Red Queen

Red Queen

Hardcover | February 10, 2015

byVictoria Aveyard

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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.

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Red Queen

Hardcover | February 10, 2015
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$19.50 online $21.99 (save 11%)

From the Publisher

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 Silv...

From the Jacket

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win...

Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She currently splits her time between the East and West coasts. As an author and...

other books by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword
Glass Sword

Hardcover|Feb 9 2016

$19.92 online$24.99list price(save 20%)
King's Cage
King's Cage

Hardcover|Feb 7 2017

$22.24 online$24.99list price(save 11%)
Cruel Crown
Cruel Crown

Paperback|Jan 5 2016

$9.77 online$12.50list price(save 21%)
see all books by Victoria Aveyard
Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:February 10, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062310631

ISBN - 13:9780062310637

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not Another Teen Story I bought this book because the summary was attractive and it was on special, I was not disappointed. At first, it seems like any fantasy teen story with love, powers, princes and princesses. But here it all takes a backseat, I LOVED IT!
Date published: 2016-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging I loved this book. It kept me engaged and reading beginning to end. I loved the characters and the world Aveyard created. In a world in which Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight exist it is pretty difficult to compete but this book stands on its own. I look forward to seeing where it leads next.
Date published: 2016-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I enjoyed this book This book captured my attention from the first, to the last page!
Date published: 2016-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from By the end of the book the foremost question in my mind was: where can I get the next book in this series? I tend to read books in 3 different ways. First, I will start reading, get bored, put it down, forget about it and then months (sometimes years) later I might pick it back up and finish it out of a sense of duty. Second, I will slowly savour a book. These books I tend to read each night, whilst having a bubble bath or lying in bed before sleep. These are books I enjoy greatly but don't feel the urge to gallop through. Then there is the third way I read a book: consuming it. This is a much rarer for me but I love it when it happens. I'll find a book and become obsessed with it - so much so that I have to finish it as quickly as possible. That's what happened with Red Queen. I loved this book. While the story of Mare isn't wholly unique (a seemingly normal girl who ends up in a place of privilege because of a hidden power) the way Victoria Aveyar weaves her story absolutely captivated me. I could not put this book down. What I loved the most was the character development ... no, the action ... no the setting ... no, the character development. Argh! I actually loved it all. Let's start with the characters. The book is written from Mare's point of view, in first person. And she is completely believable and human. Her worries and flaws are so real. She is the girl you want to be and if you can't BE her then you want to be friends with her. She is just so genuine. The other characters in the book are equally complex and real. I like characters that have enough depth for me to really see them in my head, and Aveyar does an amazing job of creating these kinds of characters. What about romance? You know there is going to be romance in a fantasy novel told from a girl's point of view and Red Queen doesn't disappoint. And there's even the "love triangle" slant to the romance but, probably for the first time ever, I was not annoyed by this development in Mare's love life. In Hunger Games I was completely irritated by Katniss's inability to chose between Peeta and Gale but in Red Queen I actually understood Mare's dilemma. I felt for her and her conflict between the two loves in the story. Overall, Red Queen is fast paced and full of intrigue and suspense. Aveyar keeps you guessing to the last moment as to what is going to happen to Mare. Will she survive the Silver court? Will the Scarlet Guard succeed in sparking a rebellion? By the end of the book the foremost question in my mind was: where can I get the next book in this series? Luckily Glass Sword came out in February, so you know what the next book on my TBR list is.
Date published: 2016-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'm addicted and I show it with pride I heard about the book around february last year and I've been dying to read i
Date published: 2016-03-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ugh no I bought it because I had heard it in the media a lot and a lot of people were in love with it. But I was sooooo disappointed, Mare is a weak character who can't make a decision in her entire life. It's so cliche and follows the exact same plot as every dystopian book in this world. It had a really good plot in the beginning, but then it went downhill and I don't ever want to read it again.
