Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published on February 10, 2015 by Orion
Genres Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy on Amazon http://amzn.to/1QPDrti
Red Queen is based around the main character of Mare Barrow. Mare lives in a world divided by blood, red or silver. The Silvers are the rulers, the elite, while the Reds are commoners, peasants. The Silvers also possess superpowers ranging from control the elements to mind control. Their superpowers are called “abilities”. Mare is a 17 year Red, from the Stilts, a poor city on the outskirts of the King’s summer palace. A random act of kindness from a stranger one night lands her a job at the palace, where she discovers that although her blood is red, she possesses abilities herself. In an attempt to hide what she is, the Silver royal family tries to hide her by declaring her a long lost Silver princess and announcing that she is engaged to a prince. Mare becomes involved with the Red Guard, a resistant group rising up against the Silver elite. Even though she knows that one mistake could expose her and cost her life, she enters a world where no one can be trusted and where betrayal is everywhere.
I was sightly reluctant to read this book at first, but I was wrong. After the first chapter I loved it and it reminds me of a mix of Game of Thrones, Divergent and The Hunger Games. But it works. We meet Mare while she is working as a pick pocket trying to support her family the only way she knows how. Without giving anything away, she meets someone who I think pities her situation and arranges for her to become a servant at the palace, rather than being forced to join the army. Before she leaves we learn all about her family and what they have been through. Once at the palace, an accident causes her to realize that she has abilities of her own. The Silver royal family cannot let people know that she is Red, but possesses abilities, same as the Silvers, so they try to hide her in plain sight. The announce to the Silver elite and the world that she is a long lost princess from an elite Silver family. They then announce her engagement to the the youngest prince, Maven. Mare has already met the older prince and first Heir to the throne, Cal and found herself to have an immediate attraction to him. As the story progresses, Mare becomes involved with the Scarlet Guard, a Red resistance army trying to bring down the Silvers, which eventually comes to a breaking point.
I really enjoyed this book and there were actually two plot twists that I didn’t see coming at all and I usually can pick them up. The author impressed me in that way. I enjoyed Aveyard’s writing, like I mentioned, it reminds me of a mix of Game of Thrones, Divergent and Hunger Games. I like that in some of her writing, she seems to mix the old with the new. The Silvers live in a world full of great technology, but they travel by boat and the author makes a reference to Cal’s “nightclothes”. Again, it works. I thought all of the characters were pretty well developed, from Mare’s family and her friend Kilorn, to the Silver royal family. If you are a fan of Divergent or The Hunger Games or really any similar dystopian/fantasy books, I believe you will enjoy this book as well. It is the first in a series, the second book, Glass Sword, was just released, as was a much shorter novella called Cruel Queen. I also recommend buying the hardcover edition of these books, they are beautiful inside and out.