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King's Cage

King's Cage - Victoria Aveyard I am enjoying this series of books. I find it quite interesting, many of the characters and the strategies they employ bring to mind those used by many insurgent groups and terrorists around the world, whichever label you apply depending on the 'side' you are on.

The personal interactions are also interesting, especially that between Maven and Mare, which in my mind resembles that of a either a stalker or a domestic violence offender. There is no way that Maven can be rehabilitated in my mind. Aveyard's writing of these interactions is quite nuanced at the beginning, but by this particular book, the reader should be in no doubt. Maven abuses and tortures Mare.

I wondered at the events that may have influenced Aveyard, the techniques utilised by the Scarlet Guard and Silvers and the manner in which women and those of a lower status are viewed as objects to be traded for more power and status. I wonder what effect the events of Sept 11 2001 had on her. I believe she may have been about 10 or 11 years old?

The book, and the entire series seems to explore themes of terrorism v insurgency, obsessive/stalking attachment (I will not call this sort of thing love) and cruelty and torture in a domestic setting. While the Mare is not perfect, she has a lot on her plate and her unwise decisions must be viewed in their context. The difference between her and Maven at this point seems to be her desire to do right by others rather than simply fortifying her position and power.

That may be the lesson of the series, to what degree do we absolve someone of responsibility for their actions because of their situation and how much responsibility should they bear regardless of their situation?