Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen



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…

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 383
Publishing Date: Feb. 10th, 2015

Author’s Website  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Book Depository

As I continued with my new year’s book resolution of reading books that were outside of my contemporary-book-comfort-zone, I decided to dive into another dystopian/fantasy novel.

Red Queen has been sitting on my bookshelf… for a while… a while as in… almost a year. I bought the book at YALLWEST April 2015 and the author, Victoria Aveyard, autographed a copy for me (although, sadly, it was my grandma who got the autograph for me while I was attending a panel. I wish I could’ve met Victoria in person!).

I would always consider picking the book up and reading it but, quite frankly, the book intimidated me. Venturing into a new dystopian/fantasy world intimated me.

But after finishing this amazing novel, I keep asking myself why I hadn’t read this earlier. Because of the grand nature of the plot twists in this book, the rest of this review will contain spoilers! So, to sum it up in a non-spoilery way, if you haven’t read Red Queen yet, go read it. The setting and characters are amazingly put together and the PLOT. IS. PHENOMENAL. Red Queen is amazing and plot twist-y and it’s as if  DivergentThe Hunger Games, and The Selection were combined into one, fantastically written book.

The rest of this review contains spoilers!

I’ve always said that the only time I didn’t expect an extremely major plot twist was when I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and ever since then, I didn’t think I would experience that much of a plot-twist-shock again. HA HA. VICTORIA AVEYARD JUST PROVED ME WRONG.

Maven, Maven, Maven. I loved and adored and trusted you. I didn’t expect MAVEN of all people to turn out to be the bad guy. But then, after absorbing it all, it made so much sense. The way that he slowly turned Mare (and the readers) against Cal, the way that he was just too nice and loving and perfect. I SHOULD’VE SEEN THIS COMING. BUT I DIDN’T. I DON’T THINK ANYBODY DID.

This was honestly such a well thought out plot full of twists and turns and it was all pieced together so well. And I still don’t know who to trust. I want to trust the Scarlet Guard but now there’s this voice in the back of my head saying “lol watch they’ll turn out to be evil, too”.

But putting all plot twists aside, one of the main things I loved about this book was how there was a bit of a love triangle, but it was a good love triangle. Usually love triangles get overused and annoying really quickly, but Victoria Aveyard does such an amazing job with including a love triangle that is subtle and realistic, and it never overpowered the main plot of the story, which I appreciated greatly.

Mare Barrow is such a badass. She’s thrown into this world of Silvers and royalty and war and powers she never knew she had and she deals with it all so well and through it all, she never loses who she is. She doesn’t become one of those characters in a love triangle where all they think about is choosing who they want to be with. She doesn’t turn evil and she doesn’t forget about what she stands for. She’s the epitome of female protagonists.

“So you choose him?”
“Cal betrayed me, and I betrayed him. And you betrayed us both, in a thousand different ways.” The words are heavy as stone but right. So right. “I choose no one.”

I seriously trusted Maven so much. So much. I never expected for him to be so cruel. Yet, sadly enough, I still want him to be good. I want there to be more to the story. I want him to turn around and realize he truly loves Mare and win her back. He reminded me of Warner from Shatter Me (another evil character that I am somehow greatly attached to). I really hope we get to learn more about Maven, his past, and why he’s turned so evil in the next novel. I must admit, I still greatly ship Mare and Maven and I hope that somehow they end up together.

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.”

I have so many mixed feelings regarding Cal. It’s understandable that he would always take his father’s side regarding war and how society is run, but I was still greatly annoyed at how he agreed with the horrible living quality that Reds were going through. I was surprised at how much he cared still about Mare after everything they had gone through towards the end of the novel, especially when they were in the arena-of-ultimate-superhero-death (as I call it) together. This makes me wonder what direction Mare’s love life will go; will she and Cal reconcile and fall in love? Will Mare take the evil route and join Maven? Will Maven become good and win Mare back? Will Kilorn come in and sweep Mare off her feet? THERE ARE ENDLESS LOVE POSSIBILITIES FOR THIS SERIES.

“Cal is a cliff, and I throw myself over the edge, not bothering to think of what it could do to us both.”

There were so many other characters in this book that I enjoyed reading about! I really liked Kilorn and I was happy that, for once, there was a friendship that didn’t involve any romance (at least, that’s what I thought). Kilorn and Mare are simply best friends that love each other on a best friend level and it was really refreshing to read about that. Julian reminded me of Cinna from The Hunger Games. He was likeable, trustworthy, and all around just one of those characters that you hope nothing bad ever happens to them. I loved Mare’s family so much! They each had these certain qualities about them that I loved, and I hope we see more of them in the next novel. Am I the only one that loves Shade a ton even though he was barely even in the book? Regarding Queen Elara; well. She can just. Leave. No. BYE.

I didn’t expect this book to be as amazing as it was! While it took me a few chapters to fully immerse myself into the story, as soon as I did, I found that I couldn’t stop reading. (I may or may not have stayed up until almost 4am reading this…) Overall, this book had a great plot full of many twists that were unexpected, characters that I loved, characters that I hated, characters that I should hate but still kind of love (*cough*Maven*cough*), and a setting that I can’t wait to see be developed even more in the next book. I am very eagerly awaiting February 9th so I can get my hands on Glass Sword.

5 Stars

Have any of you read Red Queen? What are your thoughts on it? Comment them below!



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