Series: Red Queen #1
Also in this series: , Glass Sword, Cruel Crown
Published by HarperTeen on 2015-02-10
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Red Queen is an exhilarating ride. This book has all of the elements that fantasy lovers adore – magic, power struggles, deception, political intrigue, uprisings … and plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes!
What I enjoyed:
- The characters. I felt a real connection to pretty much all of the characters in this book, which is probably the main reason that I loved it so much. Mare has spent her life feeling sort of worthless – she doesn’t have a skill like her sister, so she can’t help support her family (except by stealing – which she does quite well). She’s basically just waiting to be sent off to war to die. But when she gets sent to the palace as a servant, things suddenly change for her and she finds herself thrown into a world she isn’t prepared for. To make things more complicated, she finds herself drawn to both of the the princes – whom she had always despised before she understood them a little better (okay, there were moments that I didn’t appreciate the love triangle because I got frustrated with Mare a bit – but it wasn’t enough to mar my overall enjoyment of the book). I don’t want to tell too much about what happens, but some major things change for Mare, and she grows a lot in this book. I also felt a connection to all of the other characters – to both princes and to many of the secondary characters. That’s what made this book a total win for me!
- Power struggles and magical mayhem. I absolutely loved the premise for this book. Mare’s people have been oppressed for generations by another race (called the Silvers because of their silver blood). The Silvers possess powers – all different types of powers. I absolutely loved all of the different types of powers that were displayed. Think X-Men – there were people who were incredibly strong, who used mind control, who could control water or fire … the list goes on and on. The society in this book basically used these powers to determine rank in a lot of ways. In fact, the new queen was chosen by who could display the greatest strength based on their power. Of course, this leads to some interesting power struggles!
- Royal family drama. Cal and Maven are both princes, but they’ve had very different experiences within the royal family. Cal is the older son, the crown prince, and Maven has always felt like his father favored him. The boys each have different mothers – Cal’s mother was beloved and Maven’s mother is viewed as questionable at best. There are also questions surrounding Cal’s mother’s death. In addition to all of that, Mare finds that neither of the two princes seem to completely agree with their fathers’ policies when it comes to the war that is being fought, and she finds herself drawn to both of them romantically. All of these things add up to royal family drama and political intrigue of the best kind!
- The twists and turns. This book had quite a few twists that kept me on my toes. I was never quite sure who Mare should trust or what was going to happen next. There were times when I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen and then things would get completely turned around and I found myself surprised after all. I did suspect what finally ended up happening at certain points in the book, but then there were other times when I would change my mind – I liked that it kept me guessing that way!
- Not wholly original. I was actually a little bit nervous about reading this book because I started to see some lukewarm reviews on it. Most of those reviews seemed to focus on the fact that we’ve seen a lot of elements from this book before – a society with a large rift between the upper and lower classes (based on whether or not people have powers), the royal double-crossing, the love triangle … these are all typical tropes that we see in the YA fantasy genre. But I honestly wasn’t bothered by this because I felt like Aveyard took all of those elements and mixed them together in a wholly unique and surprising way. I didn’t ever feel like I could really predict what was going to happen in this book. However, if you’re the type of person who really dislikes reading a book that reminds you of another book (or maybe several other books in some small way or another), then this one might not be for you. Personally, it worked for me!
So, for me, this book was a definite win. I’m excited to see where Aveyard will take us in the next installment of this trilogy! I give this book 5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from Edelweiss and Harper Teen in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
I’m a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. This site is the nexus of my universe.
My book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. I’m repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The genres I’m into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic – if people are dying, I’m buying.