Published by: Harper Teen
Published on: February 10, 2015
Series: Red Queen #1
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian
I have heard mixed reviews on this series, mainly that it is not very original and is many popular YA novels in one and because of this I was hesitant on reading it. I have to say that they were right it wasn’t a very original story but I did find it entertaining.
Red Queen is about Mare Barrow and she lives in a world that is divided by blood, the silvers and the reds. The silvers being the elites of society and reds are the impoverished of society, there is no in-between. The silver bloods are elite because they have supernatural powers
Mare and her family happen to be of red blood and struggle to survive. Mare only skill is to pick pocket, to help support her family. Since, she does not have a skill and hasn’t apprenticed for someone she will be conscripted in to war at 18, which is coming soon. She has accepted this as her fate but Mare’s world changes when she unleashes a dormant power and because she reveals this power in front of the royal court, the king and queen decide to cover up the fact that a red has a supernatural power by telling the world that she is a long-lost silver princess. Mare goes along with it only if her family and friend are well taken care of.
Since Mare is truly a red she can’t forget where she comes from and decides to join the Scarlet Guard and assist in the rebellion.
Since, I did not have high expectations for this book I think I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. It was a fast-paced and an action-packed read that was entertaining from beginning to end.
Some of the issues that I did have with this book though is I thought that the world building was underdeveloped. I would have liked to have had a map to refer to when she was mentioning each of the other cities and countries or whatever they were. I think having a map would have let me have a better visual of the world. I also did not understand why there was a war between the neighbouring countries, I know it is over food and water. There are greeny silvers that can manipulate the plants and earth, you would think they wouldn’t have any problems with growing food and nymph silvers that can manipulate water. I suspect that this war is just one big farce to keep the reds in line and so they don’t rebel or maybe for population control.
Victoria Aveyard has a simplistic writing style that works well for this book and I did enjoy her writing. There is lots of dialogue and things are described in a straightforward manner. Which I think might be why I had a little trouble visualizing the world, I am hoping that in the next book the world will explained better. Her writing did make for a fast-paced read though.
I liked Mare Barrow as a character and liked her loyalty to her family and best friend Kilorn. She doesn’t have a skill and all she can do to help support her family is to pick-pocket from people. She does have this bitterness to her and I do understand why she is so bitter and why hates the silvers, since she grew up the way she did and having to be forced to go to war when she turns 18.
There is a little bit of a love triangle in this book but the romance does take a back seat to the action. She is betrothed to Prince Maven but initially likes Prince Cal and she ends up being torn between the two. I was rooting for Cal and could see right through Maven. I hope that the romance develops in the next book the way that I want it too.
There is a major plot twist at the end of this and part of it I was expecting and one part was shocking and reminded me something out of A Game of Thrones. The one aspect of the plot twist was heavily foreshadowed so the betrayal was not as shocking for me.
I liked this book and will be continuing on with the series. My rating for Red Queen is 3.5 stars. I would recommend this to anyone who likes fast-paced, plot driven books.