The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the Earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”

official blurb
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.

my blurb!
X-Men powers in a dystopian world.  Red bloods are powerless, silver bloods hold all of the super powers. Or so we think, until Mare is discovered to have powers AND red blood (dum dum dum…) Hang with her as she is forced to deceive the world and pretend she actually has silver blood.  Better hope she doesn’t get cut…

3.5 stars

what i didn't like
Why is Mare the world’s best girl? Maven, Cal, and Kilorn are all obsessed with her. We know she’s not particularly pretty by the way she describes herself in the book. And the whole thing is from her perspective so we also know that she’s not a charmer. What am I missing…?
I’m surprised I like this series bc mare kind of sucks. Like a paragraph of her thinking and then an italicized succinct thought. That sums up mare pretty easily. Don’t believe me? Here’s a random excerpt from the book.

“That sends a new stab of fear through me. If I’m captured, if I tell them what little I know – what will they do to my family? to Kilorn? To the Stilts?
They cannot catch me.”

what i liked
Regardless the series (even upon rereading this book in prep for book 4) holds something in it. It’s not completely original but it’s still fresh. It’s world building is realistic and you can feel the weight of oppression the reds have to bear. The characters are written well and the twists aren’t predictable – you know there is going to be a twist, but you don’t know what it’s going to be.

If you’re into dystopian tales this would be enjoyable for you .  If you hate love triangles or squares, like me, you can make it through this book and still enjoy it. It just makes it a little less amazing.

while reading you should
Eat: grapes (it just seems like something the luxurious silvers would be eating)
Watch: The Gladiator (Watch is a strong term. Maybe watch the trailer)
Listen to: Jolene (I like the Miley Cyrus cover myself but feel free to go full on Dolly Parton)

if you would like to buy
Click here.

DuxSignature smallercopy
Keep reading to read guest blogger’s, Hawk, review of this book!

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.

4 out of 5

The Red Queen has been on my To Read list for years. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read it, but now that I have, I can’t believe I’ve been missing out all these years!

*Some spoilers ahead*

This book was a new twist on a rags-to-riches story. Mare Barrow thinks she’s received the opportunity of a lifetime when she receives a job that will keep her family fed and the electricity on. But something happens that brings her to the attention of the Silvers–a class of people responsible for sending her brothers to war and crippling her sister. That “something” starts Mare on a path of love and betrayal and courage.

Now, this isn’t normally the case, but I think my favorite character was actually Cal, the Crown Prince who met Mare in disguise and got her the job in the palace. He wants to do the right thing for his kingdom, though Mare (and maybe we readers) think he has it wrong. But Cal cares deeply, and it was actually more heartbreaking for me to see him realize he was betrayed than it was to see Mare betrayed.

In the forthcoming books, I’m excited to learn more about how Mare, and others with abilities like hers, came to be in this world divided by Red and Silver blood. I’m also dying to see how Cal copes with his new existence, and I hope Mare doesn’t let him down. I’m sure there will be some love-triangle like tension between Mare, Cal, and Kilorn, but I hope Mare makes the right decision (hint: not Kilorn). I also can’t wait to get to know Mare’s brother Shade, and learn more about his own ability.

All in all, solid read! Very excited to finally check it off my list, and get moving onto the next book of the series!



6 thoughts on “The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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