Saturday, 27 December 2014

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard

Release date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 307

Source: Edelweiss

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

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.

Red Queen starts off feeling a little like Shadow and Bone, but it's actually really different - and just as amazing! It definitely exceeded my expectations in every way - the plot, the writing, the characters... Victoria Aveyard has just gained a new fan! Also, it's going to be hard to write about certain things without giving away spoilers, but I will do it, have no fear.

There are two kinds of people in this fantasy world - the Reds and the Silvers. The Reds are ordinary folk, no powers or anything, and are considered inferior because of this. The Silvers are rich, they have supernatural abilities, and they're high up on the social ladder. The entire royal family is Silver, as are all the nobles.

Our protagonist, Mare, lives in a village with her family, making her living by picking the pockets of rich passers-by. She has no job, and is therefore fated to enlist in the military like all other Reds with no real jobs. But when Mare finds herself at the palace while trying to help her best friend, she discovers a power of her own, one no one has seen before - the power to control electricity. Her powers come into existence in front of the whole royal family and all the noble Silver houses, so she's ushered into a made-up role to cover up the fact that a Red has Silver abilities. Living with the royal family, Mare comes across secrets and other information she never would've found otherwise, and she becomes a part of something so dangerous, it could cost everyone around her their lives.

Mare reminds me of Alina from the Grisha trilogy, I guess mostly because they're in similar situations. Mare has a fire burning inside her that she finds a good use for in the Silver palace. She learns how to survive there, and her instincts are strong. She's a survivor for sure, and we see proof of that several times throughout the novel.

This is a small thing, but I had to mention it because I really liked it. This is the first time I've read a YA novel where the male best friend of the protagonist is straight and is not in love with the protagonist. Mare's best friend, Kilorn, is awesome. He's really supportive of Mare, and they both understand each other incredibly well. And he's not pining for her! I loved it.

We have two potential love interests in this novel - Cal and Maven. They both happen to be brothers, and are Silver princes. Cal is the heir to the throne, and Maven is his younger half-brother. I liked both of them, in different ways. Though Cal is raised to be the next king, he's not cruel at all. Yes, there are decisions he makes that I don't agree with, but with the horrible father he grew up with, it's amazing that he turned out so nice. Maven is kind to Mare too, and he gets her through the scary royal stuff that she has no idea about.

I liked seeing Mare develop her powers and train with the others. Seeing the other teenagers' powers pitted against each other in an X-men-like manner was pretty damn awesome. The pacing of the novel is great, and I loved all the action in it. And the twists and shockers, of course! There are quite a few. The climax towards the end has got to be my favourite, though. It's not really unexpected but it's a total heart-in-your-mouth moment nonetheless.

Overall, Red Queen is a fantastic YA fantasy debut, one of my favourite reads this year. So glad I picked this up! I adored literally all of it, and I'm really looking forward to the next one.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 5/5


  1. Awesome review :) i cant wait to read this :) all ive seen is 5 star ratings so far!


  2. WELL OKAY. 5 stars? Wow! I didn't read your review too closely - only because I'm reading this one next week ish. I did read one thing, about the friendship... so glad to hear about that! A platonic heterosexual friendship, GOOD :D

    Excellent review, Richa!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. I thought that this was an amazing book as well. I normally don't like love triangles in YA, but she made it interesting. Also the world building is incredible. Great review. Come check out mine as well.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  4. Aw, yay :D So glad you loved this book. <3 I got an ARC of it this week. More excited to read it now :) But.. I hate that you say there are two love interests. And brothers. I HATE THAT. So much. But have also been told it doesn't focus much on the romance, and no triangle, so I'm crossing my fingers. Still. I don't approve :p Sigh :( Anyway. So glad you enjoyed it even so :D I'm excited. Thank you for sharing. <3


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