Victoria Aveyard Reveals Her Favorite Villains

Stephanie Girard

Red Queen author Victoria Aveyard returns to Mare Barrow's world with a new perspective in King's Cage, the third novel of her planned trilogy, out now from HarperTeen. Bustle reached out to learn a little more about the celebrated young adult wunderkind, including who Victoria Aveyard's favorite villains are and how she feels about fans who ship her villain, Maven, with heroine Mare.

Unlike Red Queen and Glass Sword, Aveyard's latest book steps out of Mare's head and into that of a secondary character for part of the book. King's Cage opens with Mare "separated from the main cast" of characters, and Aveyard says she needed a new point of view in order to keep the story moving in her heroine's absence. That isn't a bad thing, however, at least in the author's opinion. "Mare's perspective is very biased," she says, noting that "to be able to see some of the same elements and characters in a different way was really enjoyable."

Although King's Cage was originally intended to be the end of Mare's adventures, Aveyard plans to expand her story into an as-yet-untitled fourth book, which is slated for release early next year. It wasn't until she began plotting out King's Cage that she realized another installment was in order, however: "I realized I wasn't going to get to the series ending I imagined in the scope of just one book. Both from a structural and story standpoint, it wasn't going to work, so I knew one more book was needed."

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard, $13, Amazon

Aveyard is known for writing complex villains, but who are her favorite Big Bads in pop culture, and which ones inspire her own creations? She cites everything from A Song of Ice and Fire to The Simpsons:

Some of my favorite fictional villains include Darth Vader, Miranda Priestly, Emperor Commodus, Mr. Burns, Frank Underwood, the entire cast of [It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia], Heath Ledger's Joker, Hannibal Lecter, Scar, pretty much every villain in A Song of Ice and Fire, and so on. One of my most hated — and therefore best — is definitely Dolores Umbridge. She really got under my skin more than any other. As for villains who inspire my own, I draw from lots of characters, as well as a great amount of historical villains and dictators, both in the past and the unfolding present.

Same, Victoria. Same.

And for all those Maven/Mare shippers out there who might be a little bit worried that the author disapproves of their OTP, don't be. Aveyard says that it isn't "her place to police shipping in her stories," and adds that she "doesn't think she can really give an opinion on any of the ships without spoiling things."

What does that mean for Mare, Maven, and the rest? Find out in King's Cage, available now from your favorite retailer and check out Victoria Aveyard's interview on Bustle's The Girls Who Lived podcast.

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard, $13, Amazon