Fantasy, Young Adult

Review – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

RQRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Orion (2nd Jul 2015)

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart . . .

Red Queen is definitely one of the most anticipated YA books for me this year. I’ve wanted to pick it up ever since I saw the gorgeous, magnificent cover. Though I’ve only started reading YA dystopian, Red Queen is somewhat a fantasy novel as well. Think X-Men meets The Selection meets The Hunger Games! I dived right into the land of Norta, where everyone is divided according to their blood: Silvers and Reds.

As much as I’ve been reading a lot of YA books lately (a little shoutout to Sarah J. Maas), I just couldn’t get enough of reading about magic, kick-arse heroines, kingdoms, wicked rulers and yes, of course a teensy bit of romance. Reading Red Queen gave me all that. First of all, the coolest thing about the book is that all Silvers have abilities, some can control fire whilst some can do the same with water, some have mind control and our heroine, has a deadly one. One which I won’t spoil it for you and I’ll leave it to you to find out!

I am a huge fan of X-Men and superpowers so I think Red Queen hit all the right spots for me. I loved reading about all the abilities as well as discovering the different Houses that consist of different abilities. Like, House of Tiberias is known for being “burners”, who manipulate fire. Victoria Aveyard creates a world where power is everything and those who do not possess any, are deemed worthless. The book plays with the unfairness in the lottery of birth, where only Silvers are given privileges for being gifted and Reds are oppressed and used as dogsbodies.

Since the book is written from Mare’s perspective, it is evident that she’s brimming with anger towards the Silvers for their lavish lifestyle and arrogance. She’s a fighter and that’s what I love about her. A heroine that has strong morals and determination has my vote. And let’s not forget that tongue of hers that gives a good lashing.

Red Queen is a brilliant debut novel and it did amaze me. However, as much as I enjoyed the book, I felt that it drew too much inspiration from its contemporaries. Other than that, it’s a great read if you are a geek like me who has a thing for superpowers and kick-arse heroines. I am a sucker for romance so I was a bit disappointed when there wasn’t much in the book but here’s hoping for that in the second book! And of course, I’m looking forward to more of Mare’s abilities because in the end of Red Queen, it is hinted that she is stronger than we believed.

I’d very much like to thank Orion for sending me a copy of review. Red Queen is out now on paperback and eBook. The sequel, Glass Sword is set for publication next spring.


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