It’s been a while since I’ve dived into book reviewing because I haven’t really had time to read for pleasure what with exams and everything (and also doing a lit degree I obviously have to read a lot of stuff for education). What I’m getting at is that it it’s summer now and I have more time to read, so you should expect a lot more book-related content from me! But anyway, grab a cuppa and let’s get into my review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard!
I’d wanted to read this for ages, and when I found it in a charity shop for £2.99 I decided why not give it a go? The front cover is super pretty and it’s a classic dystopian teen fiction novel – what’s not to love?
The general gist of the book is that there are two sort of factions: the Reds and the Silvers. The Silvers are royalty and control everything with their supernatural powers and Silver blood, fighting for sport, while the Reds are conscripted into the army if they’re without a job at 18, and those with a job do manual labour. Mare Barrow is a Red who lives with her parents and her younger sister, Gisa, and her three older brothers (Bree, Tramy and Shade) are fighting the war between the northern Kingdom (the Lakelands), and Norta.
The Scarlet Guard is a group of rebels looking to bring equality and stop the tyrannic Silvers, and Mare’s involvement with one of their plans causes her sister to lose her job. An encounter with Cal, a charismatic good looking boy who she attempts to pickpocket, leads to her being transported to the king’s local palace and being given a job as a servant, as Cal is Tiberias Calore VI’s son.
During the Queenstrial, where the Silver royals compete to win Cal’s hand, Mare shows herself to have supernatural powers, and is therefore given a cover story to avoid an uprising. She becomes the daughter of a Silver general who died in battle and was adopted by Reds, and she is given the name Mareena Titanos; she is betrothed to Maven, Tiberias’ second son. She becomes embroiled in a world of etiquette classes, royal balls and power control; all this as she attempts to aid the Scarlet Guard from the inside, finding allies in unexpected places. But who can she truly trust, and how is it possible that a Red has Silver powers?
As I said before, I love a good dystopian teen fiction novel, and this is definitely one of those. You’ve got the classic love triangle between the charismatic, handsome Cal and the shy and brooding Maven (Cal ftw), but it’s actually more like a love square as there’s also Kilorn, her best friend who could be something more. You also have the classic badass female main character of Mare looking after her little sister Gisa (their relationship gave me heavy Prim and Katniss vibes). I really liked the characters; I thought they were really well-developed emotionally and physically. I also thought that the world was really well described and built, and although I found the different names of the places and stuff a little complex to remember, I suppose this just added to the fleshing out of the universe.
I found the story super intriguing and I have to say – I literally couldn’t put this book down! I got so lost in the exciting world of the Silvers with their powers and royalty, and I was really interested to see how it played out. I fell in love with the characters, and I love it when you can really root for the resistance in these kinds of books.
There were twists and turns, and it was written perfectly to make you feel suspicion constantly in the back of your mind whilst also lulling you into a false sense of security. I have a feeling there will be many more twists and betrayals in the books to come; speaking of the next books – the end was a cliffhanger, and it really made me want to read more. It ended in an intriguing way that really left it open to see where the rebellion would take the world next.
Overall, I enjoyed this book more than I’d enjoyed any book in a long time. It has a lot of action, the right amount of romance and really well-developed and fierce female characters. I loved the writing style; I’m a sucker for a dystopia, especially one full of dark, twisted and descriptive battles and secrets. I’m super invested in this book, and using my new rating system for this blog series, I’m gonna give it 5 teacups out of 5! Thanks for reading everyone; let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book/ if you have any recommendations of similar books!
Oh and one last thing, if you have a goodreads account and fancy keeping up to date with what I’m reading, you can follow me here. (I have obviously read more books than it says, but I forgot my login for my other account, oops).