Thursday, December 21, 2023

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Goodreads Overview:

his 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...

Jacque's Review:

This book has been on my TBR list for a LONG time. It was the 2015 Goodreads winner for Best Debut Author and was nominated for Best YA Fantasy and Science Fiction. I finished a few series I had been reading and decided to read this because Victoria was one of the upcoming authors participating in my library's digital author talk program. She actually spoke at the beginning of this month, so I was happy I had some understanding of her work as she discussed world building and other aspects of her writing. 

I loved the concept of the Silvers having special powers, but it was sad to think of how it affected the Reds. They didn't have a chance of gaining any power or wealth in a world where they simply could not compete. Mare was doing everything she could to keep herself and those she loved alive, but nothing seemed to be enough. The discovery that she had a power more dangerous than the fire wielded by the royal family allowed her to escalate in the ranks rather quickly. She went from a thief to a servant to the fiancé of Prince Maven in the blink of an eye.

Maven was not at all what he seemed to be. I was shocked at the turn of events at the end of this book, but I felt like Mare and Cal had more chemistry. I am hopeful that their relationship will evolve throughout the series, but they are in a lot of danger. Cal and Mare are extremely powerful, but I'm not sure they can compete against the collective power of the Silvers. The Scarlet Guard is growing, but their resources are limited. I can't wait to see how they attempt to overthrow this corrupt government and end the war that has been going on for ages and taking the lives of so many Reds.

This was an exceptional start to the series and an impressive debut novel. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and seeing what is in store for Mare, Cal, and Maven.

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