Red Queen

The debut novel of Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen is the story of a girl in a world divided by the color of your blood.


In Norta and the surrounding areas, the color of your blood determines your class status. Silvers are the elite, the rich, the powerful, the ones with special skills. They rule the country and oppress the Reds, who are poor and possess no special abilities beyond their determination. Mare Barrow is a seventeen year old Red on the eve of conscription into the Silver war with the Lakelanders that has been waged for years. While her younger sister, Gisa, is an apprentice seamstress, Mare has no valuable skills to speak of – other than her quick footedness and thievery.

One day, she meets a mysterious young man named Cal who, after speaking with Mare, gets her a job at the palace serving the king. Mare soon learns that Cal is the crown prince, but the job will keep her family fed and will keep her out of the wars. When Mare is accidentally forced into the Queenstrial – a battle of powers between Silver girls, the winner of which will marry the crown prince – she learns that she has powers of her own. Powers unlike any the Silvers possess, powers that Mare shouldn’t have as a Red.

Soon, Mare finds herself in the role of fictious Mareena Titanos, the daughter of a Silver general supposedly raised by Reds. She must pretend to be a Silver and the betrothed of Cal’s younger brother, Maven. Living with the royal family is the only way Mare can keep her family safe and learn to master her powers, but the world of the Silvers is not easy for a lone Red. It’s dangerous and deadly, made more complicated by the Scarlet Guard, a group of Reds intent on liberating the oppressed.

Will Mare be able to keep her secret safe, and help the Guard and her people without getting caught?

Victoria Aveyard’s writing is phenomenal, and I really liked the concept. However, the storyline is very similar to others I have read before.

Girl lives in poverty.
Girl meets boy, boy gets girl a job.
Girl discovers powers she never knew she had, ends up a princess (or pretending to be one).
Girl falls in love with boy, boy’s brother, boy’s friend, girl’s friend, or all at once.
Girl joins rebellious group, and gets caught.
Girl ends up on the run (maybe with boy).
To be continued in next book.

Now normally storylines don’t bother me as I’m usually more interested in character development; there could be plot holes or the world may not be perfect, as long as the characters draw me in. While I really liked the characters, none of them really drew me in. With the exception of Mare’s brother Shade, who is physically in the book all of two pages. I’m tempted to continue on just to read more about Shade, but I don’t know if one minor character will be enough to hold my interest.  I suppose I’ll decide later and see if the soon to be released King’s Crown will be worth continuing with as I’ve read mixed reviews for Glass Sword.

My rating: 3/5

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