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? – Goodreads
Yes, I get it—I’m so late to the Red Queen game. I will admit, though, that I held off reading this due to the hype—after all, that’s all it was, right?
Damn it, I get the hype. I get it. I got it so much, that I finished this puppy in less than 24 hours. I would have read it in less if not for my
needy sweet husband, who begged me to watch Mockingjay with him last night.
I rarely buy hardback books anymore, and prefer to keep tooooons of titles on my Kindle so I can read whatever I want whenever I want. But I made an exception for Red Queen, because I suspected my parents would also want to read it—so I bought the hardcover and waited patiently for two days for it to arrive.
I love the minimalism of the cover art. Stark, white background, simple font, a bleeding crown—it fits the title, it fits the book. I love that. Side note: how many of you take the jacket off of a hardback when reading it? I’m always terrified I’m going to bend the jacket, so I take it off and replace it when I’m done reading.
Within the first page, I was hooked. I was instantly interested in the main character, Mare. I mean, she stole for her family. I do not condone thievery, but would you steal bread for your starving family?
There is a little bit of world dumping in the first few chapters, but it’s spread out alright for the most part. It was a little bit of an information overload, though, so I had to keep rereading and trying to memorize certain things.
The premise is this: there are two castes of people, the Reds and the Silvers. The Reds are the poor, the workers, the soldiers—they are like us, they bleed red. They aren’t deemed special by the Silvers, the upper castes. They’re garbage, they’re disposable. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and have special abilities. The nymphs, who can control water. The techys, who have a gift with electronics and technology. The strongarms, who have superhuman strength. The list goes on. These special people are royalty, nobility, and oppress the Reds.
I will admit, it was a bit Hunger Games-y for me, especially after watching Mockingjay. I had an easy time drawing several parallels, which I tried not to do while reading. Instead of becoming a tribute, eighteen-year-olds are conscripted into the army. Instead of Games, they have Feats, where Silvers fight it out to display how strong they are. There are quite a few more parallels, but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. This is where it lost half a star for me, though. It wasn’t that original. Some people also compare it to Red Rising, though I haven’t read that series.
The characters were good. I would have liked to learn a little bit more about Mare—she seemed a little flat to me. Prince Cal was your typical brave prince, and Prince Maven was the babied younger sibling. We saw a small glimpse of her family, but for the most part, everyone is very guarded. This is where the other half a star was taken from.
I loved the worldbuilding—it was amazing, to say the least. I could clearly picture everything, and I loved the idea of the Silvers and the Reds.
The romance was not as strong as I would have liked it to be, but it worked. I did not appreciate the love triangle, though. I hope the romance bit develops more in future books.
There are quite a few plot twists, so I’ve left out a lot of the story—in short, it was complex, enjoyable, though a bit predictable at times. It’s been a while since I’ve become so wrapped up in a fantasy world, and it was a much needed escape from real life. I would highly recommend this to those who enjoy YA dystopian fantasy. I rated it a 4/5 on Goodreads and added it to my favorites shelf 🙂 I can’t believe that book two won’t be released until 2016.
Have you read Red Queen? What did you think of it?