Date published: 2016-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Red Queen was electrifying!! This is the book that made me love reading again! Red Queen was written beautifully. It was extremely descriptive and I could picture everything as clearly as if I was watching it like a movie. I'm looking forward to the next instalments!
Date published: 2016-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book was fantastic Victoria Aveyard brought us on an emotional rollercoaster in Red Queen. Her writing is descriptive, exciting and fascinating. I found this book above other fantasy YA novels in the same category. It kept moving, the plot twists were there, characters you thought you knew, you didn't. I think this was a fantastic debut novel and Aveyard gives other popular authors in this category, a run for their money! I can't wait for the second novel in February!
Date published: 2016-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutly amazing! This book brought me on a roller of emotions. It has everything you need in a great novel including beautiful romance and heart wrenching betrayal. I absolutely loved it! I recommend this book to anyone who has a passion for young adult fantasy novels.
Date published: 2015-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love the concept of this book...It needs to be a movie ASAP I loved this book. The beginning of this book painted a great picture of who Mare Barrow is and how she gets by. I enjoyed that Mare isn't this perfect character and has quite the flaws. The book's concept of such a huge class separation (Reds are lesser beings and Silvers are "Gods") is fascinating to me. The book is action packed when we hit the climax right until the very end. Needless to say, I can't wait for the next book!!
Date published: 2015-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book :) I tend to browse through the book stores and this one really stood out to me. Grabbed it, read it, and loved it! Can't wait for more (there is gonna be more... right?!)
Date published: 2015-10-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from *yawn* I started off by reading the first couple of pages and it drew me in so I bought it. About hallway through it got really boring and repetitive "Anyone can betray anyone" ok we get it. This book is so predictable. And the title of the book should've been something else, so misleading. Boo.
Date published: 2015-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome!!!! I love this book so much. It has so much excitement and twists and turns it is amazing. I read a lot of YA books and I am very good at guessing how it is going to end, but, this book had the biggest twist ever that I didn't expect and it was totally amazing. You must read this book!
Date published: 2015-10-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good and interesting Red Queen takes a nice twist on the idea of a highborn being born and raised in poverty only to be rescued and reunited with their actual status, without a character actually being high born. I don't know why but for some reason the use of technology in this book threw me for a loop. It didn't seem to fit with the way I had thought the story was going based off of what I read. Don't get me wrong, it is a good read.
Date published: 2015-10-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Anyone can betray anyone This book was actually a second attempt for me. It took me two tries to get though the book. I got irritated half way through the first time and stopped reading it. Touted as the next big thing and everyone is raving about it but I just wasn’t amazed by it. To me this was not an original plot, it was good but not great compared to similar books of this genre. For example: The Hunger Games, An Ember in the Ashes, the Pellinor Trilogy, etc. One thing I did like about the plot was some of the little details that were thrown in. For example, the people in this world are not just divided by ability but by their actual biology as well; red and silver blood. I also really liked that Mare’s ability comes from within herself and not outside like the Silvers. At one point Mare says that it’s like her lightning is part of her soul and I wonder if it is. ******** SPOILERS AHEAD ******** I actually quite liked Mare as a character mostly because at least most of the time she is level headed and practical. And I love that her ability is lightning; a force of nature that cannot be tamed. Lastly, that she realizes there is a grey area and not everything is black and white or Red and Silver. But I think what I like most is that Mare chose a path and stuck to it. She was not all wishy washy like most heroines. When the Silvers were assassinated at the party she was sad but was like I chose this path and I knew it was coming and didn’t act like a crybaby. I had a good first impression of Cal and just went down from there although he went up slightly at the end of the book. I feel he is too stiff and too put in his ways. Hopefully now that he has lost everything in Glass Sword it will change. I also liked that Cal was the one who was forced to kill the king and