“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

Redqueen

asteriaiconWhen I saw this book at Walmart, I am not going to lie, the cover intrigued me. It was just a simple light blue cover, with a silver crown dripping red blood. It was very simple, very elegant looking, very sharp, and eye catching. So I had to read the synopsis to see what this was.

The teen novel takes place in a dystopian-esque world, along the same vein as Hunger Games. The world is divided by blood; silver or red. Silver bloods are the elite, the high society, each with god like super powers. The red bloods are the poverty stricken commoners, devoid of any super power. Mare Barrow, a strong female character, hates the silvers, and steals to help her and her family survive. She has watched her older brothers be drafted into a war they have no business being in, and soon her best friend will join them.

Mare find herself one day being offered a job to work in the Silver Palace, working as a servant for the king and queen, and their two princes Cal and Maven. Cal is the heir to the throne, and he understands his place in society. He has to be military smart, and learn how to lead his people through a war that is fought on the red’s backs. He is not without kindness to the reds, he understands life is hard for them, but he will not change the course of history to help them. Maven, on the other hand, couldn’t be more opposite. He knows he will never lead, that role falls to his brother. He is softer and kinder, and hard not to love. When Mare accidentally falls, and reveals a power she did not know she possessed, a power by all rights she should not have, all bets are off. The family has to find a way to explain her powers away, and decide to tell the silver community that she is the daughter of a long lost silver, and will be set to marry their son Maven.

Mare has a lot to learn. She has to learn to control her powers, but also has to learn how to be a silver, how to be an elite, when she grew up poor. She decides to make the best of her situation and tries to make the world a better place for the reds. She secretly starts to work for the Red Guard, a resistance group trying to overthrow the silver regime. Maven, knowing he has nothing to lose, decides to help her and the cause.

As I stated above, this is like a cross between dystopian and fantasy writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I tend to not like fantasy novels much. Many have tried to be the next Hunger Games, and most have fallen hard. This though, this has a good fast paced story. I loved that Mare is a smart, strong, female lead, and she leads with her brain, not her heart. There is a bit of a love triangle between her and the princes, but she never lets it rule her decisions completely.  I have heard rumblings that this may be turned into a movie as well, which would be a good one to watch, I think some of the super power theatrics would translate to the big screen beautifully. This is the first book in a series, and I found it well worth the read so far. But just remember dear readers… “anyone can betray anyone”.

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