Summary: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.
With all the hype and glowing reviews regarding Victoria Aveyard’s debut Red Queen, I suppose I was just expecting it to be something more than it was. While it is certainly a decent debut that won’t fail to entertain, the plot lacked originality and was exceedingly predictable.
Aveyard’s story is one we have constantly read about in YA. It’s a combination of the blood-divided society of Red Rising combined with the powers of The Darkest Minds and a romance and setting vaguely reminiscent of The Selection. While some reviews mentioned this mash-up to be a highlight for them, I had a hard time enjoying the story itself because of the fact that I’ve already read it so many different times.
Red Queen is set in a society solely dependent on blood type. Those with silver blood are elites of the world; ruling the society with their supernatural powers. Those with red blood are forced to endure a life of servitude to the Reds.
Our protagonist Mare is a Red, but coincidence lands her a job in the Silver’s Royal Castle. But during a ceremony she discovers she has a supernatural power of her own – even though that’s impossible for a Red. Desperate to cover up the mistake, the King and Queen disguise her as a long-lost Silver princess. But can she keep up the charade – and stop a rebellion in the process?
Mare is your typical fantasy / dystopian heroine. She’s snarky, stubborn, and doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to. While the “special snowflake” subplot definitely makes an appearance here within Mare’s character, it didn’t bother me as much as it normally might have.
As with the typical young adult book, Red Queen contains a love triangle. When Mare starts impersonating her role as a Silver princess, she is betrothed to the Prince – Maven; yet she has feelings for his older brother Cal, the Crown Prince. As far as love triangles go, it wasn’t horrible; but there were times I wish more focus was put on the rebellion than the romance.
Despite its predictability and unoriginality, I still enjoyed Red Queen and found it to be an entertaining read despite its flaws. The ending has me hooked in seeing what happens next.