This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.
Red Queen had my biting my nails and unable to concentrate on anything else as I listened to the story unfold.
If you’ve been in the book community for even a short amount of time, you’ve likely heard of Red Queen, and like me, may have had it on your TBR for years. I’m usually pretty timid when trying books that are “loved by all” because in truth, books that are popular like The Hunger Games and Divergent, for example, just fell below par for me. It took some special encouragement from a fellow bookworm for me to finally dive into the world of Red Queen, and I’m very glad that I did!
Royal betrayal and lies, court games, and political decline are some of my absolute favorite dramas to read about, because of the suspense and hurt that comes with it. But for me, it must be very well done and really rip my heart out, or I don’t like it. Red Queen did that. Flawlessly. One of the biggest things that had me in this story, is that I really didn’t know who the love interest was nor who would be the betrayer. Victoria Aveyard took the top three (in my opinion) most common personality tropes for royal betrayal and literally presented them all to Mare as a potential love interest. Three men. All cuties and attractive. I had no idea who to trust, and that doesn’t happen often. *Hats off to the author* I went back and forth trying to call who would be the betrayer for the first half of the book, literally clueless, and once I made my choice, I stuck with it to the bitter end. I was terribly wrong and suffered deeply for it. I said my expectations were to have my heart ripped from my chest, and it was.
I hate female heroines. Popular ones that is. There really are so few that I actually like, but Mare, I like Mare. I could relate to Mare. All of her decisions just proved that she was definitely me if I were to be in her shoes. The actions she took out of self preservation. The pride she held at playing this game of wits where losing meant death. The passion that drove her down the road of her decisions. I agreed that I would have done pretty much everything she did, which certainly caused some serious self-reflection in a few cases haha.
As for the audiobook, I don’t have anything to complain about, though I do know that I have heard narrators with more diverse voice characterization and excitement while reading than this one. The narrator does a great job and she certainly brought the book to life, but there were a few scenes where she dipped into monotone reading that sort of let me zone out and I had to re-start a scene occasionally.
Overall, with me being a skeptic going into this bestselling book, I was blown away. I can’t wait to continue the story in book two!
Trigger Warnings: Very few mild curse words. Sexual content is nothing more than a few kisses. Gore is fairly high with beheadings and mentions of blood, nothing beyond a PG-13 rating. Other content to be wary of is mention of suicide, very briefly and undetailed.