The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most.
She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own.
One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Hardcover, 320 pages
Four stars: An engaging and thrilling new dystopian series.
Mare is desperate. Her eighteenth birthday is nearing, and she will soon be conscripted into the army to fight the never ending war. Mare is a lowly Red, forced to live a hard life, fraught with poverty, death and always held subservient to the powerful Silvers, who rule the world with their magic. A strange stroke of luck, lands Mare in the midst of the royal family, and she soon finds herself thrust into the dangerous world of the Silvers. This is her chance to do something to help the Reds, but Mare doesn't realize how deadly the stakes are. Will Mare survive in the Silver Palace?
What I Liked:
- Red Queen was a thrilling and exciting dystopian read that kept me entertained throughout. I liked the characters, loved the world building, and I was sucked in by the action and danger. If you are looking for a solid new dystopian series, Red Queen is one of the most promising introductions I have read in awhile.
- I liked that this book drew upon many well known themes that we have encountered in our own history. At the heart of the story, is the age old conflict between the Silvers and Reds. The Silvers are born with magical abilities, and their blood is silver. They have all the power and advantages, and thus, they hold the Reds in a subservient position. The lowly Reds have no powers, and they are forced to be servants, and they are the ones who are sent to die in the centuries old war that rages through the land. I liked watching Mare, a poor Red girl, find herself in the middle of the powerful Silvers, fighting for her own survival while trying to help her people.
- I loved the whole idea of the Silvers. It is reminiscent of The Xmen, but instead the ones with magical abilities hold all the power. I liked exploring all the abilities of the Silvers. If you are a fan of Xmen, you should check out this series.
- Mare was a character who was easy to get behind. I admired her tenacity and courage, and her willingness to take big risks to try and help her people. She never backs down, even at the end when she is facing insurmountable odds.
- The world building is solid. I thought the author did a great job fleshing out her world, and I was most impressed with her world building.
- I loved that the book is fast paced, and never dull. There are some stunning twists, and developments that you won't see coming. I loved that it exploded with action and danger, and that it never lets up.
- The ending is fast and furious, but it draws to a satisfying close. I was pleased that it didn't end on a nasty cliffhanger. It stops in a good spot, without frustrating the reader. Granted, there are some big threads to follow up on in the next book, but nothing that left me in agony.
And The Not So Much:
- One aspect that frustrated me was that the author didn't take the time to explain how the division between the Silvers and the Reds came to be. Why was one race born with magic and another not? I would have liked a bit more detail on the societal division.
- The romance is frustrating. Many are complaining that there is a love triangle, but there really isn't one. Mare never really commits to either suitor, and in fact, the romance isn't a big focus, which I liked. I was pleased at first that a slow, subtle romance seemed to be building, and I thought it was moving perfectly. Then at the end, there is this big pivotal moment which calls the supposed romance to the forefront. I had big issues with this part of the book, because I felt that Mare was taking a big gamble on one of the boys having strong feelings for her, even though he had never come out and proclaimed his feelings. It just didn't work for me. Thankfully at the end, the romance is pulled off the table, and I am hopeful that it will build the right way, though I am still worried about a love triangle developing because I think there was a third suitor all along.
- Even though I admired Mare and her courage, I didn't like that she was too trusting, even though she was warned repeatedly not to trust anyone. She makes way too many rash decisions, which go badly. She has a lot of growing to do.
- I didn't like that after Mare's younger sister risks everything for Mare, that Mare didn't try and find a way to help Gisa. I kept expecting her to try and get a healer with her new found status, but she does nothing. I thought she totally sold her sister short.
Red Queen was a fast paced, action packed dystopian with magic, treachery and more. If you are a fan of YA dystopians, this is one of the most promising debuts I have read in awhile. I am most eager to continue this series. Red Queen is worth checking out.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.