Monday, April 4, 2016

Book Review: The Red Queen

The Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard
Harper Teen, 2015
Genre: YA, fantasy, dystopian
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

~What It's About~
Mare Barrow lives in a world separated by the color of your blood.  The silver bloods rule, with their powers that can crush a Mare in just a moment.  Suddenly, Mare finds herself pulled in the world of the silvers when it is discovered that she has powers of her own.  Now she must discover how to navigate the Silver world as the king and queen have plans to use her to calm the rebellion around her.  She is to marry the younger prince and, when it is time, convince all the Reds that they should remain under the control of the Silvers and not rebel.  Torn between the life she once led and the powers she now possesses, Mare must figure out who to trust and how best to change the world around her.

~The Good~
  Victoria Aveyard has built a world that is terrifying and believable.  Mare has made her way by being a pickpocket in her small town, waiting for the day she'll be sent to the army, where all Reds go unless they have a job--which there aren't many of.  If they come home, it's never good.  The war their country is fighting has been fought by Red soldiers, used by the Silvers.  The Silvers sit up in glass castles and beautiful homes while the Reds fight to get by each day.  Mare has seen all this and resigned to her fate.  Until one day she is given a job in the castle.

The Silvers are terrifying, with powers like controlling metal, having immense strength, reading and controlling minds, controlling fire, and many more.  They learn to battle one another and they will use their powers on Reds when they step out of line.  Mare shouldn't have these powers, but she does.
Now that she has been discovered, she has to pretend that she is a Silver.  If anyone realizes what she is, then she and her family will be killed.

There is also a very weird love triangle of sorts.  Mare's friend from home, Kilorn, isn't presented as a love interest really at first, but she does feel a connection to him because they have grown up together and know one another so well.  Now that she resides in the palace, she has been engaged to the younger prince, Maven, who helps her learn how to fit into her new world and keep her secret safe.  But there is also Maven's older brother and the future king, Cal, to whom she is drawn, but he is engaged to another Silver with strong powers.  Although love triangle is there, it isn't central to the story.  Mare is central to the story and it's her story--not a love story.

~The Not-So-Good~
I really loved this story and am having a difficult time finding a not-so-good.

~Final Thoughts~

I was thoroughly impressed with the world that Victoria Aveyard has built in The Red Queen.  The powers of the Silvers are incredible and diverse and terrifying.  It is a world that I would not enjoy living in, yet I am intrigued by it.  Definitely a good read and one that I would suggest to any fan of the dystopian novel.

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