February 1, 2015
Harper Collins Publishers
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into 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 her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.
"Review from Ashia" By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago
RED QUEEN is a fascinating, compelling dystopian debut from Victoria Aveyard, where the truth is not as it seems. With stunning twists, the story takes us on a sweeping adventure in a world that is different and yet eerily similar to our own.
Mare Burrows lives in a world where the Reds are oppressed by the elite Silvers. Reds are downtrodden, forced to eke out a minimal living for survival. Anybody who doesn't have a job is conscripted into a war that they're fighting with their neighbors, the Lakelands.
Silvers, on the other hand, possess abilities or talents, like telekinesis, manipulating fire, etc. They live in nice houses with every luxury imaginable, with Reds doing the menial work for them.
Mare is a Red, as the blood in her veins flows red. When, by some chance, she happened to possess and display abilities--manipulating electricity--she was passed off by the king as a long-lost daughter of a slain Silver general and betrothed to the younger prince, Maven. Yet, she can't help her feelings for Cal, the prince who once saved her when she was at her most desperate. What about her role in the Scarlet Guard, the revolutionary force that was trying to win equality and a better life for the Reds? How could she betray one for the other? And what is she, a Red possessing abilities that only Silvers heretofore possess?
First of all, I have to admit to having issues with the heroine's name. How is it pronounced--Mary, Ma-re or Mare, as in horse? I usually pronounced it in my head as "mare" and I would now forever associate her with the female equine. Unfortunate, but there it is. I realize this has probably to do with her second name later on in the story, but I believe there are better names than this.
That minor quibble aside, Mare is a sympathetic, compassionate heroine, though initially naive.
"And Kilorn wouldn't let me do this, not if he knew I would be in danger. They [the Scarlet Guard] wouldn't do this to me."
Though she's street smart as they come, she doesn't yet realize she's a pawn in somebody's game. She thought her position can protect her, not understanding that she's nobody, that she can be used and discarded to further other people's agenda--the Scarlet Guard...or somebody else. I can understand her actions toward the latter part of the story, though I may not like how she manipulated a certain someone by using his feelings for her. But then, all's fair in love and war, I suppose. When all was revealed, I want to scream at Mare for being so stupid, but I guess I would be too, if I were in her situation. She's still young, and not jaded yet with years of experience. Let's hope she becomes smarter in the sequels.
I like Cal. I thought he's got the proper attitude for a would-be king--going to the Red villages, to the battlefront, to learn firsthand the plight of his people. He's the crown prince sure, but all throughout the story, I get the feeling that he's also a Red sympathizer--ok, maybe not exactly that, but that all the while, he's trying to do things that might make the world better for everyone. Till the end, we don't really know what or how he would've changed things when he's king, and I wish that he and Mare could've talked more, then maybe she (and the reader) could've understood him and his ideals/plans better. But that makes for great conflict, right?
I like how the author depicted Maven, the younger prince, who, like Cal and Mare, was not one-dimensional. He has his own fears and ambitions, and layers to his character. I can't wait to see more of what the author would make of him.
The story unfolds at the right pace, with a balanced mix of suspense, action and romance. Okay, a word to romance junkies: The romance is understated here. There was just enough to whet your appetite for more, but I guess more couldn't be due to the characters' situation. There was a triangle (maybe quadrangle) of sorts, but everything was vague. There was a kiss though and a forbidden romance, so maybe that would be enough to tide you over until the next book in the series. I know I can't wait for the next book in the series, though I heard we may have to wait until 2016.
"Imaginative world building. Dynamic characters. Unexpected twists." By L. R. W. Lee 2 years ago
I have to begin by mentioning the imaginative world invented by Aveyard. She takes us from the Stilts, slums where red blood folks live in abject poverty, to a castle made with unbreakable, diamondglass walls that is the captial of Silver life. The contract couldn’t be clearer. While Reds have seen the amazing powers demonstrated by a few Silvers, what Reds don’t know is that Silvers with powers they could never fathom exist–fireburners, telkies, folks who can become invisible, beings who take the form of shadows and can bend light, Oblivions who can explode things with a touch, Storms who control the weather, others who can bend metal to their will, and more. The variety of powers adds an interesting dynamic to the world and I’ll be very curious to see how Aveyard develops this in the next book in the series.
