Review: Red Queen
Title: Red Queen
Series: Red Queen #1
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date Published: February 10th 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
This book followed Mare’s journey as she goes from a life as a Red – one of the oppressed lower class – to a Silver, one of the people she has always hated.
I really enjoyed this book, It had a divided society with an unfair class system based on nothing more than blood, so I really felt this was an important thing to be explored and the author really went to the extremes (for a YA) to show us how poorly Reds were treated. I loved that the author gave an insight into both versions of life, this was done excellently through Mare. And for Mare, everything had changed, she was now a Red but with silver abilities? This throws everything off, including Mare. She thought she knew who she was but now has to pretend to be friendly with the very people she’s despised her whole life. And quite to her shock, she finds that some of them are actually human and she finds herself liking them more than she should.
I loved Mare as a character, she was strong-willed and tough but also had her vulnerabilities. I loved seeing her explore her powers and see what life was like as a Silver. She kept to her morals even if she had to hide them and made some monumental decisions, that will no doubt change to course of their history. I loved that she decided to work with the Red Guard and really enjoyed her interactions with them and discovering the lengths she and others would go to. This also gave us a great set of characters to enjoy.
I liked both Maven and Cal and enjoyed all of their scenes. I found myself wanting to yell at them both to make a different decision sometimes, but this just made me more invested in them and their lives. They clearly both had a lot of unspoken anger and hurt over things concerning family and the world and seeing how they interacted was very interesting as it gave us an insight into their lives and their wants/desires.
I thought the plot was great but a little predictable, however, I think it set up the rest of the series really well. The ending was a surprise and I really felt for the characters – I cannot wait to see what happens next based on the changes and revelations that happened.
With a focus on oppressed people needing liberation, this was a great start to a series, full of intrigue, betrayal, heartbreak, and plot twists. I can’t wait to dive into the next book.
Rating: 4 Stars