Title: Red Queen
Pages: Hardcover, 383
Publication: February 10, 2015
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.
Damn. Why did it take me so long to read this book???
Red Queen is absolutely everything that I could’ve hoped it to be. It was funny, action packed, a little bit romantic, and very fantasy filled. I LOVED it. Right before I started it, I saw a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads. It seemed that people either loved it (like I did) or thought it was just meh. Like it didn’t really meet their expectations.
But I’m on the complete opposite of that.
First of all, I love fantasy books that give me an unlikely hero/heroine with hidden, special powers. It is my weakness. So, as soon as Mare hit the forcefield at the Queenstrial and didn’t die, I knew that I was in for a great story.
Victoria Aveyard is an excellent writer– her words are eloquent and flowy but able to get to the point quickly. Additionally, her character building was fantastic. Mare, Cal, and Maven are perhaps among my favorite characters of all time (especially Maven). Victoria Aveyard somehow is able to build complex, emotional characters and make my sympathize with them– even those that I don’t like.
Another thing that I loved about this story was the fact that it did not focus solely on the romantic relationships that were developing. While she was betrothed to Maven and liked Cal, Aveyard didn’t use every single scene where Mare was alone with either Maven or Cal as a way to develop romantic relationships. She used those scenes as a way to build complex human relationships that are so incredibly realistic in a world that is built on the make believe. However, that doesn’t go to say that there was an absence of romance. Maven and Cal’s individual relationships with Mare are 100 percent swoonworthy, no matter which brother you favor. (The dancing scene gives me LIFE)
While the majority of the plot does revolve around Mare and her training, there is a sub-plot that quickly becomes the main plot that is about the underground Red rebellion. Maven and Mare join in the hopes of transforming the world that has deprived Reds of safety, happiness, and prosperity for too long. The Scarlet Guard was a great addition to the story; it added danger and intrigue.
However, personally, I think the best/most surprising/most heartbreaking part of the novel was the very end. When Mare was betrayed, I was literally HEARTBROKEN. I felt that I had been betrayed, but it was such an amazing twist because I wasn’t expected it at all.
“I told you to hide your heart once. You should have listened.” -Pg. 354
So, overall, Red Queen is a definite must read. If you like fantasy and excellent writing, this book is definitely for you. It was everything that I wanted it to be.