This is a great book about class struggle, rebellion and what one will do for the survival of their family and themselves. The world is divided into two classes; the aristocratic Silvers, blessed with special abilities and the lower class Reds who serve the Silvers. The Reds are dirt poor and are treated as second class citizens, even being used as cannon fodder in the war between the kingdoms.
Everything changes for Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red, who suddenly possesses the powers of a Silver. She displays a rare ability to control and manipulate electricity which places her in the sights of the Royal family. Due to her public display of power, the Royals must declare her a long lost Silver princess and betroth her to the second in line prince. They use her as their puppet to quell the tides of a Red uprising whilst hiding the true identity of her blood.
However, Mare has plans of her own; provide her family with a better life, survive the Silver's plans for her and secretly aid her people in the rebellion. But not everything goes to plan as Mare develops feelings for both princes.
This book is action packed and filled with suspense, intrigue and unexpected plot twists. Great character development, especially with Mare and the two princes. I loved this book and couldn't put it down! I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Set in a dystopian future, where there are silver bloods and red bloods. The silvers have powers while the reds don't. Mare is a red girl whom one day discovers that she possess the powers of silvers. To cover this up, the silver King claims Mare as a lost silver princess, and she soon finds herself caught up in their world. A great plot full of betrayal, action and romance. Recommended for fans of X-Men.
Ever wonder what would have happened to the X-Men if Magneto had won and the bad-guy mutants had taken over the world, turning the "normals" into the lower-lower-lower class, just one step above slaves? Well here it is!
In Red Queen, the reds (those with red blood and without super special powers) live lives filled with toil and strife while the Silvers (those with silver blood and crazy powers) follow the king and queen on an endless tour of leisure and parties. Mare is on the edge of seventeen and that doesn't mean she gets to spend a year rocking out to Stevie Nicks - it means conscription to fight the war that has already taken three of her brothers. In a strange twist of fate, she ends up working in the royal palace and a life-threatening situation reveals that she has more power than she ever imagined.
I will admit, I was cautious to start this one, I have never been the biggest fan of fantasy and I was a little nervous that this would be like the great Graceling fiasco (cliffnotes version: tried to read it 4 times, quit every time. BLECH!) but, after reading, this isn't that high on the fantasy meter and the whole "talent" thing was pretty interesting. In fact, the families having the same powers and some powers being less effective against others (water beats fire) totally reminded me of pokemon types.
I do wish we had been able to spend a bit more time getting to know the different types of powers. I could have used a legend in the back to remind me what types does what (did this end up in the final version? I had an advance ebook...).
Full disclosure - there was a love triangle of sorts, but it didn't overwhelm the story and didn't quite end the way you expected - refreshing, I know. And there was a bit of whole "every girl hates me and every boy loves me" thing going on. I'm hoping that we will get less of this as the series continues. Mare is a decent character, very naive and willing to believe practically anything. For someone who grew up as a thief in a pretty rough situation I was very surprised at how trusting she was. I kept questioning the motives of everyone around her but she seemed to believe everything that she was told. It was almost like she had no idea she was in the middle of a YA novel. I liked her much more at the end, once she learned some valuable life lessons, than I did at the beginning. The other characters aren't all that interesting, unless they are using their powers and I wasn't really sold on the romance element.
The plot was fast paced and suspenseful where it needed to be. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat for the inevitable Final Showdown scene at the end. There were one or two plot twists which were a surprise but others that were pretty predictable to anyone who has read YA before. But it was still enough to keep me interested and get me hooked.
Oppresion, tyranny and rebellion at it's finest!
This was an AMAZING new fantasy novel that had the feeling of piting gods against mortals with a hero that breaks the mold.
I am beyond thrilled that this is going to be a series. It's going to be one I have no problem losing myself in!
If you haven't heard of this book, you must be living under a rock. It is definitely one of the most hyped books that come out this winter, and BOY does it deserve it! I had a chance to get this ARC a week or so ago, and I pounced on it. I've been going through a major reading slump, and decided to go with my instincts and read this. I am so glad that I did. It filled a hole in my heart, I'm pretty sure. A hole left by books such as Throne of Glass and The Darkest Minds. Right off the bat, I knew this was the book for me. If the cover isn't enough, I don't know what I'll do about you. Also, the title, unlike some books, makes sense fairly quickly into the story.
On of the first major points of wisdom in this book is "Anyone can betray you" which has never been more true. While I generally suspected the betrayers ahead of time, Victoria does an AMAZING job of making me doubt myself. One of the best things was that the main character wasn't necessarily perfect. She was willing to do things to keep her family alive, and wanted to help her people, but she was scared. So scared, that instead of sometimes standing up and shouting "What's wrong with you people?", she waits, feeling guilty all the way. It's nice to know that a character can feel guilt. This novel is definitely character driven. While some books rely on outside sources, this is all within. Ever bad thing that happens, a character did it, even if others don't know that. At certain times, I even managed to sympathize with characters that I hated, which I almost never do. There were characters, who I wanted dead, I hated them so much, but when certain stuff happened, it made even me feel their pain.
The writing was spot on. I am prone to skim reading, but Red Queen has made me want to break that habit. Multiple times, I found myself missing part of a paragraph and going back to read it. Every word is important. Generally, you have to tell a story in as few words as possible, and this book achieved it with shining glory. I savored each word and wouldn't have it any other way.
The world building was done in such a way that it leaves a bit to the reader's imagination, at least for now. The reader does not know if it's a dystopian world where abilities and silver blood manifested over time, a magical world with advanced weaponry, or a combination of both. What the reader does know, is that this world has a LOT of history. I really hope that in the next book we get A) a map and B) some background on the world. It was not imperative to this novel, but I'm simply curious! The world has entranced me for sure. I definitely look forward to finding out what happens next to this story and these characters!
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.