This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
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.
Many things led to this day, for all of us. A forgotten son, a vengeful mother, a brother with a long shadow, a strange mutation. Together, they’ve written a tragedy.
There were quite a few negative reviews about Red Queen and it almost made me skip this. But this book being an award winner, I simply just can’t resist my curiosity. I wanted to know why this series is so popular! And while I have few issues with it, I also find it highly enjoyable. Thank heavens I was curious.
“You are not Silver. Your parents are Red, you are Red, and your blood is red,” the queen murmurs, prowling before the bars of my cage. “You are a miracle, Mare Barrow, an impossibility. Something even I can’t understand, and I have seen all of you.”
I think I understand a bit where those low ratings are coming from. To be honest the twist was quite predictable. Aveyard has given me too many clues. Just too many clues to uncover the real villain, the hidden evil plot. It kind of ruined the shock and surprise factor. It felt like this was too easy but I loved it anyway. I loved the adventure, the fight, and the idea of it.
“Part of me wishes I could submit to chains, to captivity and silence. But I have lived that life already, in the mud, in the shadows, in a cell, in a silk dress. I will never submit again. I will never stop fighting.”
The story takes us to the world of Mare Barrow, a simple Red girl who accidentally fell into the Silver Queenstrial arena, and in the process, awakened some strange power inside her that no Red should possess. Soon after, Mare found herself trapped in the hands of the Silvers, forced to pretend as one of them, suddenly betrothed to the second prince (Maven), playing a dangerous game of royal politics.
“In the stories, the old fairy tales, a hero comes. But all my heroes are gone or dead. No one is coming for me.”
Mare is “rare, dangerous, and powerfull” as the author puts it but I’m not really convinced that she is. Granted, she’s unique but she’s not badass enough. Well, Farley is a badass, which makes her my favorite character at the moment. Give Farley a Red ability and she would certainly be better than the heroine.
“You believe you are the masters of the world but your reign as kings and gods is at an end. Until you recognize us as human, as equal, the fight will be at your door. Not on a battlefield, but in your cities. In your streets. In your homes. You don’t see us, and so we are everywhere.” Her voice hums with authority and poise. “And we will rise up, Red as the dawn.”
I just looove the Scarlet Guard. They’re like this little mystery. Who were its members? Who leads them? How strong were its numbers? They’re definitely a part of why I’m giving this a four star rating.
The romance is minimal (since I don’t think Mare’s relationship with Maven counts). Cal and Mare’s attraction towards each other is a bit rushed. But they have a love/hate relationship that’s pretty interesting. They are clearly caught between loving each other or staying loyal to their colors.
There was a lot of chaos, a rebellion, and politics that this book has chosen to focus on instead of building a strong relation between Cal and Mare. But of course, there’s a promise of a better relationship between the two in the second installment. And a promise of more bloodbath as well.
This book did live up to the hype sorrounding it. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long before picking this up. Now I’m hoping the next installments will be as good.