Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Harper Collins on February 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty, Young Adult
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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.
The setting of a novel is one of the most important elements of a story. Your characters can be the best ever. However, if the reader can not visualize the land or world that the author created, then the sense of being in the midst of everything going on, is never established and slowly forgotten. In Red Queen you are immediately immersed into two very live worlds. The world of Reds and the world of Silvers. A setting that is clearly defined in the authors description of both worlds. The color of your blood determines your ultimate status in life, forever. Mare is a daughter, a sister, a provider and a protector. Her deep crimson blood signifies that she’ll always live a life of despair, ultimate need, and the feeling of never having enough to live on. Cal is the reflection of royalty. His blood runs like molten lava the color of shiny grey, as he is a Silver. A reflection of all things great. All things good. Unstoppable. All powerful.
Their worlds are like oil and vinegar. Shaken with war and destruction, however never mixed with kindness or equality. Separate, always. Reading Red Queen gave me the feeling of “de ja vu.” it almost felt as if I had already entered this world of super powers, social status, fighting for causes, secrets unsolved and undiscovered before. This storyline has several love interest embedded throughout with Mare and Cal, and Maven and maybe even another, which always kept me wondering.
Lastly, as I pushed through to see how the events of Mare’s life would unfold with all the struggles set upon her, my original feeling was that this novel just hadn’t reached the ultimate happy place that I like to be at. But then within the last quarter of the novel, Ms. Aveyard brought it home with excitement, twists and bunch of other things that I just didn’t expect. I wish I could go back and tell my students that the whole concept of never judge a book by its cover is somewhat false. This cover spoke to me. My interest for Red Queen was peeked with the cover. The crown. Upside down, dripping of crimson blood. It tells a story. One of power, one of love, one of life. I look forward to what the author has to bring in her next novel of this series, as Mare’s life just may depend on it.