I devoured this book. I mean one sitting, 383 pages. Total binge-reading.
If I had to compare it I’d call it a mix between Kristin Cashore’s Graceling series , Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes (all of which are great if you haven’t read them).
It falls into the fantasy and dystopian YA genres that has become more and more popular.
Written by Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen takes place in the nation of Norta, which is divided into two classes: the Red and the Silvers. Those born Red have red blood. This means that they are normal, average. Reds suffer poorer living conditions and are forced into the army at 18 unless they possess a job.
Silvers are born with silver blood and supernatural abilities that include telekinesis, control over elements, and mind control to name a few. Silvers are the upper class and make up the high houses and royal family
Mare Barrow lives her whole life as a lowly Red. She steals to support her family the best she can, but is about to turn 18 and be conscripted into the army like her three older brothers. This all changes after an incident in front of Norta’s royal family.
Mare discovers abilities she didn’t know she had, and isn’t supposed to have: she’s a Red after all. So to cover up this impossibility she is forced by the King to play the role of a lost Silver noble.
Never sure who she can trust Mare is forced to navigate her power, love, and the impending rebellion all on her own.
Mare is truly empowering, and is up to par with recent teen “it” girls Katniss and Tris from The Hunger Games and Divergent series respectively. And while a lot of books that fall into this genre have predictable twists and turns, everything that surprised Mare surprised me as the reader. Just like Mare never knows who to trust, you don’t either.
The book, which is in the middle of a twenty-three week run on The New York Times Young Adult bestseller list, has already been optioned for a film by Universal. You don’t have to wait long to get more of Mare though—Red Queen‘s sequel Glass Sword is being published February 9th.
Still can’t get enough? Check out Aveyard’s novella Cruel Crown for more insight into the politics of Norta.
You can find Aveyard’s novels on Amazon. Let me know what you think of Red Queen in the comments!