throne. While they are glad that he is not as brutal as Maven, they both wish Cal had more of his brother's insight and lack of trust.

Meanwhile in the capital of the Lakelands, Iris Cygent waits for Maven and his soldiers to arrive with her father, King Orrec Cygnet's, body. When the boat docks, Iris' mother, Queen Cenra Cygnet, uses her power over water to pull their father's body to them where they bury it in the sea. The group then travels into the city where Iris, whose marriage with Maven was political, tries to convince Maven to help Prince Bracken of Piedmont rescue his children from Montfort. She believes they need Piedmont's alliance to win the war against Maven's brother, Cal. Then, Iris goes into a temple with her sister, Crown Princess Tiora Cygnet, and mother where her mother tells Iris she does not have to return to Norta with Maven. Iris says it is her duty, but the three plan to help Bracken themselves and take control of the war so that the Lakelands can take control of Montfort and Norta.

Mare, Cal, Evangeline, and the rest of the group travel to Piedmont to pick up Mare's family as part of a deal she made with Davidson to keep her family safe. Her family, along with Mare's best friend Kilorn, are angry that Cal chose the throne but agree to go with her to Montfort. That night, Cal's uncle Julian tries to tell Mare that Cal felt he had no choice but to pick the crown. Mare tells Julian to get back to his nephew and keep him safe. The next morning, the group travels to Ascendant, Montfort's capital built into a mountainside. Mare is weary of Davidson's house as it reminds her too much of a palace, but hopes he is being honest about Montfort's successfully democracy.

Meanwhile, Iris and Maven meet with Prince Bracken, where Iris promises to save Bracken's children by leading a team herself. Bracken happily agrees to give support to Maven, and they depart. Maven, however, is suspicious of Iris' sudden agreement to save the children herself. She promises she is winning Piedmont for both of them, but he does not believe her.

Back in Montfort, the group meets Davidson's husband Cardamon, which makes Evangeline envious, as she is not allowed to marry Elane in Norta. As they are talking about plans to meet with the council, Davidson tells Cal and Mare that they will need to fight for Montfort to get its' support. Warning sirens blare in Ascendant and the group rushes to the armory to defend against an incoming Raider attack. Davidson tells Mare that he did not plan the attack, as Raiders are wild Silvers who did not want equality and left.

After everyone gears up, they join Tyton and other soldiers onto transports. On the way down the mountain, however, the transports are ambushed by Raiders. The group is able to fight the raiders off, even though most of the transports have been destroyed. Mare is attacked by a silent, and is paralyzed by memories of the Silent Stone when she was imprisoned by Maven. However, she is rescued by Cal and Farley, and Mare realizes that Farley is badly injured.

While the battle is happening, Iris and a small group sneak into Ascendant by using the waterways, revealing that the Raider attack was a diversion and planned out by Iris. With most of the soldiers out of the city, the group sneaks into the prison where the children are. Iris is horrified to learn they are trapped in a room made of Silent Stone, as Silvers will eventually die without their powers for too long. The successfully rescue the children.

When the army returns, Mare's sister, Gisa, helps her prepare for the council meeting by giving her a dress that reveals the brand Maven burned into Mare's chest. She meets up with Evangeline, Cal, and Davidson and heads into the People's Gallery. Mare is pleasantly surprised to see that both Reds and Silvers are represented on the council as Davidson begins the meeting. The council is suspicious of Cal, as all of the Silvers in Montfort gave up their noble status for equality while Cal is still wearing his crown. The Red members, however, are nervous around Mare, who Maven forced to bring Nortan Reds to his side while she was his prisoner. Mare says that Maven is manipulative, and Farley, who does not like Cal, says that Cal would make a much better ruler than Maven. After Mare tells the council that Maven will eventually attack them even if they do not help Norta, Cal gives a moving speech promising to change Norta if he is put on the throne. He says he was raised to believe that Silvers should always rule over Reds, but he has grown to believe that equality is much more beneficial to everyone. He bows to the council and asks that they fight alongside them. The council votes and Davidson announce that Cal has his army.

