Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Published by Harper Teen on February 10th 2015
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
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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.
Oh, Red Queen. I wasn’t shy about talking about my anticipation for this book. The cover is STUNNING, and with my newfound love of all things fantasy, this was at the top of my list. It probably was my most anticipated debut of 2015…
Did anyone feel like the royal family was so similar to the Baratheon/Lannister family in Game of Thrones? GOSH, I could not get this out of my head the entire time. Obviously it wasn’t spot on, but the King and Queen reminded me so much of Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister!
Firstly, the characters. Holy smokes, there was a ton of characters in this book, especially since a lot of them played quite a large part in the story. Mare is the main character. I really liked her by the end of the book, her heart was what really made me love her. She tried to come off as unfeeling and push her emotions away, but that didn’t work for very long, and she hardly ever thought with her head. Kilorn is Mare’s childhood friend, and I really liked him a lot. I wish there relationship had of been built up a bit more for us in the first book. I also really loved Mare’s family, the short glimpses that we saw of them. And Cal and Maven. If there ever was two characters that cause conflicting emotions the entire book, it was these two. I had no idea what to think of them at any given moment. I hated both of them and then at other times, loved them as well. I can’t wait to see how both of them are built up in the second book. There were also a lot of secondary characters that played a huge part in the story, that I immediately fell in love with. It was a struggle for me to want to really like any of them at first though because I was expecting the ball to drop and one of them to backstab Mare.
Gosh, I couldn’t get sucked into this book for the longest time. It took me nearly a week to get through 15% of it, it just did not grab me from the get-go. I though the characters were lackluster and the plot dry. I contemplated DNFing it, which definitely hasn’t happened to me for awhile, but ultimately I decided to slog through a bit more as it was so highly anticipated by me. I’m glad I kept going because I did really enjoy it once Mare got wrapped up in the royal court and that’s ultimately where the plot really took off. I thought the plot was interesting but incomplete. I liked the concept of Red’s vs Silver’s but reflecting back now, I can’t remember it ever being explained how that came to be? I could be wrong, and if it was, it certainly wasn’t memorable to me. The worldbuilding was a bit of a let down as we didn’t get as much as I would have liked, and it was somewhat sporadic, but after the story took off, the plot and characters were enjoyable so I didn’t think about it.
Also, I saw that twist coming from a mile away. Maybe it was because I basically saturated myself in the first part of the book because I could not get through it for the life of me, but there was zero shock value for me in that ‘surprise’. I was essentially counting down the pages, and the only anticipation there was wondering where it was going to happen. Also, that little ‘shocker’ at the end of the story I figured was happening also. So altogether this Red Queen definitely didn’t pack the punches I expected it to in the twist category.
Despite the issues I had with Red Queen, ultimately I ended up enjoying the story. I really like Mare, Kilorn and Mare’s family and I am definitely invested in continuing the series. I am really intrigued how the next book is going to play out.