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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Book: Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Publisher: Orion
Release Date February 10th, 2015

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...

I’ve been hearing so much about this book lately, and I was afraid that the hype was going to completely overthrow my opinion of and feelings toward it. Thankfully, the hype was totally deserved! This book was epic. There were strong, independent, extremely likable characters, an interesting setting with a unique premise, and you were constantly wondering what was going to happen. 

Red Queen is set in a world where its people are divided. There are the Reds, who are commoners who live normal everyday lives; low income jobs, struggles to pay bills and feed their families. Then there are Silvers, who think very highly of themselves and have lords, ladies, nobles, and a royal monarch. They also possess special powers such as telekinesis, super strength, control of fire, water, etc. This makes them think of themselves are much more important than the Reds, who don’t have any powers. The biggest divide between Reds and Silvers? The colour of their blood. Reds have red blood, while Silvers have silver blood.

Mare, our protagonist, is a Red, attempting to survive in her small town village by stealing from unsuspecting townsfolk. With her older brothers away at war, and her younger sister already working, Mare struggles to find a place in her family. However, this all changes when Mare attempts to steal from one unsuspecting person leaving the local bar. But when this stranger catches her in the act, Mare’s predictable little life is suddenly changed forever. After being given a job in the palace due to one stranger’s small act of kindness, Mare suddenly discovers she’s a lot more than just another Red working for the Silvers. She’s uniquely special in that she has powers just like the Silvers do: she can control electricity. But when the King discovers Mare’s powers, he attempts to hide her by keeping her locked in the castle under his watchful eye. And this is where Mare has to learn to live in a world she doesn’t know, and play a game she doesn’t understand.

And it was amazing to read! While it started off slow, once we took off, we were FLYING. If you were to ask me to define the word “unputdownable”, this is the book I would present as my example.

Mare was a great character. She had a good head on her shoulders, she was independent, and she knew when to keep quiet and when she could speak out. All she wanted was what was best for her people, and she was willing to do whatever she could to achieve that. She reminded me a lot of Katniss from the Hunger Games. She gets really close to the two princes in the palace, Maven and Cal. I loved these boys, and I loved their relationship, as brothers as well as with Mare. There was a romance between them, but it was put completely on the backburner and wasn’t the main focus of the plot at all, which I thought was great. Mare’s judgement wasn’t affected by her feelings; she did what she thought was right, not what her heart was telling her. The romance was so slow building you’d almost forget about it; there was just a castaway sentence here or there about how her heart races when she’s around Cal. Speaking of Cal, I had a love/hate relationship with him throughout this book. I loved how much he cared for Mare, but whenever he agreed with his father I wanted to slap him. He was supposed to choose Mare!
I also liked how Mare and Maven’s friendship grew. They were more alike than they realised, as they were always in their siblings’ shadow, and it made their relationship all the more plausible.

Now we get to the spoiler-y, shush don’t tell anyone who hasn’t it read yet part.

Oh Maven. Maven Maven Maven. Why? Why, when I was shipping you and Mare together to rule fairly as the Silver King and Red Queen, would you go and do that?? That’s not fair. I totally did not see that betrayal coming (even though I knew there was one) and it hurt. It hurt me deep. On the plus side though, I totally knew Shade was alive! Yay!

There was also a rebel army, known as the Scarlet Guard, who were rebelling against the Silvers’ unjust treatment of the Reds, which I really enjoyed reading about. Whenever they were plotting something, my heart would just race as I truly had no idea what was going to happen. They had certain ways of trying to get what they wanted, and it nearly always ended in death in some way.

This book was just spectacular from beginning to end. I was hooked completely and cannot wait to get my hands on the second book to find out what happens to these characters that I love so much.

Anyone can betray anyone.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! It started out a bit slow for me too, but like you said, once it picked up, there was no stopping it. I kind of had a love/hate relationship with Cal too, but I shipped him and Mare more than I did Mare and Mavern. I found Mare and Mavern to have more or a sibling-ish relationship. I can't wait to read Glass Sword!
    Great review :)

  2. I'm going to be reading Cruel Crown and then Glass Sword, and I can't wait! The first time I read it I loved Maven and Mare together, but now I totally see a future for Cal and Mare :D Thanks so much :)

  3. Everyone seems to love this book, while I just thought it was alright. I'm always so weird like that lol. Great review!

    Carrie @The Book Goddess

  4. I know you don't and that's fine Carrie :) We're all entitled to our opinions - I don't like the Divergent series when so many people love them! Thanks anyway :)

  5. I'm SO happy to hear that the hype was deserved! And that you couldn't put it down! I really can't wait to read this book now!


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