By Victoria Aveyard
Average Rating: 4.11
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.
So…I’m rather embarrassed about how long it took me to finish Red Queen. Took me about a year to finally complete the novel… Oops? *sheepish*
I remember when it first came out in 2015, I was super interested in the concept and it seemed like the YA novel to read. Borrowed it from the library, and returned it later not even halfway finished. I picked up more books, and Red Queen kind of got pushed down my priority list of TBR. Now, here I am, a year later, finished the novel and absolutely in awe with the world, the characters and the overall story.
I finished it just in time for the next release, Glass Sword too! So, right after reading Red Queen, I went out and got Glass Sword. No pain, no torturous wait. My book hangover could continue into the next novel in hopes of some kind recovery. HAHAHAHA. NOPE. It was like being run over by a bus. But that review will come later. Let’s talk Red Queen.
One of the reasons I couldn’t continue this book a year ago was because of the insanely boring beginning. Reading it again, I almost abandoned it a second time!! It wasn’t exciting enough and I understand that we needed a little foundation about the character and the world before jumping right into the action, but that was just maddening. Really tough for me to turn pages, but once I got through…uhh..maybe 1/8 of the book, I really got into it. I’m talking, eyes glued to the pages, I will kill people if you tear me away from this book kind of experience. It was an addicting read!!
“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that.
The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”
Mare is a one of a kind character. She is unforgettable. Her voice and her character just lure you into the story and the world where your blood rules who you are, and what you do. I really can’t get over her voice. I have so many quotes bookmarked and recorded because they just speak volumes about her and the novel. She’s so poetic and honest that I can’t help but be her undying subject. Mare must become a Silver princess, but she has Red blood and Silver abilities. She’s dangerous, and she’s thrown into a life where she can’t tell what is truth and what is fantasy. Her heart is at odds with her brain, and she questions her own loyalty. She is the perfect anti-hero. She’s unreliable; she’s balancing between kindness and cruelty. She is an amazing character. There is superb complexity and depth to her that I can’t get enough of.
Two princes. Two love interests. Two choices. Many identities. Maven and Cal. I was totally Team Cal from the beginning, and really liked the new take on the love triangle aspect (well, as creative as one can make it…It’s a love triangle for crying out loud!!). Seriously, I hated the love triangle, but I couldn’t help but appreciate the cleverness of it. Maven and Cal were equally intriguing characters. Love the character foil that Aveyard expertly initiated: Maven being an evil bastard, and Cal being his victim. So many masks, so many what-ifs and so. many. plot twists!! Ahhh! And when the masks finally came off and the secrets finally revealed, I was in complete shock. I had suspicions, which I ignored mind you, but I really wasn’t expecting any of that to happen.
“Cal emerges, this time fully dressed in plain clothes. After a moment, I realized it’s the same thing he wore the night I met him. I can’t believe I didn’t see him for what he was from the beginning: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And now I’m the sheep pretending to be a wolf.”
Now, completely going in a whole new direction with this review, but can we please just fawn over the covers?! The covers for both Red Queen and Glass Sword (and the shorts!!) are just wickedly captivating! The crowns and the blood have so much symbolism that only those who have read the novels can fully appreciate them. But you know, if you haven’t read them, appreciate them, then GO READ THEM!
Victoria Aveyard is a master at storytelling. She knows what we readers like, what we need, and what we will never expect. I wanted to drown in this mysterious, dark, haunting novel. Aveyard pulled at my heart-strings then completely blindsided me into oblivion and horror. I’ve never been so embedded in a story before Red Queen. I wholeheartedly trusted, and was betrayed by the second. That sounds terrible, but as a book nerd I say: Bring It On. I loved it all: the plot, Mare, the Silvers’ abilities, the rebellion. ALL OF IT.
Red Queen is a dark, bewitching debut about the consequences when worlds collide. It follows a girl whom readers can’t fully rely on, but she has such a mesmerizing voice that readers can’t help put be pulled into her story of danger, betrayal and lies. I have a new favourite series and there is no question on why that is.
Keep calm and read on,