Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood — those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play 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 everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard — a growing Red rebellion — even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
I was excited to read Red Queen from the moment I saw the cover. I have to admit, though, the setting was not what I expected. I was really looking forward to a sort of medieval kingdom fantasy, but what I got was something like a blend of Game of Thrones, X-Men and The Hunger Games. Red Queen is several genres rolled into one — which wasn’t bad, don’t get me wrong. My main problem with this was that because of the chaste society, noble families, palaces and frilly dresses, I kept picturing olden times but then I’d think, “Hey, where did these cameras and guns come from? Oh, yeah … this is future dystopian.” If I’d gone into the book realizing that, it probably wouldn’t have thrown me or bothered me as much. Oh, well.
Besides all that, Aveyard’s writing style is nothing less than stunning. I’ve never experienced such emotion and imagery in so few words. It’s truly worth the read just to get to know her voice.
Readers will enjoy this story for the sassy, gritty heroine; forbidden romance; love triangle, and vast array of superpowers. The plot is slow at times, but littered with twists. Most I saw coming from chapter three, but one completely blew me off the page. The ending was addicting. I couldn’t have ripped my eyes off the page even if my house was on fire. But it frustrated me that the author didn’t take advantage of tying in critical symbolism that coincides with the title of the next book. Also, I found the final conclusion of part one to be textbook stereotypical of a dystopian series.
If you can get past a few minor swear words and YA cliches, you will thoroughly enjoy this cross-genre world.
Rated: Mild. Fantasy and war-type violence, passionate kissing, and a few minor swear words.