I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 10, 2015
Source: the publisher
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.
I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved this book. Everything about it was epic – the world, the characters, the plot, the writing. From the moment I saw the cover and title, I knew I was going to love Red Queen. Not only did it not disappoint, but it also exceeded my expectations!
I liked Mare and her voice pretty much right away. She did what she had to in order to provide for her family, even though they didn’t appreciate her or her help. She kind of reminded me of Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses in that sense. Mare loves her family and Kilorn and will do anything to protect them. At the same time, she’s trying to avoid the bleak future that awaits her. As the story goes on, Mare becomes stronger and bolder, learning how to control her ability so she can fight for freedom. I definitely saw some parallels with Pawn by Aimee Carter, both in Mare’s personality and in the plot.
Cal was an interesting character but I’m not really sure how I feel about him. He was incredibly kind to Mare in the beginning, though I wonder about his reasons for doing what he did. Was it just to be kind? Was it out of guilt? Did he like her as early as then? Even after finishing the book, I’m just a little suspicious of his motives. I also didn’t ship him and Mare at all. I just didn’t see any sparks or sense anything more than friendship.
I ADORED Maven, though. He was so kind, sweet, generous, adorable… Everything that makes a perfect book boyfriend. I also pictured him as Bash from Reign, so if you watch that show… Swoon!!!!!!! I loved how he treated Mare, how he listened to her and helped her. How he cared for his country and his people and wanted to do right by everyone. And then came the ending… *Opens mouth. Shuts mouth. Opens mouth again. Sighs. Shakes head. Sniffles. Walks away.*
Queen Elara scared me and her ability was shudder-inducing! Also, every time I pictured her, I saw Queen Catherine from Reign. She was so manipulative and evil and seemed to relish in the pain she brought upon others. King Tiberias wasn’t much better. And yes, I pictured him as King Henry from Reign.. What else did you expect? He actually wasn’t quite as ruthless and cold as Elara, but he was still a ruler and still put his needs above everyone else’s. He just did it in a more practical way. And then the end… Sigh. And let’s not even talk about how badly I wanted to bitch slap Evangeline (or how I pictured her as Princess Claude from Reign.. Cause, you know, we’ve already established the fact that I’ve been watching too much Reign).
Other characters that deserve notable mention are Julian and Lucas. To be honest, as much as I liked them, they kind of blended together into one person for me, so I don’t have too much to say about them. And don’t even get me started on Kilorn… He kind of reminded me of Gale (The Hunger Games) except a lot more annoying… Which is saying a LOT cause I didn’t really care for Book Gale that much at all. It was obvious Kilorn was meant to be part of the love triangle.. or love square.. or whatever… But I didn’t see any sparks with him and Mare. They were like brother and sister to me, honestly. Speaking of brothers, I loved Mare’s brothers. All of them. And one major thing that happened with them? I had a weird feeling and my feeling was right! (That’s so vague, I know.. But… spoilers… Can’t have spoilers!)
Aside from loving all the characters and picturing them as the cast of Reign, I also loved Red Queen’s plot and Victoria Aveyard’s writing. While I can definitely see similarities with other books (Like Pawn and A Court of Thornes and Roses, as mentioned above), Red Queen was still a unique, intriguing book. Aveyard pulled off some epic plot twists that I didn’t see coming, too. I’m usually pretty good at sensing/guessing plot twists and while I definitely figured out one major one from very early on, I was completely blown away/shocked by the MAJOR major plot twist at the end. My jaw is still hanging open over that huge plot twist. My feels are broken and I’m currently experiencing a big book hangover! I haven’t even started a new book yet; I’m still trying to grasp that ending…
Overall, I adored Red Queen like crazy! It’s definitely in my top five favorites of 2015 – and we’re only in February!! I highly recommend this book for fans of Dystopian and magic! Also, even if you aren’t sure about the book, look at that epic cover! How could you look at that and not want it on your shelf?!? So yeah, I’d definitely say I’m beyond excited for book two! I can’t wait to see what happens next! And I can’t wait to see what else Aveyard does, beyond just the Red Queen trilogy. I have a feeling she’s going to go far in this industry! She’s definitely going on my Auto-Buy List!