Series: Red Queen,
on February 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart . . .
“If you know someone’s fear, you know them.”
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen
Author Victoria Aveyard’s novel Red Queen was really amazing! She took the ever popular dystopian fantasy novel and filled it with intrigue, danger, and such crazy machinations that you almost need a flowchart to follow. While the above statement may seem offputting, it’s actually a huge bonus. Fans of series like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Series will really enjoy this political fantasy thriller.
One thing I really loved about the series is the characters. The main character Mare is pretty different from some other heroines in other young adult novels I’ve read. She’s a teenage thief who provides for her family with stolen goods who one day, through a strange series of circumstances, winds up working as a servant in the Royal Palace. In Aveyard’s world this is a big deal. The society she created is split into two parts: one are regular humans and the other are more advanced people looked at as God’s. The regular humans are called Reds, while the magical people are called Silvers. For Mare to wind up working in the palace means she’s little more than a slave, however she’ll make more money working for the royal family then she would working anywhere else.
The other characters I really liked are the boys in Mare’s life. One is Kilorn, her best friend who winds up traveling on a dangerous path in life. Kilorn is obviously meant to be Mare’s love interest, however during the course of the story Mare meets two other boys who vie for her heart. And they just happened to be the crown princes. The oldest is Cal. A born soldier destined to be King. The second prince, Maven, lives in Cal’s shadow.
Other characters of note in the book that made Red Queen such a great read were Farley, a rebel leader fighting for the Red’s independence. Cal and Mavens parents, the king and queen, Tiberius and Elara are pretty interesting. Queen Elara is the epitome of the “Evil Stepmother.” She is very devious and unpredictable. Mare also meets Evangeline, her rival, who winds up being another character I wouldn’t turn my back on.
One thing about the story I didn’t really like was how much the boys in Mare’s life affected her circumstances. At the start of the book Mare seemed very independent. The type of character that appeared to be in charge of her own destiny. Over the course of the book Mare begins to let the guys in her life dictate her actions, her feelings, and where she ends up by the end of the book. I think I would’ve preferred if she stayed strong throughout the course of the story and let her naïveté about the world of the Silvers to cause Mare’s complications. Then again, when you live in a world where no one can be trusted, trusting the wrong person can lead to the ultimate betrayal.
Do I Recommend?
YES! As I read Red Queen I couldn’t help but make comparisons between it and The Winners Series. However, I believe Red Queen to be the better book. The intrigue is much more intense, and I really liked the romance angle that stays in the background of the story instead of becoming the main attraction. I also really loved how this story felt like the beginning of the series yet could also be enjoyed as a novel in his own right. Since I really enjoyed this book I have to say that I give it four out of five stars.