Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Rated R for radical rebellion and liberation that’ll possibly make you stop breathing sometimes.
Power is a dangerous game.
It’s their blood that separates them. Red and silver. Reds live in the slums and at the whim of Silvers. Silvers, with their godly, supernatural abilities, look down on the Reds with disdain and disgust.
Mare Barrow has lived in the Stilts all her life, stealing what she could to help her family survive. But suddenly and unexpectedly, she’s given a chance to prove she can be more than a thief, but it falls apart when she, along with all silvers, discover supernatural abilities, which she shouldn’t have because her blood is red.
Instantly she’s thrust into the deadly world of the silvers as a lost princess, and set to betroth one of the king’s sons. There are many deadly secrets hiding in the world of silvers and she’s only one. Delving further into the silver world, she’ll have to be careful. One wrong move could mean her life.
Sooooo…this is a reread. I read it a couple of years ago, but just having gotten Glass Sword and then King’s Cage, I wanted to relive this beginning. I’m very glad I did.
Mare is such an intense character. She’s very smart and quick on her feet and as a thief, she has to be. Now she has to do it as royalty or else she could end up worse than dead. Just like the first time, I was left holding my breath, and the end still shattered me. Mare’s heart broke and every bit of trust she harbored was obliterated. Everything she knew was ripped away and it messed me up good. Aveyard is great when it comes to the sting. And she stings a lot with the fierceness of a scorpion with dear Mare.
And the Princes! Let me faint for a moment here. Both Cal and Maven are stunning and crush-worthy in their own way. I blushed more than once. But, there’s really only one thing for me to say. I love Cal. He’s always thinking and from every angle, even though Mare thinks otherwise. He cares so much and it makes him a cautious person, which is understandable. I love this and how it matches to Mare’s boldness and her willingness to do what others can’t (More to come about this in Glass Sword review. Promise.). I totally ship Mal or Care or Mcare or whichever their ship name is. I like them together. Such an epic team, if not a heartbreaking one too.
Coming from the slums to the rich royalty, there was such a strong dynamic. There’s a darkness in both places. Each class struggles. The Reds because they live under the boots of Silvers. Silvers because they’re looking over their shoulder because they don’t trust each other at all and could kill each other for status. It’s really intense!
I also loved how the rebellion of the Scarlet Guard was born! Everything about it is so intricate! Like watching a plant poke up from soil and sprout and grow and spread. The rebellion just grew and grew and I was so enthralled! And this, because the war that has been waged for decades has finally broken the Reds.
Even in the beginning, The Scarlet Guard changed everything! Characters, places, the tone of the story. From this book, from the second Mare joins the rebellion, nothing will be the same. She’ll never be that same sixteen-year-old that just steals stuff. And I can’t get enough. For the guard!
The world of Reds and Silvers rich and dark. While it glimmers like gems, there’s a dread and depression and fear around every corner. I could almost taste it. So well done both in the Stilts and in the summer palace of the Silvers. Each place also made me feel really uneasy and unsafe, which is pretty impressive. I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in either place, yet Mare and her princes are.
Such an awesome book! I’m hooked! The supernatural abilities aren’t unique, but the way they’re written makes them unique! The writing makes them as fantastical as fairies and gods. It’s beautiful and scary and I’m so enchanted. Such a surprising book that left me on the edge of my seat wondering, who’s not making it out of this? I couldn’t get enough, honestly. A fresh and stunning book. And honestly? What I imagine to be GOT in the far future when the dragons die and Westeros evolves into something so much more.
“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars/ And they are no longer kind.” (Mare, p. 11)
“You are pretending to be raised Red, but you’re Silver by blood. You are no Red in the head, Silver in the heart.” (p. 95)
“We will rise. Red as the dawn.” (Will to Mare, p. 164)
“It’s our nature. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.” (p. 227)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? I’d Come For You by Nickelback.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!