Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (2015)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Format: Audible Audiobook
Listening Time: 12 hours 39 minutes
Reading Time: 10/10/16 – 25/10/16
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn’t know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into 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 her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.
From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.
Fans of Six of Crows, Harry Potter, A Darker Shade of Magic etc pick this up! I fell in love with this immediately, which is impressive given that it was an audiobook. The narration was fantastic, finally a voice that didn’t sound like a robot! The story was a simply idea made more complex and amazing with the theme of magic woven through, it was right up my street.
I was so interested to hear about what the silver’s could do with their abilities, I always loved the idea of this kind of magic as a child and thought I would control earth. Silver’s control stems to things such as water, fire, metal… And you get to see a lot of this in practice throughout this novel.
There is a division between Reds and Silvers that of course makes more readers side with the Reds, the people that are down on their luck because they do not have these abilities. Expect, wait! Mare Barrow a Red girl, a servant to the palace seems to have an ability of her own, plot twist. Except it’s not, because it’s on the blurb. Throughout this novel Mare keeps saying ‘you can’t trust anyone’ and these had me constantly doubting every damn character. I liked the idea that you never knew who was good and who was bad, but it also made me hesitant to commit myself to a favourite character.
I don’t really know who my favourite character was in this series, there wasn’t anyone I particularly liked, perhaps Julian. But I found myself falling out of love with characters as often as I was falling in love with them. Perhaps Glass Sword will give me a better idea of who to trust.
I really enjoyed the way the stereotypical rebel girl storyline had been used here but in a very different way. Mare is oppressed by the throne and is not able to become the beacon of hope she needs to be for the Reds. Therefore I think we see quite a different version of Mare in this book than perhaps is true to her character, again something I am looking forward to seeing develop in Glass Sword.
Overall this offered a pleasurable listening experience, and I would recommend it to any magic lover!