Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard


Title:  Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins 2/10/15
Length: 322 pages
Series: Red Queen #1


Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

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.

My Thoughts

I don’t know why it took me so long to read thins since it’s actually a good story – but it did.  I had to pick up and put it down a few times over the past few weeks and i’m still trying to sort it out.

just like the description tells us, we have an interesting mix of Graceling where there are folks that have these magical powers and The Selection – where the 2 Princes have to choose their princesses through a variety of performances.  It’s interesting to see the two mix, and it’s not until we see something very strange happen that really shifts what people’s expectations were to be on the choosing.

The other piece to back up a bit is that we’re immersed in a society where there are the Silvers – who are these people that have extra powers, and their blood of course is silver.  They have abilities to heal, amazing strength, can create fire, control minds / metals etc.  Then there are the Reds who are common folks – they are the ones that are living paycheck to paycheck, they are the folks that do all the labor and hard work and live in semi squalor.

We meet Mare who’s a Red, but who after getting captured and demonstrates a weird ability of her own becomes a ‘faux silver’ in order to protect her while the royals protect themselves.  In addition to being taken in by the royals, she’s also become the betrothed to one of the princes, and that makes things even more complicated.

The path that this story takes us on is complicated since we see things unraveling at a fast pace.  we quickly find that there’s a secret rebel army that Mare becomes a bit of a player in – because she’s on the inside.  We also see that one of the royals, Maven (her betrothed prince) is also working to help the rebels, and where that will go is still to be determined.

What i love about this story as well is that you get a little bit of a love triangle, Mare’s entangled with both princes a bit, and i think that we’ve still yet to see who’s going to come out as the winner.  the other thing is that we’re slowly learning the truth behind the deaths of a lot of questionable folks, and that in itself is a great story.

So where we’re left off after the end of this first installment, there’s so much up in the air and we don’t yet know who’s on what side and what that will all mean.  I’m glad that i came across this first book in the series though since i feel like we get a great intro into a world where there’s clearly a big divide just based on the type of blood that folks have, and you really can’t say for sure which is the better side to be on.  There’s a lot of strong characters that you want to root for and you learn that some that you hated aren’t so bad and vice versa.  Mare is one of my favs since she seems really strong, yet she’s not the teen angsty type girl that we’ve encountered a lot in the genre.  The other piece is that there are quite a few male leads that really contribute a lot to the series.  Maven seems like the brother in the shadows yet the one that will stand out for one reason or another.  Cal who is the guy that Mare met in the shadows one night only to learn later that he’s a prince and well, i feel like he’s quickly going to become a favorite of mine.  Then there’s Killorn who is the guy from Mare’s past that i feel like has a romantic quality yet i don’t know if that’s meant to be.  So on that note – we’ll have to wait a bit for installment #2, but i’m definitely looking forward to it.  Happy Wednesday all!