therefore threw all suspicion onto him and not onto the queen and Maven. Mavey and his mother (the queen) remind me a lot of Game of Thrones with Joffrey and Cersei. He gave me a bad first impression, he was like an insolent and spoiled little princeling but it got better over the course of the book…. THEN… THEN YOU’RE THE EVIL KING NOW SO I DON’T LIKE YOU ANYMORE! I totally fell for his trap! There’s one line where Mare points out he basically made himself into the person she wanted and it was like a slap in the face for me because I realized that was completely true and I should have seen it! I am so glad in the book that the "Big Red Reveal" (what I call revealing Mare is actually a Red and not a Silver) at the end of the book was revealed by Maven’s greed to see his older half brother and Mare punished and not by the Scarlet Guard. This was so much better! Mare took it into her own hands and made everyone see her for who she truly is and not what everyone else was wanting her and making her pretend to be. She took control of her own story and owned it! Although it irritated me a little that the title didn’t fit in with the book really. Maven would have made her into the Red Queen but she didn’t actually become one like the title would suggest. Loved the twist that Shade isn’t dead and he’s a teleporter currently found by the Scarlet Guard. My theory for why are Shade and Mare different? My theory is that somewhere along the line a Silver and Red mixed and they a half bloods or something. But their Silver abilities/genes are recessive which would be funny since in the book the Silver bloods are all about being dominant and on top in everything. Overall the most important line in this book if you read it is: anyone can betray anyone. This story has been done before and done better in other books in my opinion. Still, interesting characters and I will be reading the sequel The Glass Sword in the hopes it gets better. It looks like the Glass Sword is going to be all about Cal and Mare getting their revenge so I hope it is better. So in the end, 3/5 stars.
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I.ABSOLUTELY.ADORE.THIS.BOOK. "The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain."
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cliche but good I heard so many good things about this book and so it didn't take much to convince me to pick it up. The story sounded interesting and I liked how firery Mare was and It managed to hold my interest for a good chunk of the story (I read it in 4 days!). However, although I found the idea of silver and red blood to be an interesting take on the whole "magic" idea, it wasn't a plot line I had not heard before. That being said I still really enjoyed it because I really am a sucker for cliche plot lines and cannot wait for the next one to come out (there is a sequel right?! RIGHT?!).
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly good I started reading this book thinking that it would be one of those fantasy novels that goes on to become a teenage love drama series. But this was so much more. A clever plot with a promise of future novels in the series. I am eagerly waiting for the next one. Lovely, surprising, exciting novel. I recommend it.
Date published: 2015-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page turner I enjoyed the book but I could tell what the plot was going to be from the start. But I still enjoyed it very much
Date published: 2015-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! I actually really liked this book. I'm super excited to see what happens next. It kinda feels the thg but with something more.
Date published: 2015-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I started reading this book this morning, and just finished it. I literally could not put it down the entire day. This was one of the best books I've read in a while! Highly recommend.
Date published: 2015-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such an Amazing Read for Teens and Young Adults Alike! I have to admit, at first I avoided this book. I had read a lot of bad dystopian novels and didn't want to take my chances. But it kept coming up on the Top 50 books, so I decided to give it a shot. And I'm so happy I did! This is one of the most well written dystopian books I have ever read! The characters are very original and unique, the plot keeps you interested until the very end and the way the book is written makes you feel like you are Mare Barrows (the main character). I'm so looking forward to the second book, and I totally recommend this novel to fans of the Hunger Games and Divergent!
Date published: 2015-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic read! Couldn't put it down I purchased this book when it was released and it went unread until now (boy am I kicking myself for that one)! I could not get enough of this story and can not wait to read more. This novel has everything; great characters, action, love, hate, sadness, deceit and plot twists (oh, the plot twists!!!). This is the Hunger Games meets The Bone Season and The Selection all wrapped up in a beautifully written book.
