Monday, 24 August 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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.

I don't know where to begin with this... I loved this book - five stars love. And that's coming from someone who tends to shy away from dystopian/fantasy books. Now because these kinds of books aren't regular reads of mine, I think that is why I didn't find Red Queen to be generic or even similar to other books of its kind, as I know some other readers of the book have.

Told from a first person perspective, we follow Mare, a citizen of Norta, who finds herself transported from a mere Red commoner to Silver royalty after a rare incident in which she reveals herself to be far more than just a lowly Red street thief.

What follows is a tale weaved from love, friendship, morals, deception and a whole lot more, resulting in a twisted betrayal that I really and truly didn't see coming!

The Kingdom of Norta is only a miniscule portion of the world created by Victoria Aveyard. Complex and ruled by a hierarchy; the Silvers reigning over the Reds, ruling the way in which they live, leaving the Reds serving the Silvers. With this kind of system in place it's only a matter of time before a rebellion is on the cards... And that time is now.

Running alongside the uprising is Mare attempting to fit in to the Silver palace and play the role of soon to be Silver princess. Betrothed to the second son of the King, Mare is trying to understand and come to terms with who she is whilst keeping her identity under wraps, follow a strict daily schedule set by the royals, resist feelings of love for someone other than her soon to be husband, Maven, and avoid the Queen's deadly wrath - it's no easy feat.

As a narrator Mare is easy to read and engaging, really pulling you in to the story with description, emotion and words that keep you page turning. The author has a powerful way with words and ends chapters in just the right place, leaving you wanting to know more, needing to know where this all leads to.

Like I mentioned above, Victoria Aveyard has created quite the world within Red Queen, but even better than the world building (which I still want to know more of, and I hope to see development come next book) is the character progression. Journey is a cheesy word, but there are a number of characters within Red Queen who are on individual journeys, and it's easy to forget that these people with such power and responsibility are just teenagers - that's Mare, Maven and Cal, next in line to the throne of Norta.

Mare's journey is obviously the most prominent as we directly follow her, but the two princes are just as important, with Maven being the one you need to keep a close eye on. The loyalty which they both possess is admirable as well as the care they show for their loved ones; although brothers Cal and Maven appear to be very different from one another, with their blood and their power being the glaring similarity.

How I've got through this review without mentioning the powers I do not know. What sets the Silvers apart from the Reds is powers of varying kinds; they are able to manipulate certain things such as fire, water, metal, and even minds. And that's how Mare falls in to the world of the Silver's - by possessing a power. Mare is a Red with the power of a Silver, Mare is rare and wrong all at the same time. The powers are portrayed in various ways, but when in the arena the powers are put to the test and those circumstances were my favourite to read as the author writes the characters and their power amazingly, you see them thrive and flourish.

Wrapping up this review, the ending of Red Queen was quite something, and I'm devastated that I have goodness knows how many months left until the second book in the series is released. What did cheer me up though is that I learnt on Goodreads, confirmed by the author, that the rights to Red Queen have been sold for film adaptation - I'm excited by this as the book is very visual when reading and I thought to myself on multiple occasions how amazing the book would be in film format.



  1. Hello!:) Your blog is lovely! Just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

  2. I'm really excited for the movie!! I didn't love the book a lot, though, sadly, because I've read SUCH a lot of dystopians and this felt like a rehash of a lot of them. But I looooved the plot twists at the end. Omg, I did NOT see most of them coming. So exciting. :D
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. I'm glad to have discovered Red Queen with minimal knowledge of other dystopian novels... I can see what people mean by it being similar to other books within the genre (from overviews I know of other books).

      Yes - the plot twists! I love a good curve ball thrown in!

  3. I'm wary of dystopians too. There are just so many of them and some of them are just not very good...I will have to add this one to my tbr list, though!

    1. I agree, Lindsey. If you get round to reading Red Queen I hope you enjoy it!


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