(Red Queen #1)
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?
When I picked this novel up I was well aware that the blurb practically screamed of clichés, so I was pleasantly surprised that the novel, in spite of these, remained entertaining and a quick read.
Mare, our protagonist, has the tendency to let her mouth get away from her, but she is headstrong and realistic. Embracing her fate, even amid complaints and sharp barbs, and choosing a path to help better the lives of her people even when it puts her own life at risk. She makes several foolish decisions and hopefully she will learn from them, but her decisions stem from a desire to help. However she doesn’t seem to have a stomach for violence, which irked me and will be a major problem going forward.
This novel flirts with the overused love triangle cliché, Maven and Cal, the Silver princes are Mare’s love interests. Maven at first seems soft and foolish, he is full of bitterness and restrained passions but as the novel goes on we see how his delicate phrases hide a brutality and a ferociousness to accomplish his goals, not shying away from the sacrifices that that entails. While Cal possesses many of those same traits, he is also brave and strong, yet unwilling to perpetrate change because he believes the risks are too great.
Throughout the novel both love interests are shrouded in mystery, I wanted to cheer them on and question their motives at the same time. We as the readers see both men through Mare’s eyes, so our judgement is clouded by what she herself perceives. Because of this I was very undecided throughout the novel, going back in forth between Maven and Cal in much the same way that Mare did.
This book walks the line between dystopian and fantasy, drawing you into the world of the superficial Silvers and making you cheer on the impending Red rebellion. The novel has strong world building and a fast pace that drew me in quickly. The villains are complicated and chilling, and the plot gripping and relentless. The ending of the book is enthralling, shocking and altogether jaw dropping. I am excitedly anticipating the sequel.