Author: Victoria Aveyard
Book: Red Queen
Book in series: book 1 in the RED QUEEN series
Publisher: Orion and HarperCollins
Release date: February 10th 2015
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play 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, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
Victoria Aveyard’s character development is really something to be in awe at. Mare is transformed into a completely different person from the beginning to the end, but thankfully she doesn’t loose the part of her that made us fall for her. This is something that is actually mentioned in the book which we liked as it made us feel like we were on the same wavelength as the characters. Lots of protagonists in these sorts of books can sometimes start acting or thinking in a way that sounds like a fully grown adult, maybe because of the author being an adult themselves. Luckily, Mare didn’t do this too often, however there were still times when we thought that she was having to grow up too fast. This may have been deliberate to show the effect that the society has on her, but it can make it harder to relate to Mare.
Normally in YA dystopias we find the whole obsession with love slightly irritating and love triangles even more so. RED QUEEN really surprised us with a very tasteful romance between Mare, Cal and Maven which (thankfully!) didn’t make us cringe once – this is always a good sign for us. Instead of the usual “heroine-needs-saving-and-is-torn-between-the-two-hot-guys-who-are-both-completely-and-utterly-in-love-with-her”
scenario, we instead see a steadily evolving friendship between them, that is
only slightly suggested to be something more. Also, the story is more focussed
on friendship and betrayal rather than love, and the romance aspect didn’t
take over the whole story, so it definitely stood out to us.
One of the things we really loved was how the
story was unpredictable for most of the book. We read a lot of dystopias and most of
the time it can be pretty easy to guess at what will happen, so when a book
like this keeps us in the dark, it really makes it memorable. Having said this,
there were times when we felt the story became quite rushed. This meant that
some of the new characters were dismissed into the background blur of the
story, whilst others merged into other existing characters. Also, there was a
obvious split between the characters; the good and the evil. Yes, some
characters did fall into both of these categories, but there was a lack of
middle ground between them, so we didn’t feel the complexity of characters that
As this book is about people possessing supernatural abilities, it made it slightly difficult to be able to relate the he characters as in the real world where we don’t actually have powers (that we know of…) This meant that at times the story became quite separated as we weren’t able to connect fully to the story. We would have liked to have seen more character development from some of the other characters such as Farley or her family, but it leaves room for the sequel to explore. Speaking of which, RED QUEEN paved the way brilliantly for GLASS SWORD with one of the biggest plot twists we have ever seen. We won’t be forgetting that one in a hurry. We genuinely cannot wait to share GLASS SWORD with you, it is definitely worth the wait. Our review for GLASS SWORD will be coming your way soon.Age recommendation – YA