Date published: 2015-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great hope a second one comes out i got this book the second week it was out at first i wasn't quite sure when i seen it in the store but the story line will have you asking so many questions where whose loyalty lies where who do you trust in a world full of powerful liars amazing i hope Victoria Aveyard comes out with a second book
Date published: 2015-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it!! This book is amazing!! I can not wait for Aveyard so publish the sequel!!
Date published: 2015-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Weaving of YA High Fantasy Elements While it draws parallels to other novels in the genre, Aveyard does a great job of making the world and plot her own! Must read for YA High Fantasy fans or those who want to get into the genre!
Date published: 2015-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A mix of the best! Mare Barrow's world is a mix between The Selection, Divergent, The Hunger Games, and many other amazing YA Dystopian novels! If you like romance, dystopia, rebellion, or betrayal, this book is a must read!
Date published: 2015-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a good book 8) Red Queen is a great book good stotry line good carectors and ausome bookthe dig on to. I hope for a seacle
Date published: 2015-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Book! I bought this book about a week ago not knowing much about it. After finally reading what it's about I was interested and wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was! I genuinely enjoyed the book and even found it hard to put down at times. There were many plot twists and suspenseful moment but the book does hold common cliches. Nonetheless it was excellent and I can't wait for the next one!
Date published: 2015-04-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not too bad Pre-ordered and was expecting something more historical-fantasy in terms of setting. The plot and relationship journeys were rather predicable, leaving me less than excited to keep reading. There were a number of plot holes that were hard to get over and carry on. Although the characters were fun, I did not get particularly attached to any of them. What I assumed was supposed to be the climax of the story was in actuality anticlimactic, and I found myself wondering if that was really it. The idea and circumstance the book bases itself on is an interesting concept and leaves many details of the environment to dig into. I enjoyed getting to know the world and how it functioned as a divided and class-based society. Overall, this book was a decent time killer, though I'd have rather spent my time reading another on my book list.
Date published: 2015-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! This book was a very good read making you want more. Its different, its exciting, its amazing. You should read this.
Date published: 2015-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I liked it a lot! The book took me a little while to get into. It had incredible reviews and was recommended every where based on books I loved. Come the middle of the book things got much better. It went from "I guess I'll read it" to "I can't put it down!!!". The plot twist was well done, I was falling for him too for a minute! Haha. All in all it turned into a really good book.
Date published: 2015-03-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This was... Alright! I bought this book a few weeks ago and with all the raved reviews... I had very high expectations... The middle and start were great! But at the end the amazing 'Betrayal' and 'plot twist' were pretty predictable and.... Not amazing.
Date published: 2015-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible I am an avid book reader, and am terribly picky on plot lines and character development. But this book... There was nothing about it I did not like. From the second I picked it up, to the moment I finished the last page, I was entranced in this spectacular world that Aveyard has created and the life that Mare was living. I read this book in one sitting because it was so amazing. Aveyard's character development throughout the book is outstanding. The entire time you are left guessing, and the plot twists and turns so many times that you never get bored. 10/10 would recommend to anyone looking for a good read with an exciting, refreshing plot and a relatable protagonist.
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Debut This book is new and different and hooks from the first page until the last!
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Resembles Divergent and The Hunger Games Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but I didn't love it or anything. Red Queen has a dystopian world separated by class like Divergent, a love-triangle like The Hunger Games, and a bit of supernatural elements. To me, it felt a little too close to both dystopians I mentioned. The royal family is supposed to be the differientation factor from Divergent and The Hunger Games, but there are lots of elements (i.e. death battles in forms of entertainment) that continue to remind me of those YA dystopians. There are some character shifts that aren't the most believable. I won't get into details as it'd spoil it, Like one of the reviewers said, this would look nice in a film adaptation. There's a lot of action and imagery that would translate well into film. Beautiful cover; great title, just not my favourite book. I congratulate Aveyard for making the NYT Bestsellers list and for scoring such a good publishing plan from HarperCollins as a debut author.
