Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Updated: May 6, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

The Red Queen lives up to its name, with a fantasy-themed twist on the issues of discrimination and the class divide. And a tale of how one small act and one person can make all the difference.

Mare Barrow is on the verge of adulthood and on the verge of conscription to the army. In Norta, every girl and boy who doesn’t have a job, by the time they are an adult, they are forced by law to become a soldier in the decade’s long war with no end, just like her three older brothers.

The conscription only applies to red bloods like Mare, who live in poor villages compared to the silver bloods, who are smothered in riches and luxury in far off cities. This is because silver bloods are born with supernatural powers, each power specific to their noble families.

When a failed attempt to gain money to leave her Red village with her best friend Kilorn goes wrong, injuring her sister Gisa and her family’s future; she bumps into someone promising to give her job. She thinks nothing of it until an order from the royal palace (where the royal family of silver bloods reside) arrives offering her work, and the stranger she bumped into turns out to be Cal, the eldest prince and future king of Norta.

At the palaces Queens Trial, Mare is sent to serve while a wife and a future queen is picked out for Cal. What Mare wasn’t expecting was for supernatural powers of her own, like lightning, to burst out of her, disrupting the event.

One problem, she is a red blood with the powers of a silver blood. So, Cal’s father King Tiberias Calore VI and Cal’s stepmother (and Maven’s mother) Queen Elara Merandus decided to cover it up by declaring Mare a long lost silver called Lady Mareena Titanos whose father is a decreased silver-blooded nobleman and war hero. To keep a further hold on her, she is forced to become engaged to Cal’s younger, half-brother, Prince Maven.

Mare is sent to learn how to be a noble lady and royal bride, one foot out of line could cost Mare her life. When the Scarlet Guard, an army who fight for the rights of red bloods, start to attack, Mare finds herself joining them along with allies from the royal palace itself, who seem too good to be true.

One thing is for sure, Mare knows she is different and that being a red in a sea of silvers cannot end well.

Mare’s mantra throughout the book that “Anyone can betray anyone” means for unexpected and unpredictable events in the novel. Don’t be fooled, the Red Queen isn’t without its subtle humour and sparks of romance.

A new series with the intrigue of politics and rebellion, romances and friendships being formed and tested, and one girl showing what you were born into doesn’t determine where you will go. If you’re looking to indulge in a new book series, then look no further than the Red Queen series!

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