Review – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

February 5, 2015 Reviews 37 ★★★★★

Review – Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
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
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
My rating:
5 Stars

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?

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My Take

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!

The negatives:

  • 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

Victoria Aveyard

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.

 

Author Links:
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37 Responses to “Review – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard”

    • Nicole

      I’m so jealous! I was planning to go to ALA Midwinter (I live in the Chicago area, so it was a no-brainer), but ended up being stuck working as a volunteer at my daughter’s gymnastics meet. I was so sad!!

    • Nicole

      This is one of those books where the reviews have been all over the place. I really loved it, but when I read negative reviews, I can understand the complaints – it’s just one of those things where I think, “Hmmm … that didn’t really bug me.” I’m glad you’re still looking forward to the next book!

  1. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    OOOh nice! I’ve been seeing the same reviews. People love it, people hate it, people are so-so…so many different kinds of reviews! I was excited for this one, but I’ve been trying to tamper it down a bit. I do plan to read it though because it still sounds intriguing enough for me! Great review!

    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted: Random Thursday
  2. Kim

    I’ve been telling people that I’m looking forward to this one, but right now I’m rethinking it. For someone who mostly reads only contemporary, I think I might not be ready for high fantasy yet. We’ll see. It definitely looks interesting and amazing. Great review! 🙂
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

    Kim recently posted: ARC Review: One, Two, Three
    • Nicole

      If you’re not a fan of magic and those types of elements in your books, you might not be crazy about this one, but I do think that it’s a great book!

    • Nicole

      If you go on Victoria’s blog, you’ll see a post about how they came up with the cover design – including some sketches that she did herself. I thought it was really interesting!!

  3. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    YAY! I am so glad you loved this one! I won a copy and cannot WAIT to read it now. Great characters and royal drama? Oh, yes please! I was nervous too, because of those reviews you talked about, but I really don’t see that aspect of the book bothering me, probably because I am pretty new to fantasies in general. Great review, I am extra excited to read it now 🙂

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Let’s Talk About Book Blogging!
    • Nicole

      Yeah, it obviously didn’t bother me at all – I get why people are complaining about it, but it’s one of those things that just didn’t affect me while I was reading it.

  4. Bruna

    I’m glad you liked this one! I’ve been so excited for it! The cover, the synopsis, the excerpt I read…I’ve seen both good and bad opinions on it, but I guess I’ll just have to read it for myself (because I really want to regardless). I guess the lack of “originality” wouldn’t really bother me, because if we’re being honest, nothing really is original, every idea we have is a derivative in some way, even when we don’t see it. Execution is what matters, I think.
    Ugh, I have to read Red Queen! ha. Great review, as usual. 😉

  5. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    Ooh 5 stars Nicole! This is exciting because I’ve seen some many mixed reviews. It’s ultimately going to come down to me reading for myself.

    Connecting to the characters is a huge thing for me, so I’m glad you enjoyed them. I’m a little wary of the love triangle, but I can handle them, even though they’re not my favorite. Even though it didn’t feel wholly original, I think that’s ok for me, because I read YA fantasy so sporadically. It’s been awhile since I’ve really read one, so I think it will feel fresh to me.

    • Nicole

      Yes, I think this os one that everyone just needs to read for themselves – some people love it, and some aren’t so crazy about it. The love triangle might bother you (it’s my least favorite part of the book), but I still think it’s a great read!

  6. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Oh I’m so happy you enjoyed this one Nicole!! I was actually getting nervous about it too because I’d seen some lukewarm reviews as well but from what you describe here, I don’t think I’ll have any more issues with this one than you did! You sort of have to expect that not all the books you read can be wholly original anyways…as long as it’s mixed together creatively, that’s all I ask LOL Thanks for the wonderful review^^ ♥

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday *109*
    • Nicole

      Yeah, it’s hard when you’re all excited to read a book and then the reviews start rolling in, and they’re not so great. I was glad that I really loved this one!!

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