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A strong debut -- enjoy! I thoroughly enjoyed Aveyard's book; since this was her first, I was impressed by her style, the sense of personality in her characters and how appealing the world she created it. I really do get a sense of Aveyard's background in television; I kept thinking to myself as I read how well this book would translate onto the big screen or television. Mare is a quick, tart and fairly kickass, I liked her a lot. Cal is your classic alpha male with strong values, I found him very appealing and likable. Maven is a gentle but disarming character. Overall, really enjoyed the book and can't wait to see what's in store! Aveyard has a good balance of story line, heart, personality and passion.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My best read this year! Great story! Very captivating, a page turner with great twists! This book is number one for a reason, it's up there with hunger games and steelheart, Can't wait to read the next book!
Date published: 2015-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cant wait for the next one Really liked this book. Was a little hard to get into at first but soon picked up and I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2015-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still reeling.... Ooook. Deep breath... in out. Closes book reverently. Stares at cover. Forces a shaky smile. Puts it on my shelf with all the other amazing books I've read this year. (definitely money well spent on this one) Ok. The greats about this novel: -The setting (I mean, this has possibly the most kick butt world I've read about so far) -the powers everyone has! -the plot (its a perfect blend of intense, beautiful, sad, tragic, and wonderfully gloriously hopeful. There's a rainbow at the end that keeps me hoping for a happy ending, and that's all I need after so much feels. The hope that by the end of this trilogy I'll get the happy ending these characters deserve) -The characters. I both loved them, and didn't, and I'll get to that in a minute. -The brilliant dialogue. And I mean witty, meaningful, and glorious. The author took an amazing advantage at the witty sarcasm that is just so much fun to read. -The brilliant writing style. I loved it. It isn't too strange like some other books I have read, not too hard to read. Instead it is smooth flowing, a perfect blend of sentences-short and long, lots of variety-and the verbs and nouns she uses are glorious. Being an author myself, I know how hard it is not to fall into the habit of using a select few types of sentences, and over using favourite words and phrases, so to Aveyard, I highly praise her work. The not so greats about this novel (and I am being completely honest with this list): -The characters. And the reason they make this list as well, is because even though they were all unique and emotionally compelling, I found a hard time deciding whether I should like Cal, or Maven. And I guess this should credit the author's brilliance again. Usually I can see right through schemes of getting the audience to like the "wrong" guy, but in this book, even though I was drawn to Cal, I kept switching between pity and distrust for Maven, and wasn't sure until the very end which one I trusted my adoration to more. So applause to the author, she wrote Maven very well, and made Cal so perfectly flawed. -The length. And this is only my own complaining, not anything wrong with the book. I just found it too short because it was so good! So again, even though it has me grumbling(more like sobbing in my room) about how far away 2016 is, I understand that is just because I loved this book. All in all, it was amazing, I clutched every moment to my heart, and I am eagerly anticipating more of these characters I have grown to love in the coming years. P.S. Victoria, if you are reading this, please, please consider pushing back the release date? *puppy eyes* The wait is torturous!
Date published: 2015-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I cannot wait to read more! In this book you find fear, romance, deceit and tragedy. Red Queen is fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The characters are relatable yet intriguing. I could not put it down!
Date published: 2015-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So epic! ALL THE STARS!!!!!! There aren't enough stars for this book. It was absolutely EPIC and must be made in to a movie as soon as possible. All the hype on this one is totally justified! I have a strong feeling that at the end of the year this will have been my favorite book of 2015.
