This was a book I had gotten as an ARC back when I worked at a bookstore. It sat on my shelf for a while never really catching my eye. While I did see it rise in popularity and see the sequel rise in popularity also I still kept choosing different books instead. Well, my best friend recently finished it and kept pushing me to read it. I am thankful for her because I finally did it and she made a pretty good call on this recommendation.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard takes place in a fantasy world where people are divided by the color of their blood. The Slivers have silver blood that also gives them special abilities such as strength or fire power. The Reds have red blood and no special abilities. Because of this difference the Reds are mostly servants and live in the poor villages while the Silvers live aristocratic lives. The main character, Mare, is a Red who is given a job as a servant in the palace. However, while she is there it is revealed that she has special abilities of her own. The King and the Queen are not happy by this discovery and decide to claim she is a lost daughter of General who was raised as a Red. Now she is engaged to a prince and playing a role as a Silver. However, she meets the Scarlet Guard, a group of Reds who want to fight for equality, and she realizes her past may mean more to the future of their country than she knows.
I really enjoyed the concept of this book. I thought it was a really unique take on the dystopian society book style that has gain popularity. My only problem was that there seemed to be some background information missing. We do not get a lot of detailed explanations about why things are the way they are. They discuss a war with other countries and different past events but very briefly. So even though they are important to the plot they do not get developed fully enough to be too clear. It was also a little jumpy in the plot which left me a little confused at times. It is something I hope she makes up for in the sequel. Since it is only the first book I am hoping that the sequel will bring a little bit more clarity to this society she has created.
I loved Mare’s character. I thought she was the perfect amount of confident and nervous. She had things she was willing to fight for and that made her relatable. She also was not perfect. She didn’t master her new ability right away. She was actually not very good at it all and I appreciated that. I hate when a character is giving a new power and even though they have never used it before they can do it flawlessly. So I can appreciate when a character loses and is not very good at their gift.
There is a love triangle of sorts so if that is a problem for you then maybe skip on this book. It is a trope that has been done multiple times. I do think that Aveyard managed to do it well. She didn’t make the characters fall in love right away. While you could tell there would be romance at some point in the book it really didn’t start until the last quarter of the book. Then stuff happens and I don’t want to give any spoilers but I appreciate how she ended the love triangle for this first book. I am curious to see where she will take it. However, it did feel like the characters went a little 0 to 60 when it came to the romance even though she did such a good job building it up. I do think the ending though made up for it a little bit. Something else I hope she touches up in the sequel.
Overall, it was an entertaining read. It was definitely different from other dystopian novels that I have read.