I read Red Queen on a whim this past summer as the cover of the book interested me. As I do with all books that I buy I looked it up on Amazon to see if it was worth the purchase and as soon as I dived in, I realized it absolutely was. As I sit here today, trying to wrap my mind around its sheer awesomeness and put together a somewhat coherent review, I get ridiculously excited all over again, just thinking about the plot, the complex world-building, the insane plot twists and just how visually stunning and breathtakingly magnificent the whole story was.
The one at the center of it all is Mare Barrow. Mare lives in a world divided by the color of blood, in which the Silver-blooded Royals hold all the power (both literally and metaphorically speaking) and the Red-bloods are nothing more than poor, lowly servants. The Silvers have supernatural powers, the Reds do not. At least that’s how it’s always been and what the Silvers want everyone to believe. When Mare discovers she has an ability of her own, her entire world gets flipped upside down. She finds herself thrown in the middle of intrigue-fueled Silver court, forced to play the role of a long lost Silver princess and betrothed to Silver King’s son. With the Scarlet Guard, a rebellious group, becoming more and more established she finds herself in the middle of a Civil War. Where the fate of the entire kingdom depends on the choices she’ll make. And one bad decision can lead to a massacre.
Red Queen is a fast paced, breathless kind of read. A true edge-of-your-seat story. Intrigue filled, action packed, twisty and highly dramatic, it’s a real page turner. Impossible to put down. I really loved the world Aveyard, the author created. It was dark and dangerous, but also oddly beautiful and enchanting. It’s a world where old clashes with new. We have a Royal court with richly decorated interiors, stunning gowns, sumptuous bedrooms and deadly dungeons, but we also have modern technology, electricity and gadgets. It’s a curious and completely fascinating mix that makes for a fantastic background to the intensely gripping plot line.
And the plot is phenomenal. The conflict, the intrigue, the secrets and betrayals and all the heart pounding emotions is all there. The writing is top shelf quality, very atmospheric and engaging. There are many twists, painful decisions to make, and some downright heartbreaking plot developments. It’s all well thought out and devised with surgical precision.
One reviewer points out that the beginning seems to drag as the author really fleshes out the world being created in an almost too vivid way. She says that it took a while to power through the descriptions of the Red village Mare is from and the big change Mare sees when she first arrives in the Silver city. I would agree that at times the description does get a little tedious, but in the end it’s not too bad and as long as you can get through it, the story benefits because of it.
The same reviewer also points out a romance issue that none of the characters really bond, but just feel an attraction and to this I would have to disagree. I felt as though in these characters the bond was there in small ways reflecting real life. In the story Mare doesn’t know why she’s attracted to the people she is and she feels even bigger conflict because they are the Silver princes. What plays out is a very interesting person vs self conflict that is exciting to unravel.
The characters might seem stereotypical and one-dimensional to begin with, but as the story progresses and as we get deeper into the sticky swamp of politics, social injustice, power-struggle and multi-layered deception, we begin to see just how complex they really are. People lie and manipulate, back-stab and use others to achieve their goals. It’s hard to tell who to trust, who tells the truth and who plays a dangerous game. Almost everyone wears a mask and before you know it, it’s too late.
The language throughout the novel is poetic in a great way. There are passages or at times letters that are encountered that are said in a incredible, powerful, and emotional way. I truly felt like I was feeling the same things the characters were at times. This book made it so easy to jump into this whole new world and have a deep understanding of what is going on.
Don’t believe me? Read this teacher’s review here where she goes into a bit more detail than I do, and praises it all the way!
I know that I’m not the only one that feels this way. Red Queen has interested many people including some very talented artists who use their art to demonstrate they’re intrigue. You can find 14 beautiful examples here.
In the end I’ll break it down simply.
- Interesting conflict
- Beautiful world
- Unpredictable plot twists
- Great chemistry between characters
- Interesting characters
- 100% page turner
- Sometimes too much detail
- Some scenes are a little dry
A movie is in the works and is being directed by Elizabeth Banks. I’m interested in seeing it now that I have read the books, but I’m a little worried about how the end product will come out. I have high hopes but I don’t want to set too high of expectations.
Ishee Molly. “Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Book Review” Blogspot.com, Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.
RedQueenDaily. “Red As The Dawn” Tumblr.com, 13 April. 2016. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.
TeacherofYA. “Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard (Review)” WordPress.com, 11 October 2016. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.
TeamEpicReads. “14 Gorgeous Pieces of Red Queen Fan Art” EpicReads.com, 22 Feb. 20156. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.
TeamEpicReads. “Updates on the Red Queen Movie!!” EpicReads.com, 8 June 2016. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.