A royal fantasy with zap…
No. of pages: 383
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 nobels, 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’ received a lot of hype on BookTube, but thankfully, I ignored most of it and went into this novel fresh. I think if I’d had high expectations I would have been disappointed, but as luck would have it, I really enjoyed this fantasy adventure by Victoria Aveyard. This felt like ‘The Selection Series’ and ‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’ had a baby…
Mare was cute and spunky. I liked her tenacity. At times the narrative got a little immature and pulled me from the story, but on the whole Mare maintained an air of innocence and conviction. Some of her relationships change, and one in particular felt too convenient for the sake of the plot, and I would have liked to see her struggle a bit more with her feelings… but given that she didn’t know who to trust it was a fine line to walk. Viewing the world through her eyes also had me shaking my head at the behaviour of the Silvers – I still am not quite in acceptance of why they chose the actions they did… but it’s just my brain working overtime on different characters motivations. Her ability is certainly fantastic, but later in the book some of the descriptions on how she used it come too easy, I would have liked to read more on a slow (and maybe troublesome) development.
The eldest Prince, Cal was the most interesting character. We see him conflicted and remaining true to his heritage. I love how Aveyard kept his faults and used them as strengths. His younger brother, Maven had a great story line that kept me on the edge of my seat.
While the writing is eloquent and pleasant to read, the characters were slightly flat. Though, this is only a very small (and personal) issue and did not detract from my enjoyment of ‘Red Queen.’ I was surprised, I got all the feels, and agree this is a great escape. I had no issue with the pacing, there is plenty going on to keep your interest page to page, and it is definitely a title I’d recommend to friends. I’m keen to get ‘Glass Sword’ next year, but am also purchasing the two novellas combined in ‘Cruel Crown’ that take place before and after ‘Red Queen’ to add to my collection.
Overall feeling: *nodding*
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