This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
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 a twist of fate brings her before the Silver court. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly ability of her own.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the king hides in plain view: betrothed to his youngest son. Trapped, Mare decides to use her new position to bring down the regime – from the inside.
But this is a game of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.
I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this book considering it has been EVERYWHERE. I grabbed it because I recognised the title and actually thought it was some kind of Wonderland retelling (only slightly disappointed that wasn’t the case). The thing is, with the title, and the amount of hype surrounding this book, I read it with a lot more scepticism than most.
I’m pretty happy it (mostly) lived up to the hype. The blurb gives probably the most accurate break down I’ve seen in a long time. There’s the poor, and there’s the wealthy. The wealthy have powers, the poor don’t. But of course one little poor girl (Mare) is an anomaly who actually does have awesome powers. There’s a love triangle (really more of a square but I didn’t believe one of those corners for a second), and off the pages of the book there’s some kind of war going on.
One of the many great things about Red Queen is how alive the characters are. They all have their own little quirks and habits and identities that go way beyond, “my MC is a loveable klutz”. Mare is set up from the first chapter as being quick and sneaky (she’s a pick pocket) and I would have liked to see these skills being put to better use as the book went on.
Cal, Maven, Evangeline, Gisa and Kilorn are all secondary characters who were great to read. They did a lot of things you wouldn’t expect rather than the cardboard cut-out types, and they were consistent to the end.
And what an ending! It was a lot of fun to read. High action and emotion which happen to be the most perfect combo (to me).
Now, there was a lot of awesome, but there were a few things I wasn’t totally on board with. Firstly, the whole Spiral Garden thing, I couldn’t see it. I still have no idea what that place is meant to look like, no matter how many times I reread that part. From there until just past mid-way in the book, Mare’s spunk kind of disappears for a bit. It does come back which was a relief but I would have liked to see more, especially when it came to her hatred for the Silvers because I didn’t buy it. Lastly, I wish the massive twist everyone was going on about had surprised me. I guess this isn’t so much Aveyard’s writing as me being able to pick up on these stupid things. I know the exact line that made me realise what was coming, too. To be fair, as the book went on I was very nearly convinced I was wrong, but nope. There was a lot about the ending that I found predictable but I loved reading it all the same.
The movie rights to Red Queen have been sold too, and I really think it will make a great adaptation.
I’ll definitely pick up the sequel when it comes along. I’m just praying that it doesn’t follow the typical trope of MC having to choose between poor, motivated childhood friend, or the powerful, but kind royal. (Because the royal ALWAYS wins, *sigh*)
Worth a read.