January 29, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 383
Series: Red Queen Trilogy
Review Source: Edelweiss

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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.
My Thoughts:
There is something so exciting and interesting about this book. Right from the time I heard of it, Red Queen was being hyped as a big series to come. Most of the time I end up being disappointed by those, but in this case I absolutely loved it. I was intrigued and excited throughout, and so curious about where the book was going.

Probably one of my favourite things about Red Queen is that there’s a real sense of not being able to trust anyone. It’s a theme of the book, so when you’re reading, that fact is constantly in the back of your mind. You can’t ever be sure who is actually portraying themselves honestly, which makes for a very intense read. Without going into spoilers, there’s definitely some betrayal in the book, and even when you think you see it coming the book it's so well written that you can’t be entirely sure. I kept questioning my instincts and wondering who was really good or bad.

The synopsis of the book compares it to The Selection, which makes sense because of the way the royal court operates and the competition to be the next queen. It had those aspects, but it was a very different book, too. It had a lot of elements that readers might find familiar, but it puts them together in an amazing way. There’s a secret rebellion aspect similar to The Hunger Games and people with different powers like in Graceling. It had a great fantasy genre feel to it with the major class differences: the poor in the slums, the rich in their palaces.

I can’t even really talk about the characters without spoiling things, but Mare is our main character, and she gets swept into a world she’s never dreamed of. Mare starts off a little bit like the Ultra Special Female Protagonist (she’s a pickpocket, she’s a smartass, she gets away with things -- she just fits into that stereotype), but as she’s thrust into the unknown she becomes a lot more interesting. I loved seeing the way she reacted to things, the way she processed her thoughts and feelings.

One big theme of YA literature is being on the outside and not fitting in. I loved that even in this ultra complex fantasy world, our main character was going through the same thing that so many contemporary teens are. In the world of Red Queen there’s the red blood (normals) vs the silver blood (the elite, oppressors, having powers). And then there’s Mare, who doesn’t fit into either category. It sucks for her, but it makes for an incredibly interesting read.

Red Queen is a book with big secrets, intrigue, and action. It’s about fighting the oppressors, something which is made difficult when the people in charge have the ability to control you. It asks important questions, like how can you breed a rebellion when you’re barely surviving? When you’re the ones fighting and dying in an impossible war, when you don’t have enough food for your family -- how can you get beyond that? It asks all these questions and it doesn’t offer up easy answers. Red Queen is a wonderful beginning to a new series, and I’m incredibly excited to see where Victoria Aveyard takes us in the next book.

The Cover:
Love!! Very eye catching.


Purchase Links:
Kobo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Chapters-Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

1 comment:

  1. Oohh, yeah, we've heard a bit about the supposed "Frankenstein-ing" of various YA tropes in this book -- but it sounds like it worked for you in a new and fresh way, versus a derivative way! That's exciting. :)


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