Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published: 2nd July 2015 by Orion
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
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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 seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
But Mare possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of her potential, the Silvers hide Mare in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. Knowing that one false move will mean her death, Mare must use her new position to bring down the regime – from the inside.
Now Mare has entered a game of betrayal and lies.
This is Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…
Red Queen has been on my to read list for a while now, I kept picking it up in my local book shop, putting it on the list for when pay day came around. Sadly uni work took over and I left this book on my to read pile far too long because…oh my wow!
From the first chapter I was swept away into the world Victoria Aveyard had created. I devoured this story in two days.
Red Queen opens with Mare, a young Red girl from the Stilts, she introduces us to her family, her friends (or friend), and life as a Red. She also introduces us to the Silvers and the traditions they enforce, Mare believes, to keep the Reds in their place.
Right from the beginning Mare draws us into her world, from the hardships and small mercies of the Stilts, to the wonders of the Silvers abilities, and their wasteful ways in a fantastical world so different from her own.
We follow Mare through a whirlwind of emotions as a chance encounter briefly gives her hope for the future, then snatches it cruelly from her clutches. When an accident reveals Mare to contain power never before seen in a Red, she is elevated to Silver princess, thrust into a world she knows next to nothing about, and left feeling more powerless than she did back in the Stilts.
Mare finds herself mixing with the Silver royals and high houses at a precarious time. Rebellion stirs, and the god-like Silvers’ cracks are showing. With the help of the royal princes, their trainers and educators, Mare learns the ways of the aristocrats, but what about her Red roots?
The threat of rebellion draws ever closer, a game is afoot, and Mare has to choose. Player or pawn? Red or Silver? Her heart or her head? Or are they one and the same?
Mare draws us to her almost instantaneously, she’s a little rough around the edges but her heart is in the right place. She is a natural protector, looking after her family and friends as best she can, even if they don’t always approve. And in her new role as Silver princess, it seems as though everything and everyone needs her protection. Most of all herself.
I loved seeing the other characters through Mare’s eyes, her love for her friends and family being one of her most endearing qualities. All of Aveyard’s characters are beautifully crafted individuals, despite them giving you some serious trust issues, and I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite. Cal’s never ending strength, even within his vulnerabilities, Maven’s quick and clever mind, Julian’s wisdom, Kilorn’s loyalty, Farley’s courage, even Evangaline and her sass. They’re so realistic and relate-able, even though they live in a world of god-like abilities, you’re right there with them as they struggle though a whole host of very human emotions.
They live in a world in turmoil, and you’re submerged into this world from the very first page. Aveyard really knows how to set the scene, you feel for the Reds in their slums, you find yourself judging the Silvers for their discrimination, while being in awe of their lifestyle, riches and buildings you’ve never before imagined. But most of all you find yourself just as confused as Mare trying to decide right from wrong.
The story flows page by page and honestly you cannot wait to pick this book back up to return to the world Aveyard has so masterfully created, that’s if you can put it down in the first place! With each passing chapter, you’re left wanting more and equally not wanting the story to end. You wonder what’s going to happen next, how can the characters possibly escape the inevitability of their fates?
Red Queen is one of the best books I have ever read. I cannot recommend it enough, it is phenomenal. You’ll be living in this beautifully created world in mere pages, feeling everything the characters feel. It has a truly fantastic and brilliantly twisting plot.
While I feel I have missed out having not read this masterpiece sooner, I am grateful I only have a couple of days to wait before returning once more to the wonderful, terrible world of Reds and Silvers.
Five out of Five