On the way back to Norta, however, Evangeline believes that Davidson and the council already knew their decision beforehand. She believes Davidson wanted Cal to see Montfort so that he would be more likely to adopt a free republic and give up his crown after the war. After angrily watching Mare say goodbye to her own family, as Evangeline believes Mare should not act so weak, they board the transport. Back in Norta, Evangeline's brother Ptolemus greets her on the runway. Evangeline is happy to see him, even though both of them are angry that their father used them for his own goals by allowing Ptolemus to marry Elane because he knew that Evangeline would marry Cal or Maven. At their estate, Evangeline meets Elane in her room and the two sleep together. Two hours later, Ptolemus informs Evangeline that the Piedmont base was attacked by Bracken as he got his children back without Montfort knowing. Evangeline is horrified, as she does not believe they can win a war against Lakeland, Piedmont, and the High Houses loyal to Maven in Norta.

Maven and Iris visit Piedmont after Bracken successfully reclaimed his base. When Mare begins speaking through a prisoner, they learn that the Scarlet Guard has rigged the base with explosives. Maven is told to release the prisoners, or they will destroy the base. Begrudgingly, Maven accepts the deal and releases the prisoners that night. Back in Norta, Cal’s coalition discuss plans to attack one of Maven’s strongest cities, Harbor Bay. Cal believes that taking Harbor Bay as his capital is a better decision than claiming one of the cities that is already loyal to him. Mare asks that they destroy one of the tech towns named New Town, where Reds are forced to work as slaves. The group agrees to the plan. Afterwards, Evangeline convinces Mare to spar with her in an attempt to get Mare and Cal to start talking to each other again. Although the plan works, both Mare and Cal are hesitant to love each other again.

In the capital of Archeon, Iris is confronted in her transport by Anabel and Julian. They offer her a trade: her father’s killer, Salin Iral, and the man who ordered the killing, Volo, in exchange for Iris’ cooperation in an unknown plan. When she returns home, Maven tells her to tell her mother to send the fleet to Harbor Bay as he is certain Cal will be attacking there soon. When she protests, he reveals that Iris herself will be going there or he will lock her up in a prison made of Silent Stone.

Mare, Davidson, and the Scarlet Guard sneak into New Town with the help of a former resident Cameron. As the group separates, Cameron, Kilorn, and Mare are taken to one of the tallest apartments in the town. After a while, they see green smoke coming from the weapons sector. Mare forms a purple storm as a secret team disables the town’s hub, shutting down all of the production plants. Bombs placed by the Scarlet Guard go off around the city, but Mare is shocked when an unplanned bomb explodes underneath the weapons sector. Silver guards attack them, throwing Kilorn down the stairwell. Mare and Cameron kill a ton of Silver guards as they drag Kilorn to a skin healer. Mare and the other newbloods decide to go Harbor Bay as Davidson tells her the battle is not going as well as Cal had hoped.

In Harbor Bay, Evangeline and her brother lead the Samos fleet to Fort Patriot when they are attacked by a nymph controlling the ocean. They land on the wall and fight their way inside, only to discover that Iris herself is the one controlling the ocean. Both nearly drown as they escape out into the Bay. They find Farley and Cal who tells Evangeline and Ptolemus to get onto Iris’ battleships and turn them on her while Cal fights Iris. Mare arrives and sees Cal almost drowned by Iris as she escapes into the ocean. Although a healer is able to save him, Mare realizes how terrified she was at seeing him nearly die.

They head to Ocean Hill where Cal accepts Lord Rem Rhambos’ surrender and spares his entire household in exchange for their loyalty. Afterwards, Evangeline leads Mare to a secret passageway that leads to Cal’s bedchamber. Mare follows it, surprising Cal when she arrives so quickly after the battle. The two decide to spend the night together, but both say that nothing has changed between them. Instead, they are deciding now to forget about the world and just enjoy the night together.

Meanwhile, Maven meets with Iris and her mother, furious about the loss of Harbor Bay. Cenra promises Maven they will save the city in time, but Maven is angrier that Iris flooded Fort Patriot. Maven tells them that Cal will contact them soon and leaves for his own flagship. Iris then tells Cenra about Anabel and Julian’s plan and swears that no one else knows but her. Later that night, they receive a message from Cal asking to meet on neutral ground, which Maven accepts despite knowing that they will not come to a peace agreement.

