Red Queen is the first book in the Red Queen series, written by Victoria Aveyard. Aveyard did a spectacular job in writing her debut. This book kind of reminded me of The Selection Series and The Legend series—and probably more I haven’t read yet—, two of my favourite series ever. Not because it wasn’t original, simply because some of the ideas were kind of similar. The storyline for Red Queen was clearly very well thought through and spectacularly written, if the shocking end was anything to go by.
I felt entirely too betrayed once I’d finished this book, even though all the characters had been warning me from the start that something like this would happen. They told me not to trust anyone and yet I somehow ended up trusting them anyway: common mistake amongst readers. If you end up reading this book and are left even nearly as shell-shocked as I was, all I’m going to say is “I told you so”.
I really liked the main characters in this book: One especially had my heart. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess who when you read the book. I’ll give you a hint: He’s a prince. But aside from him, the character this book revolves around—Mare Barrow—is a really well developed character. Of course, like just about every main character ever, she makes you want to reach into the book at points and slap her silly. But she also makes you super proud of her sometimes. She makes a ton of bad decisions, so be ready for that. Despite all that, you’ve got to remember her backstory and understand her. Without understanding her, this book will just make you frustrated at every turn.
As in every book, there was one character in particular who supremely pissed me off every single time I saw her name. Or, wait. I think there were two that could hold that title. And, like before, you’ll probably be able to identify that character—or characters; depends on you—the moment you meet them for the first time in the book. Their negative aura literally claws right out of the book at you.
I think I might’ve been the only one, but to me, this book kind of seemed to touch on the issue of racism, what with the division of blood and the differences between the two types of people, though deep down they were all the same.
Not going to lie, the Silvers do have pretty cool powers though. Pay attention to the different types of Silver abilities at the start of the book, it’ll keep you from getting confused later on when they refer to them in shortened versions of their abilities.
Another aspect of this book that I really liked is that you really feel connected to the main character, Mare Barrow because in a way, you’re discovering who she is at the same time that she is. As it’s written in the blurb—can’t accuse me of spoiling if it’s in the blurb—she discovers am ability she didn’t know she had. A part of who she is she didn’t know existed. This turns her world upside down and throws her onto an action-packed, tense journey of rediscovering who she is—while trying to stay alive long enough to be able to truly embrace it.
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but a twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers an ability she didn’t know she had. Except… her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.
From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.
“Exhilarating. Compelling. Action-packed. Unputdownable.” —USA Today
“A compelling new world of action-packed surprises.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A volatile world with a dynamic heroine.” —ALA Booklist
“Breakneck pace and engaging characters.” —SLJ