Date published: 2015-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hmm.. I'd like to start by saying that for the most part, I did really enjoy this book. I was engrossed in almost every page until it got close to the end. The characters were very interesting and the story itself was like a mix of Divergent and the Hunger Games. However, as the novel progressed, I began to get slightly annoyed with the main heroine, Mare. I enjoyed the plot twists and was happy to follow the journey of this young lady for the most part, but what really bothered me was the ending. I felt that the author set us up for a very heroic and devastatingly poetic ending that I would have cried over for days, but instead we reach a very different ending that destroys a relationship that I felt was very important to the novel. I wish that this book had been set up as a stand alone rather than an introduction to a new series, it is my firm belief that not every book for young adults needs to be made into a series. The ending left a bit of a horrible taste in my mouth but otherwise, I would recommend this book because I am well aware that not everyone will see things the same as I do and I do hope that this book becomes somebody else's favourite.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable and easy read :) I enjoyed the book. It was simple and fun. Though, at times I found myself skipping over portions because it would become fast-paced, or slightly confusing (like it wasn't really clear in one scene that she was imagining an outcome so I thought it was happening until the end of the scene). I found that the protagonist, Mare Barrow, didn't really grow as a character (yet--there is still a second book for that to happen in). Despite these few flaws it was an easy and enjoyable read--definitely a simple beach read.
Date published: 2015-02-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A little derivative but very addictive! Mare Barrow is a Red. In Norta, this means that she's a normal human being, poor, and needs to scrape a living for herself and her family through thieving and general servitude. Reds are seen as the lowest of the low by Silvers, who have magical abilities that are highly esteeemed in the country. Mare and her family and friends despise Silvers, who treat Reds like dirt and have Reds fight an unending war with a neighboring country for them. When circumstances for Mare send her right into the path of royals, she ends up discovering that she has magic abilities - and thus, is made a noble who is set to marry the second of two princes so that the reigning royal family can keep an eye on her. Meanwhile, an uprising is gathering through the country, and Mare has to figure out who she is and where her loyalties lie. This one was hard to review because on one hand, I found the story very compelling, but on the other hand, there were lots of little things that I just couldn't get into. I've broken them down below. Things That Frustrated Me: The heroine: my biggest frustration with this book was the lack of character development in Mare. I didn't feel like I went on a journey with her as a character at all - she was kind of sassy and funny, and she clearly had some cool abilities...but that was it for me. I didn't feel like I knew her at all by the end of the book because she was the same person the entire way through. That was hard for me to connect with. The romance: There were (count 'em) THREE love interests for Mare in this book. None of them really go anywhere big, but it just felt like every friggin guy in the book was into her. The hardest part about that is that there is an obvious choice - I genuinely thought that one guy was better than the others, and that just makes for a love triangle (or square?) that's unsatisfying. The writing and the "I've Read This Before" feeling: There would be moments that I was really into the writing and then I would get pulled out of it by just a few too many cliches. Here are some examples: "I'm standing on the balcony a full ten seconds before I realize it's raining, washing me clean of my boiling anger." To me, this is just obvious writing - because there could have been a better description of the character's anger or the rain or just the fact that she was being cooled down by the rain...but it just ends up lost in cliche. "This is the world I'm trying to bring down, the world trying to kill me and everything I care about...I've never felt smaller than I do now, with the great bridge looming above us. It looks ready to swallow me whole." Again, the writing feels very obvious. I feel like I've read this line before - "bring down" "never felt smaller" "swallow me whole" - it feels a little tired. The tropes: The problem with obvious writing is that if you have a story hat relies on a lot of tropes (poor girl who's special and different; prince who is not thrilled about being prince and just wants to be normal, world that is separated into classes that needs to be overthrown), you can guess what's going to happen, and your mind tends to wander. And because of that, every scene starts to feel predictable, and you notice every trope for what it is, instead of the trope extending beyond just a trope. It's frustrating because I couldn't help but notice and compare this book to a ton of other YA books (I thought of The Selection, Divergent, Hunger Games, even Harry Potter while I was reading), and the book never went beyond or did anything better or different with those tropes. Things I Liked: The world-building and concept: I liked how the Silvers and Reds were divided and how there was hierarchy even among the Silvers - there were higher and lower houses and they