June 2, 2015
Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
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.
When I decided to read Red Queen, I didn’t really know what to expect, other than it had a high star rating based on a very large ratings pool. Some people I know and follow rated it pretty high. I knew it was aimed at the YA audience, but there are other books targeting that same demographic that I really enjoyed.
Let us get the obvious out of the way: there is nothing new in Red Queen. Without spoiling anything, the story itself has been told in this way many times before.
That being said, it was still quite the page-turner. There were clichéd characters and settings, but I was still surprised more than once whilst reading this story. There were major plot points that surprised me, not in the fact that they existed, but in the fact that they were used, and I felt used quite well.
Tropes I expected, based on the story line, were not present, and others that were unexpected surprised me. Over all, Red Queen was a pleasant read, and I look forward to reading the sequels. This was another book that caused me to think about it when I wasn’t reading, and to me that is the sign of a great book.
I’d like to give it more than four stars, but the book didn’t wow me enough to make the transition from four to five stars, but I can understand why the story has such a high star rating. I heartily recommend Red Queen.
Victoria Aveyard recently graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. She has sold several television pilots and feature-length screenplays, and is currently represented by the Hollywood management company Benderspink. THE RED QUEEN is her first novel.