Back at Ocean Hill, Mare and Cal are in Cal’s bedchamber when Julian arrives with Maven’s response. Although Mare believes the talk is a waste of time, Cal wants to see his brother to know for certain that he cannot be saved. They travel with a large group, including General Farley, Davidson, and Evangeline, to Province Island. Once there, Mare is horrified to learn that Maven is forcing them to meet within Silent Stone. However, with Julian and Farley’s help, she remains calm and tells Maven’s allies that he is unfit to be king because of his madness. At the end of the talk, Cal says the old Maven will never come back and says that the true war between them has already begun.

Evangeline believes that the Lakelands and Prince Bracken are close to abandoning Maven, and she believes that they will turn on Norta as soon as possible. Cal again tells Maven and Cenra that he will only accept surrender. When that is denied, everyone begins to leave. Everyone is shocked to learn that Iris and Cenra attacked Maven after Cal’s coalition walked away. They trade Maven for King Orrec Cygnet's killer, and Evangeline realizes that they are also after her own father.

Back in Harbor Bay, Mare struggles to watch the crowd cheer for Maven’s capture as it reminds her of the days when she was his prisoner. After a short conversation with Farley and Davidson, Mare and the rest of the Red coalition head into the throne room. Once there, they decide that Maven is to be executed, and Maven asks that Mare kills him the same way she killed his mother, Elara Merandus. Mare refuses and Maven is taken to his cell. The group left behind talks about the inevitable Lakelander invasion. When Cal refuses to immediately abdicate the crown, Davidson, Mare, and Farley announce that the Red alliance with them is over and they will all be returning to Montfort. Mare goes to say goodbye to Maven where she admits that a large part of her will not be happy to see him die. Suddenly, Davidson and Farley arrive with Arezzo, a newblood teleporter, who takes all of them, including Maven, to Montfort.

Meanwhile, Evangeline loses her temper when her parents begin talking about her marriage to Cal. After telling her mother, Larentia Viper, to keep believing that they are doing everything for Evangeline and not themselves, she leaves. In her own room, she finds Elane and a note from Davidson. He offers her a place in Montfort with Elane and promises fair accommodations and nothing in return. Even though Elane tells Evangeline that she cannot continue to live the way she is, Evangeline decides to do nothing and see what Anabel and Julian have planned for Volo. She then heads to dinner with Elane, where a heated conversation about cheap Red labor leads Evangeline to ask if Elane will be coming with the family to Archeon. When her mother says that Elane will return to the Rift, Evangeline reveals that she and Elane are in love. Anabel’s sudden arrival cuts the conversation short as she announces that the Reds have taken Maven. They all head to Cal’s chambers, where he declares that they will prepare for the Lakelander invasion instead of trying to fight Montfort for Maven. After a tense standoff between Cal and Volo, Volo and the others leave Cal alone with Evangeline. He tells her that he is scared, and she admits she knows Anabel and Julian plan to kill Volo and she might let them.

Iris and her mother prepare the massive Lakelander army to invade Norta and take the country for themselves. Both are horrified to learn that Maven may still be alive and in the hands of Montfort who abandoned their alliance with Cal. Iris decides to try and use Maven’s popularity against Cal and turn as many nobles as possible to their cause to destroy Norta from the inside out.

Meanwhile in Montfort, Mare returns home to her family while Maven is locked away in a prison cell. No matter how much she tries, however, she cannot get Maven or Cal out of her mind. So, Mare decides to climb the mountain outside Ascendant. Doing so leads her to the seer, Jon, who tells Mare that she has not changed the future. Instead, he warns her that losing Archeon to the Lakelander Queen will lead to the most terrifying future he has ever seen. He tells her that Cal will not survive without her or Montfort’s help and implies that he put events into motion by pushing Kilorn’s mentor, Cully, to his death, thus prompting Mare to spy for the Scarlet Guard to save Kilorn from conscription. Mare returns to Ascendant where the Generals of the Scarlet Guard and Montfort's leaders have gathered. They all agree they must attack Archeon first to have a chance against the Lakelander Queen. Unfortunately, the only path left into Whitefire Palace is through the secret tunnels that only Maven knows about. When they threaten him with torture, he agrees to help if they allow him to lead the army through the tunnels himself.