I thought the author brought forth the three main characters with a lot of depth. The central protaginist, Mare Barrow, demonstrated herself to be a strong heroine. It’s clear she will do whatever it takes, including sacrifice her own life, to upset the uneasy imbalance of power between Red and Silver. She has a conflict before her that is significant and had me cheering her success! And then there’s the two princes, Cal and Maven who have different mothers, setting up conflict, not only with the pecking order, but inner conflict as well. Cal, while the eldest, is the dutiful son, groomed for the monarchy who also holds a role as general, commanding the armies of the nation. Maven, the younger, is his mother, the queen’s, favorite and must navigate this family dynamic…and boy does he. I won’t give away any spoilers, but let’s just say this produces a huge plot twist that you won’t want to miss.
Having said all that, it was clear from the get go that this is the first book in a multi-book series (at least three). For all the positives, I found the first half of the book dragged for me with so much background on Mare. While I suppose it’s important to understand her life history, I felt as though the narrative could have begun at a different place and much of this material could have been woven throughout the storyline in a different, more engaging manner. The next installment in the series, Glass Sword, is coming Feb 9, 2016 and is available for preorder on Amazon
All told, I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
If you enjoyed this review, read more YA Fantasy reviews on my blog at http://blog.lrwlee.com
"“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard is absolutely amazing!!" By Ali Kiki 1 year ago
“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard is absolutely amazing!! I was definitely impressed with Aveyard’s debut novel. Now I am anxious for more. Mare Barrow is the main character of this lovely story. Mare is an unimportant red or at least that is how society looks at her. Red’s aren’t important, they are the people who do all the work and have nothing special about them. This world is divided by the color of your blood. Red vs. Silver. Silver blooded people have powers or abilities were they have this extra talent they are able to do or perform.
When Mare ends up randomly getting a job at the palace she accidentally finds out that she is different. She isn’t just a useless Red like most Silvers think. She has her own supernatural power. Not knowing why she has this power or how, Mare ends up getting thrown into prison until the King and Queen can figure out what to do with her. The only way the Royal court can figure out how to cover up this little fiasco, is by pretending that Mare is a long-lost Silver princess. The queen then tells Mare that she will now be betrothed to her son Quince. Mare struggles with this lie she now has to live. She wants to know why she is the way that she is.
I have a few thoughts. Number One. I love Mare. I thought she was a fabulous character. She is brave and loyal. She wants to keep her family safe and her friends. She doesn’t like being pushed around and when she is, she finds a way to pay that person back for what they did. She joins the rebellion because she believes that is the right thing to do. Sometimes I thought Mare didn’t use her head very well and I was a little disappointed, but ultimately I thought she was a great character that shows a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing what she is able to do in the next book.
Number Two. This was one fast paced novel. I thought everything was zipping by. You can’t just pick up this book for a couple of minutes because you will be addicted right away. It was so hard not to read this all in one sitting. Once “Red Queen” draws you in, you’ll need to cancel all of your plans for the day.
Number Three. This world is so amazing. I want to learn so much more. The fact that the population is divided by the color of ones blood. Silvers have these magic abilities but now a Red is popping up with an ability. Is this a one time thing or are there others?
I am looking forward to book two. I think this will be a great story to explore. I will anxiously be waiting to find out what will happen next! Aveyard did a great job with “Red Queen”. I thought the writing was great. I feel like Aveyard has a very unique voice so I will be looking for her in the future.
Amanda Dolan was a great narrator. I thought she was a lot of fun and very entertaining. She was able to keep my attention through her entire reading. I am looking forward to more books being narrated by Amanda Dolan. Definitely check out the “Red Queen”. I don’t think anyone could be disappointed.