“A lie will raise me up, and one day another lie will bring me down.”
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart
I have heard a lot about debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen success and color me curious but yes, I read this one out of sheer curiosity. In all honesty, the premise did not really appeal to me. In my mind, I can list other novels which more or less share an almost similar setting. But what kept me reading was the writing, the plot, the characters and how they were all created, all carefully thought of and each one made to play an important role in this tale of power and betrayal.
“Anyone can betray anyone.”
There’s just a lot of elements which made me think that I’ve seen or read about it before. Red Queen reminds me so much of Game of Thrones, while Mare Barrow seems like a bit of a crossover between Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior, while the Silver and their abilities felt like something from the Xmen movies.
“I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.”
Red Queen is the story of bloodlines and privileges; how one’s blood color determines his/her place and role in the world. Mare Barrow is a Red who felt the hardships of being one. Life was hard and unfair. With three brothers sent to war and her closest friend to be sent too, Mare was getting desperate. A series of events led her to the palace, among people she has hated her whole life and discovered that she might not be so normal after all. What follows is a succession of new discoveries, plots and schemes to fight for freedom and equality. There’s a love story, which for me was a bit underdeveloped and whole lot of action, twists and revelations.
“I can’t believe I didn’t see him for what he was from the beginning: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And now I’m the sheep pretending to be a wolf.”
This novel was written smoothly and I can just imagine the mental effort and creative juices spent to create this masterpiece. Though there were times when I felt like the story was just dragging me, there were scenes which will pull me straight back in. I love the setting and how the author made me feel and see how it is to be a Silver and a Red. I enjoyed reading about the characters and how deep their love, hatred, depravity and evil go.
It was entertaining at most but to say that it stayed with me, not so much.