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?
Warning: Contains spoilers!
First of all, the world in which Red Queen is set is divided into two castes of people- Red and Silver. Reds are just normal people that serve their Silver overlords. Silvers are superhuman with a HUGE variety of powers ranging from elemental manipulation to mind control. Silvers even bleed silver for goodness sake! The different colored blood is really quite an interesting way to create a societal divide. I haven’t seen this in any other book I’ve read, so kudos to Victoria Aveyard!
The actual world is spoken of and described, but not in the same level of detail as an 800 page epic fantasy. It’s totally okay though, because we the readers don’t need to know that much (yet)! During the course of the story, a long going war between the countries of Norta and Lakeland is much discussed. All Reds that haven’t been apprenticed when they turn 18 are drafted and many are sent to fight in the war, including Mare’s three older brothers. Based on the impact that it has had on Mare’s family, I suspect the war will become much more central to the story line in the following books.
Without going into too much detail, I just want to say that the plot twists in this story were phenomenal!!! The Maven twist was so out of the blue that I just had to take a moment and digest what just happened. There were other smaller unexpected revelations that were great too. None of them seemed to be unnecessary or added for shock value in my opinion. I just couldn’t put this book down!
There were a couple small things that I just felt meh about. One was the almost love triangle with Cal, Maven, and Mare. Why are these decisions always such a big deal?! It’s so obvious who she’ll end up picking! The second thing was probably just me, but I felt it paralleled the Selection series. I might be crazy but let me explain- a poor girl is suddenly in the spotlight, then there is a love triangle with the guy who is obviously #1 and the obvious runner up. Also, rebels. Rebels, dystopian societies, and political upheaval are like the new vampires, werewolves, and angels. I blame the Hunger Games, but this change is totally not a bad thing.
Some of my favorite parts of this book were when Mare was training and studying with Julian. Julian was so curious to actually know what Mare was and how her fantastic electric powers worked. I also want to just throw out that this would be a great power to have. You would never have to worry about a dead cell phone again! And she could just zap her enemies at will. From a distance. And control storms.
Red Queen was an exciting beginning to what I hope will be a really strong dystopian YA series. Overall, I give Red Queen a 4 out of 5 stars because I did really like it, but there are others that I like exponentially more.