Back in Norta, Cal is officially coronated, but feels weak and empty. He knows that he does not have the full support of the Silver nobles, and sees his country already falling apart. Due to his decree of providing fair wages to Red workers, many have left their positions, leaving Norta weakened by lack of labor. At the celebration of his coronation, Cal realizes that they are going to lose the war. Julian removes him from the party and asks Cal why he was willing to give up everything for the crown. Cal says the crown is his father’s, but Julian disagrees and demands that Cal reads his mother’s diary. Once he does, Cal learns that his mother, Coriane, wanted Cal to be a king of peace and not a soldier of an unending war. While this brings Cal some comfort, he believes it is already too late.

Back in Montfort, Mare approaches Maven alone to try and make a compromise. While Maven tries frequently to make her react through mocking, teasing, or telling her that he is still in love with her, Mare does not react the way he expects. This, in turn, makes Maven realizes that he does love her, but that Mare does not belong to anyone, including Cal. He agrees to provide the entrance location for the tunnels. Later, he is taken to a dropjet with a small team of soldiers, including Mare and Tyton, to lead the group through the tunnels and into Archeon. On the way, Maven plans his escape and believes that he will have to kill Mare to survive.

The Lakelanders attack Archeon sooner than expected. While Evangeline tries to plan ways to save the city, she realizes that Volo and her mother consider it a lost cause and are planning on abandoning Cal. Evangeline confronts Volo alone and asks him to let her go. He attacks her, calling her unnatural for her love of Elane, and promises to drag her back to Rift. She is saved by Ptolemus as Anabel and Julian attack Volo. Ptolemus, Evangeline, and Wren, Ptolemus' lover, run for their lives. Though Cal stops them temporarily, he allows them to continue fleeing.

Meanwhile, Maven leads the Montfort soldiers to the escape train platform where he had planned an escape. However, he is devastated when the train rockets by without him and is forced the lead the group into the palace. Once inside, a missile strikes the palace and Maven escapes. Mare and the others rush to meet with the other soldiers and Mare finds Cal. He tells her that he is done being a king and is glad that she came back. However, the bridge collapses and Mare and Cal are saved by a pair of teleporters as many other soldiers die in the fall. Cal tells Mare to take care of Maven and she leaves with Kilorn. He then goes to General Farley who promises Cal that they were waiting for the Lakelanders to raise the water so they could complete the second part of their plan. Suddenly, they see Julian use his ability as a singer to make Volo walk off the collapsed bridge and fall onto the Cygnet's battleship, fulfilling their end of the deal with Iris. Iris and her mother continue the assault, believing they have already won. The Lakelanders are caught off guard though when their ships are rammed by Reds driving underwater boats. The queens decide to escape with their lives, ending the battle.

As Maven frantically searches the palace for a way out, Mare finds him. He leads her into a prison made of Silent Stone. Mare faces him bravely, even though Maven found a dagger during his search. The two fight and Maven breaks Mare’s collarbone and slices her side, almost killing her. Mare is able to grab the dagger and kill Maven before passing out herself. She wakes up in the infirmary and learns that the Lakelanders have called for a ceasefire and the invasion is over. Cal arrives and tells her that she did what she had to by killing Maven. However, it is obvious that both of them wish they could have found a way to save Cal’s broken, younger brother.

After Mare is healed, she prepares to leave Norta with the rest of the Scarlet Guard. She learns from Julian that Reds in Piedmont, the Rift, and the Lakelands are staging their own small rebellions as many of them flee to Norta with the promise of a better life. Mare then says goodbye to Cal as she believes they need some time apart to figure out who they really are. Mare knows that Cal is upset with her for killing Maven and also knows that she personally needs time to learn what she wants out of life. She travels to Paradise Valley in Montfort with her family. While enjoying the beautiful environment, Mare realizes that humans are just as capable of repairing the world as they are of destroying it. She makes a promise to herself to return to Norta, and Cal, when the time is right.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Newbloods[edit | edit source]

Reds[edit | edit source]

Silvers[edit | edit source]

Editions[edit | edit source]

The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of War Storm contains a pull-out map of Scarlet Guard strongholds.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • There are five characters whose point of view readers get to see: Mare Barrow, Evangeline Samos, Maven Calore, Tiberias Calore VII, and Iris Cygnet.
  • Cal and Maven's face-to-face confrontation will be the first time they have spoken in person to each other since Red Queen.

References[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.