Series: Red Queen #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 26, 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into 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 her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.
Blood is spilled. Hearts are crushed.
I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the whimpering state this book has left me in, and I’m afraid this review will be a bit rambly due to feels. Major case of the feels.
I was probably one of the first ones to read this so I didn’t really have anything to be wary of. The synopsis sounded fascinating, the cover was sleek and gorgeous, and I’d been waiting on it for maybe six months before I read it. Still, there’s always that niggling doubt. What if it’s not as good as I hope it is?
The beginning was slow, I’ll give it that. There was less ass kicking and more relationship developing, but I didn’t mind–because it was a heartwrenching thing. Before I was 5% in, Aveyard decided to throw her characters under the bus and to have emotions for a character that quickly? Talk about a record. I couldn’t love Mare’s relationships with her family and friends more and when it came near the end, let me just say my heart broke. But more on that later.
If there’s one thing in fantasy that I love, it’s political intrigue, and this one had a lot of it. Rebellions, jealousy, and conspiracies roam the halls of this silver castle and I couldn’t adore it more. Mare most definitely had to watch her back in this world…and what a world it was! Victoria Aveyard does a fantastic job bringing this world to life with several royal houses, different powers, and my favorite thing of all: the battles. Each noble (or at least teen nobles) used their silver blooded gifts to fight each other and…well they were pretty much the most badass thing I’d ever read. (To Mare, they were bloodthirsty vicious shows of power though…does that mean I’m a bad person?) All the different houses, colors, alliances, power shifts, and gifts in general just weaved together to create this absolutely spectacular world. (But oh my gosh, those battles. Okay, sorry, moving on.)
Although, on the subject of magical battles, let’s talk about the plot, which was absolutely amazing. There was s light lull in the middle, but otherwise the book was filled with either etiquette and dancing (the swoony kind) or fighting and betrayal. Basically? There was rarely a dull moment and I finished this book in one smooth sitting. (Not so smooth. The world was rocked by my squeals and cries.) There are more than a few heartbreaking scenes in this book, and Red Queen will take you from gloating over a villain to crying for our heroine.
Of course, there is romance, and while it seemed like it for some of the book, it’s not the sole focus of our attention. I can’t really say anything else except my gut instinct was absolutely right and that I’m evidently silver blooded since I’m now psychic. Although even that couldn’t have prepared me for what Aveyard had in plan for readers. (She had heartbreak planned guys. Heartbreak.)
Written with extraordinary skill and detail, Red Queen is a must read for fans of fantasy and even those who aren’t. Aveyard takes a typically woven about topic and twists it for her own nefarious purposes and creates a story that’s both beautiful and heart wrenching to read, where defeat isn’t quite so fictional, and blood is more than a dividing factor.
In other words?