September 8, 2014

e-ARC Review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 400
Format: E-ARC
Genre: YA
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into 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 her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

Red Queen was one of my most anticipated books of 2014 and my request for it on Edelweiss was thankfully approved. I had no idea what other people were saying about it but just by the cover and description I knew I had to read it. It was so good that I couldn't tear myself away from it and finished it in a few hours. Red Queen is one of the best books I've read in 2014 so far and has earned a spot in my top 20 2014 books.

The settings and world-building were fairly interesting with poor villages on one side and different, modern cities and places for the rich on the other. The way these places were built was what intrigued me the most, especially where in one area you could control the whole country from. The Reds (people with red blood) have to live in small "villages" and are slaves to the Silvers (people with silver blood that each have a type of power) in all but name. The Reds are loaded with labor and get almost no reprieve while the Silvers lay back and get whatever they want. The differences between these two "types" of people aren't that big yet there is a stark difference in living conditions and lifestyles. One thing I was missing was a backstory to how the Silvers became Silvers and how the two kind of people got separated. There were bits and pieces throughout the book but not nearly enough. If the world is this interesting in Red Queen then I can only imagine how the sequel will play out.

There were a wide range of characters in Red Queen, partially due to the two types of people. Depending on their power and social class each persons personality changed. For example Cal and Maven, both princes and brothers with the same powers were like complete opposites of each other. Mare, the main character is a person with red blood and therefore living in poverty. She was in my opinion the best character in Red Queen. She experiences drastic changes to her life and while she does struggle with it, ultimately stays true to who she is. From losing her family to pretending to be someone else I'd say she faces it all. Despite that Red Queen was the latest book to feature a love triangle and Mare was right at the center of it. She was "ordered" to marry Mavin but then started having feelings for both him and his brother, Cal. However, by the end of the story the triangle was resolved and so it didn't detract too much from the book for me. This might be Victoria Aveyard's first published novel but her characters seemed as if they were written by a veteran writer.

I'm not sure if Red Queen will have a sequel or be part of a trilogy but after the ending I'm hoping it will be. The moment I saw the cover for Red Queen I knew it would be a book I loved and now that it's been proven I would recommend it to everyone. Red Queen is perfect for people who like fantasy, superpowers, and well-written characters.

              5/5 - Amazing book

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