each had distinctive features. I enjoyed getting into this world through Mare's eyes - as a Red, she really doesn't know much about it, and it's both interesting to see it develop and to see her thoughts on it in her unique position. The princes: There are two, and they are both interested in Mare romantically. To me it felt very obvious who the superior prince was, but I liked that they were well-rounded and different enough that they kept me guessing on their true natures. I felt like I knew more about them than I did about Mare by the end of the book. Julian, the elderly wizard Silver who has Mare's best interests at heart and is awesome: This is a classic fantasy trope, but damned if I didn't really like Aveyard's version of the mentor. I especially liked the detail of how his skin was like the parchment that he read so much of, his abilities, and his secretiveness about his own life. The villains and layered secondary characters: I'm not going to tell you who the villains are because that's complicated, but I liked how many of them there were, and how much they all influenced and encroached on Mare's life. I also liked how a lot of the characters in the novel weren't all black-and-white - some of the people who were supposed to be "good" weren't exactly the nicest or best people, and EVERYONE in the novel lied in order to get what they wanted. It's a dark view of life, but it worked. The fast pace and the action: This is probably the first fantasy book I've read in a long time that I haven't put down because it had too much exposition or description and not enough action. The action scenes are pretty explosive, and the pacing moves quickly to bring the action to head. The Final Word: Red Queen is a very enjoyable, if derivative, fantasy read. Brimming with action and classic speculative fiction tropes, this is a good book for younger teens new to fantasy or looking for a book with magic to devour like popcorn. I wanted more depth in writing and character, but there's no doubt that I had fun while reading.
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Can't wait for the sequel! This book had so much buzz that I’d been excited to read it for months before I actually picked it up. I had really high expectations for Red Queen, and it did not disappoint! I must admit that I was pretty slow to get into this book. I liked that the beginning of the story showed me Mare’s life and relationship with her family, but I felt as though I kept waiting for something to grab me. Once I got into it though, I was hooked! I loved the action, the worldbuilding, the twisty story, and the characters. Mare was sharp, strong, a bit sassy, and I was a fan of hers right away! I also surprised myself by enjoying the love triangle. It all played out the way I thought it would, and I loved watching it all unfold. The ending of this book has me anxiously waiting on book two. Red Queen is a gripping, exciting story full of fantastic, complex characters that will have you looking forward to the sequel! Highly recommended! *Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Date published: 2015-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Debut! I can't believe how amazing this book was!! This amazing book needs to be on everyone's shelf! My mind is still hung over with all the plot twists and everything! Victoria Aveyard you have created this fantastic world building and characters that you will love.I am literally shocked after reading it! When you start reading this book you don't know if it is going to be dystopian or high fantasy, but it was both! Red Queen is one book you want to add to your lists, it was dangerous, thrilling and exciting!!This has been one of my favorite books of this year! Mare Barrow is a 17-year old Red girl from The Stilts where the Reds are the commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, who are the elite warriors with god-like powers. As she determines her identity as a Red, she is also a thief from a large family trying to survive in this world and where her life has no value. If she doesn't find a job, she must go to war-over land, where she will serve as a cannon fodder while real warriors go. It was so easy to get sucked into this world and the descriptions and dialogues of the characters. Mare's point of view was beautiful and you can feel her emotions. You can imagine this world and the places which is amazing. The plot is intriguing and full of mystery of the royal family, forbidden love and action! Victoria Aveyard's debut has such strong writing that you want to have it on the shelf. Each character has a key role in the novel. We get to see a side of Mare that she doesn't even know herself. The other characters make the story for Mare to shine through the book. Julian and Lucas are evidence that not all the Silvers are stuck up but some characters did drive be crazy. The romance was little but it had a ton of action. The villains were conniving and brilliant because the scheming and planning where nothing I was expecting. I was shocked! It was full of betrayal and trust. Red Queen is for sure 5 stars from because because I really loved the story, was shocked, and it also messed in my head! I am very excited to see what is in store for the next book because of ending. I wish I had the next book! Red Queen is one of my favorites of this year and with all the emotions and the crazy plot. Overall, really loved it, fantasy world building was amazing that you will be getting a book hangover after reading it!
