Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

From Goodreads: The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control. But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: One of the most hyped books of early 2015, Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen sucked me in right away due to its mixture of paranormal, fantasy, and dystopian elements, the ever present danger of a girl’s secret identity being revealed, and court intrigue. The more I read Red Queen however, the more I noticed that the worldbuilding was seriously lacking. For example, there was little mention about the history of the world that Aveyard created, or how the Silver hierarchy came to be.

In addition, while I liked Mare’s loyalty to her loved ones and her willingness to sacrifice everything to change things for the better for all Reds, she was incredibly na├»ve at times. One such instance that comes to mind is her randomly thinking that Prince Cal would choose her over his throne since he loved her. Although he displayed some interest in her, at no point did Cal say that he loved her. So, I’m not sure how she arrived to this conclusion.

Speaking of Cal, there was very little outright romance in Red Queen. But, that’s not to say that there aren’t several guys who are attracted to Mare. First, there’s Mare’s childhood best friend, Kilorn, who I personally think is the best option for her because they have things in common and know each other well. Then, you have Cal, the crown prince, who’s of course extremely nice and attractive. Finally, because two boys aren’t enough, Prince Maven, Cal’s younger brother, also seems to develop feelings for Mare. Now, normally reading a story where every single male seems to fall in love with the main character annoys me, but I found the situation in Red Queen more tolerable because each person had their own agenda, which meant that I was never sure whether their attraction to Mare was actually real or something that they were using to manipulate her.

A solid debut that I hope has a sequel with more elaborate worldbuilding, Red Queen will be released on February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen. 

Comments About the Cover: How gorgeous is that cover?! I love the blood dripping off the crown!  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss. 


  1. Great review! It's refreshing to see a review that isn't gushing about how amazing this book is. As I have yet to read it, I think your review helps balance out, and give a well-rounded view of the book.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. When you first started talking about how everyone wanted Mare my reaction was "uuuuugggggghhhhhhh". Those types of stories get on my nerves usually. BUT the whole political agenda aspect doesn't make it seem so bad. I'll be sitting there trying to figure out who wants her and who wants to use her.

  3. Right on, this sounds definitely promising! I think it's been a while since I've been truly impressed with world building so that sucks, but it is also not surprising to me. But putting aside some flaws, I'm thinking Red Queen will be one that I like overall as well. I'm looking forward to what Aveyard brings to the table - especially when it comes to the court intrigue and romance that's not overdone.

  4. I kept seeing this cover all over the blogosphere but had no idea what it was about! Sorry the world building was lacking. It seems a bit unfinished especially with it's love rectangle situation. Is this part of a series?

  5. "but I found the situation in Red Queen more tolerable because each person had their own agenda, which meant that I was never sure whether their attraction to Mare was actually real or something that they were using to manipulate her."

    SAME! I think if I'd read a number of reviews for this one before picking it up and they all mentioned 3 guys interested in the heroine, I would have been really put off. But in the context of this world and Mare's situation, I thought everything worked:) Glad you enjoyed this one for the most part Z!


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