Thursday, March 12, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: February 10, 2015
Source/format: Library/Hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆1/2
Synopsis (from goodreads):

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.

My Thoughts:

Red Queen has been recommended to me by several people and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. The novel reminds me of a mix of the Hunger Games series, the Selection series and Red Rising. Mare Barrow is a Red and is from the Stilts. She is almost 18 and doesn't have a job or apprenticeship. Those who don't have an employment before they turn 18 are conscripted into the army. She has been supporting her family living as a thief and miscreant. Her brothers are in military and her younger sister is supporting her family through a highly praised apprenticeship. Silvers live in a world of luxury while the Reds work hard to survive. Besides the color of their blood, Silvers all have a special ability derived from the family house they are born in.

Mare ends up in an awkward position after saving her own life. It turns out Mare has a special ability that she shouldn't have since she is only a Red. Mare joins the world of the elite disguised as a long lost princess of a war hero. She is no longer Mare Barrow to the world except to her family, the royal family and to a few others.

Mare is quite frustrating at times during the book. I understand she doesn't like to be told what to do but there is a fine line and she is definitely hovering on it. It's life or death and she doesn't seem to care. She definitely needs to learn how to think before she talks. I am surprised she wasn't punished or reprimanded a lot when she was out of line.

Although I enjoyed the book, I feel like the book was quite hyped up over the past few months. Is it the best book I've read? No, but it was a fun read. Sometimes I feel like when books are over-hyped, I have higher expectations for the books. I'm not fond of the weird love square in the book. There are a lot of High Houses to remember and a lot of landmarks. I would love to see a map of Norta. It would be easier to picture where everything is located.

Julian is one of my favorite characters in the novel and I do agree with him when he mentioned, "anyone can betray anyone." The betrayal in the novel is quite obvious to me pretty early on in the book. I wasn't nearly as surprised when I found out. Hopefully in the second and third installments, the twists will be more unpredictable.

Mare reminded me a lot of Katniss. She is determined to take care of her family. She doesn't think when she talks and sometimes is quite unlikable. She has a friend name Kilorn who is very similar to Gale in term of personality. There is a section in the Red Queen where Mare and Kilorn are thinking about running away to escape conscription. This definitely reminds me of when Katniss and Gale were trying to run away from the Reaping and the Games. Both books have some kind of secret rebellion society. Mare and Katniss are used as symbols to encourage certain behavior from the masses even though they do not want to.

Red Queen reminded me of Red Rising. Mare and Darrow are Reds. Mare becomes a Silver and Darrow becomes a Gold. Both novels have a Red infiltrating the elite. The fact that throughout both books, red is rising is mentioned a lot. It's too similar.

The Queenstrial reminded me of the Selection. Girls will compete to become part of the royal family. The whole cattiness between the girls in both books are quite similar. I find Evangeline to be very Celeste like. She is obviously conceited with herself and doesn't mind bullying others. She finds herself to be highly regarded and treats others like they are "below" her.

If you are looking for a fun dystopian fantasy, check out the Red Queen. Victoria Aveyard's debut novel is the first novel in the Red Queen trilogy.


  1. I couldn't agree more Nicole! I was a bit surprised at how predictable some parts of the book were. I am still not sold on the comparison to The Selection but I do like this one as a possibly action-packed read-a-like for The Hunger Games.

    1. There are hints of The Selection but they are minor. I definitely see more similarities between the Red Queen and The Hunger Games.

  2. I was disappointed with Red Queen as well. It was just too similar and used too many ideas from other YA books.

    1. It was pretty much a mish mash of other YA titles but together. I did read the The Glass Sword recently and eh. I wasn't having high expectations but I was looking for redemption.

    2. Okay good I'm not going to buy it, then.