Date published: 2015-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing debut Mare’s world is separated by blood. Red blood means common, poor, find a job or get sent to war. Silver blood means special, power. The Silver-blooded elite have been ruling over the common Red-blooded for years, unable to stand up to the extreme powers of the Silvers. They have people who can control fire, weather, manipulate minds, there’s no way to win. Until Mare, sent to work at the palace, is discovered to have a deadly power. Even though she has red blood. This book was on my most-anticipated list since I first heard of it and I’ve been waiting not-so patiently for 2015 to read it. I was a little worried with all the hype around it and it being so looked forward to that it might disappoint but it didn’t, not even a little. I ended up finishing it in one sitting, not because it was a light and easy read but because I had to know what was going to happen. I loved Mare as a character. She was willing to do anything to save her family and her best friend, which in her case meant stealing as it was the only thing she could do. Their well-being was the first thing she thought to demand when told of the King and Queen’s plan for her, after being discovered to have a power. She would have to pretend to be something she hated: a Silver. She was insecure, just wanting her parents’ approval as easily as younger sister Gisa received it. She was strong, she refused to give up even when it seemed everything was against her. She had her faults, rushing into action without thinking and she could be judgmental of the Silvers as if they were all the same: power-hungry evil. The two princes, Cal and Maven, and their relationship with Mare was complicated. Cal, the older prince and future king, was the first to have interactions with Mare. He seemed so perfect, caring, smart, willing to lead even if it put himself in danger, but he could also be harsh and angered easily. Maven, the younger prince and the one Mare found herself engaged to as part of the King and Queen’s charade, was impossible for me not to like. Forced into his brother’s shadow, son of the evil Queen who replaced Cal’s mother, he could relate to Mare in so many ways when she opened up enough to let him. I really enjoyed the princes’ relationship as brothers, the bickering, the nicknames, it just showed how much they cared for each other in a system where one would soon be king. There were so many great minor characters as well. Mare’s family, her mother who was just barely holding it together after being forced to send three sons to war, her father who was a recluse in their home after being injured by the same war, her little sister Gisa who was the only one in the family with a skill to get a job and who carried the family’s future on her back. Mare’s best friend Kilhorn, who she saw as almost another brother she wanted to keep safe. Lucas, her guard at the palace, and Julian, one of her tutors, showed that not all Silvers were evil and agreed with the current system. The King didn’t seem like an overly bad guy to me. I think he did care about both sons and didn’t mean to favor Cal or make Maven feel inferior but that was sadly what happened. He was never going to be the king to bring in change, it never felt that way, but in different circumstances, he probably could have been a great king to all. The Queen was just scary. She was ruthless and power-hungry and controlling. As was Evangeline, the girl chosen to be Cal’s wife, and her little group of friends. Power was definitely a game to them and they wanted more of it. The book was very fast-paced, always something going on even if it wasn’t fighting. Mare had so much to learn, how to act like a lady as she pretended to be Silver-blooded, how to summon and control her power, how to fight with her power. It was a struggle and I enjoyed that. It wasn’t a case of her finding out about her power and suddenly being a master at it. She had to work for it. There was never really a moment to pause and catch my breath because something was always happening. The stakes for Mare were already so high without the introduction of The Scarlet Guard, a group of red-blooded rebels who wanted to overthrow the Silver reign and have an equal society. The group was introduced early on but their impact just kept getting bigger throughout the book. For Mare, one drop of her red blood would ruin everything. There were so many twists, especially as the action picked up in the last third of the book. I don’t want to say too much about them so as not to give anything away but some made me happy and some had me hoping there were more twists to come. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2015-01-02

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Editorial Reviews

“Fascinating world building... Readers will be intrigued by a world that reflects today’s troubling issues concerning ethnic inequality, unfair distribution of wealth, pollution, warfare, political corruption, and the frightening power of the media.”