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I Belong

Early Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red QueenTitle: Red Queen

AuthorVictoria Aveyard

GenreYA Fantasy

SeriesRed Queen Trilogy (Book #1)

Publication DateFebruary 10, 2015

FormatHardcover, 400 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062310631 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13978-0062310637 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


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.

Quick & Dirty: Red Queen was an amazing, action-packed, novel that I feel will be one of my favorite series. The intense plotline and beautifully done love triangle instantly made me fall in love.

Opening SentenceI hate first Friday.

Excerpt: No

The Review

In Mare’s world, your life is determined by one thing: the color of your blood. Reds are normal humans, simple, but Silvers have powers. And then Mare accidentally reveals a power that even she was not aware she had, a power no one has seen before. And the biggest turn yet — she is red blooded. Mare is forced to become another, to act as a silver, to lead the King’s attempts to squash the red rebellion. She must play a lie, or she will be killed.

I had heard mostly raving reviews for Red Queen prior to starting this story — suffice to say, I was thoroughly excited. I had also done a cover feature on this beauty awhile back and I claimed I would do anything to get my hands on this novel. Challenge completed! I came into this book excited to hear this new author’s voice and learn the life of Mare. Let me just say, this has to be one of my favorite reads of 2014. It. Was. So. Great. I’m still not done processing my feelings for the explosive last fifty pages, and I’m not mentally able to deal with the thousands of twists and turns that were thrown my way. But everything was so, so good! Again, I’m still dying because there’s this huge plot twist 85% of the way through and I’m not over it. I am pretty good at spotting plot twists from a mile off but I didn’t see this one coming.

The world building was one of my favorite aspects of this book. It was rich, well-thought out, but wasn’t too tightly knit so that there were still some questions for the next book. I can’t wait to answer them and delve deeper into how the world came to be. I also liked how the social pyramids were so intricately woven, both the red and silver pyramid and the silver royal pyramid. The reds are abused in so many ways, sent off to fight wars barely trained and barely adults. So many families have lost children and siblings to the evil of the silvers. It was horrible to think of how they were like slaves, in a way, to the silver’s powers. And wow, the silvers powers. They all had such cool abilities and I was blown away by the different things they could do. I hope that in the next book how the abilities came into being is described — evolution? Genetic modification? It would be interesting to find out. Mare also had a very cool superpower, controlling electricity, that dubbed her Little Lightning Girl.

Ah, the boys. There was indeed a love triangle in Red Queen, but the clever ending proved that it was necessary. I was a fan of each of them in turn: Cal, future king, not willing to change the country, but ever so gentle and kind, and Maven, who isn’t afraid to change, the overshadowed brother who yearns to prove his worth. I have to say for most of the book I was team Maven. I found Cal annoying in his unchanging beliefs, though I did love the way he interacted with Mare, especially the first time they met. Both were adorable and sweet, very comparable to Maxon of The Selection. I was happy that Mare wasn’t juggling between them, though. She might have trouble with her decisions but she wasn’t stringing one along unnecessarily. Cough, America, from The Selection. By the end there was also a clear decision. One that I agreed with. One that I was proud of Mare for making.

This book, overall, blew me away. It was a debut author and I was very happy with it. When I was reading I was thinking of Snow Like Ashes, another debut that was oh so amazing. The characters are unique and interesting. The plotline is complicated and full of twists and turns. It left me on my toes, waiting for a sequel desperately. If the rest of the series is as good it will definitely become one of my all-time favorites. I loved the world and Mare’s perspective, how she was realistically struggling with guilt and anger but not doing anything too stupid.  A jibe at the queen here and there weren’t very smart, but the queen had it coming. I’m so heartbroken by the end, still, the end that I couldn’t see coming. The feels, they hurt inside. And, come on. That cover is flawless, nothing could be better. I love the overturned crown dripping with red blood and the bold black words. The mystery and intrigue of this novel inexplicably drew me in, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an intense and high fantasy read.

Notable Scene:

Officers move faster than I’ve ever seen before. A few are swifts, rushing to and fro in a blur as they herd us out. They don’t want us around if Cantos dies on the sand. Meanwhile, Samson strides from the arena like a titan. His gaze falls on Cantos’s body and I expect him to look apologetic. Instead his face is blank, emotionless, and so cold. The match was nothing to him. We are nothing to him.

In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say these are just stories but I don’t believe that.

The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.

Red Queen Trilogy:

1. Red Queen (February 10, 2015)


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Red Queen. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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One Response to “Early Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

  1. MarisabelNo Gravatar

    i read the book too, and loved it. Its amazing, and i was team Maven too.

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