15 May 2018

Review - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

I  think the hype around Red Queen is well-deserved. The book is a solid fantasy that transports the reader to a cruel world where the colour of people's blood decides about their place in the social hierarchy, since it renders them weak or strong from the moment they're born.

When Mare Barrow finds out she is special, she realizes her exceptional state can serve the Red cause. Only by that time she is involuntarily put on display at the Silver Court where the Royal Family does everything they can to hide her 'otherness'. A power play begins that shatters families and turns hearts.

Red Queen would have been a very quick read for me had I not signed up for a scheduled read-along that featured this title. The story pulls you in and you want to know what happens next. There are quite a few twists and turns along the way; there was a part towards the end that left me kinda shocked because it put Mare and Cal (the crown prince love interest no. 1) in an entirely unexpected situation.

I loved how varied silver powers were in the story. They were like superpowers and they came in all shapes and kinds: someone could temper with nature, others could control metal or force people's mind to yield to them. These powers were amply used in the story for a myriad of purposes good and bad. I found that creative.

The politics are intriguing. Silvers are desperate to hold onto power but Reds even without abilities are able to scare their overlords. I can't wait to see if later they'll manage to weaken the evil royals' grasp on the realm.

You cannot help but care for the characters and you'll find yourself trying to put yourself in their shoes. I found Cal especially fascinating because he struggles between two sides all the time and I myself couldn't figure out what I'd have done had I been in his place.

There are truly spiteful characters as well, like the Queen and Evangeline, Cal's betrothed. You'll love to hate them, I'm sure.

The story is rich, the characters make an impression, the world building is superb and I was not bored for one minute when I was reading this book. What's more to ask? I do recommend it to every fantasy-lover!


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