This fourth and final book offers only a somewhat satisfying ending to the uneven Red Queen series. The books started with an extremely compelling premise and interesting (if predictable) characters, but in War Storm, there are no more cliffhanger endings or startling reveals left to enthrall readers. Instead, there's a whole lot of political intrigue, less Maven (which is sure to upset his fans), and the introduction of Montfort, a free republic where Silvers, Reds, Newbloods, and Ardents all live together in a unique democracy. Although Mare is still the protagonist, the multiple points of view include Cal, Maven, Iris (Maven's queen), and Evangeline, with this last a clear standout. She's one of the few characters to truly grow in this final story.
As has been the case with most of the series, pacing continues to be a struggle, with some scenes feeling rushed and others too slow. At nearly 700 pages, however, the book could've used more tightening up, particularly of repetitive, descriptive passages. For example, the constant pining between now separated Mare and Cal grows tiresome until they finally give in to their feelings. And despite the length of the story, author Victoria Aveyard doesn't explore the secondary characters we've grown to care about, like Kilorn or Cameron, and instead inserts more and more of Iris and her matriarchal storyline. Like in Mockingjay, there's a whole lot of political commentary and timely themes to unpack, but War Storm lacks the emotional final chapters and touching epilogue that is a signature staple of most series enders. Still, it's a must-read if you've made it this far in the story of the lightning girl and her princes.