Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Red Queen and her Silver Lining

Recently I’ve been overwhelmed by the sea of new fantasies. So many amazing books are coming out the next few months—debuts, series beginnings, series continuations. It’s almost too much for me to handle! But in the midst of it all, there are a few that stand out, and Red Queen is one of those books. The concept is creative and the tension high, so I was thrilled to find myself in possession of an ARC of this lovely title and with just enough time to read it before it comes out Tuesday!

Red Queen

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.


My Thoughts
Red Queen is eloquent and fantastical with an intricate and interesting world. It tells the story of one girl, Mare, who's different, and what that means in her world, the land of Norta, where those with Red blood serve those with Silver blood.

Instead of diving into the story the moment Mare learns she’s different, Aveyard builds the world around Mare’s life. We learn about Mare's family—her three brothers who were conscripted into the King’s war, her younger sister who’s going to be a seamstress, her mother’s sorrow and her father’s war injury. Mare herself has made peace with the fact that she’s going to war, until a meeting with a mysterious stranger changes her course. This is world-building at its finest. Even though Aveyard doesn’t jump right to the moment Mare discovers she’s different from her friends and family, the seventy pages before that moment aren’t boring in the least. Plenty happens, including First Friday, in which we learn that those with Silver blood have powers like enhanced strength and the ability to control minds.

“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” –page 11

The moment everything changes is a big one, and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, actually I rather enjoy wetting your appetite for this amazing and powerful scene. Mare’s ability, witnessed by many Silvers, becomes the means by which the King of Norta blackmails her. From this point on, I couldn’t put Red Queen down! Mare’s strong and stubborn, and the fact that she’s strung between the King and the rebel group, the Scarlet Guard, meant I needed to know what happened. The intrigue and tension only got higher and better as the book continued! Plus, Aveyard's words are full of imagery. There were so many descriptions and metaphors that popped, making me love her style of writing.

Then there are the boys. Prince Cal is destined to be King, and while he’s loyal to his father, he has a soft spot for Mare. Prince Maven, Cal’s younger brother, is now betrothed to Mare, and even though she doesn’t feel connected to him at first, she gradually comes to realize they have a lot in common. And that’s not all! Kilorn, Mare’s childhood friend, was once an innocent apprentice to a fisherman, but now he’s joined the rebellion, and Mare can’t protect him anymore. Aveyard is setting up a killer love story, as well as a killer fantasy trilogy!

“I’m a Red girl in a sea of Silvers and I can’t afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.” –page 106

Red Queen comes out this Tuesday, February 10th, and I recommend it if you love intricate storylines, lovely descriptions and fantastical fantasies! Just remember, “anyone can betray anyone.”

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