Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: HarperTEEN (HarperCollins)
“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.”
So let’s talk about Red Queen. This book had a lot of hype going for it. EpicReads was plugging it everywhere. The cover is gorgeous and has been burned in my brain since the summer. The positioning (Graceling meets The Selection) has been toying with my hope for weeks. And the book was good…BUT I think after all the hype, it just couldn’t be as good as I had built it up to be.
I will say Aveyard did a superb job in making me thing my initial instincts were wrong. Mare’s relationships are developed in a natural fashion and it lulls you into thinking you were wrong, and then BAM! As the rug is metaphorically pulled out from under Mare, you are shown Aveyard’s brilliance.
I would amend the positioning to Graceling with dashes of Hunger Games and Game of Thrones spiced with The Selection. It is a bit more political and rebellion driven than the publishers’ positioning hence Games of Thrones. And the Hunger Games came through to me as an inversion of itself with the character of Kilorn, Mare’s best friend.
Would I have acquired this? Yes, I would have. It is a strong debut, and the author has a lot of potential.