In Norta, the colour of your blood defines you – your social status, your occupation, and whether or not you have superpower-like abilities. The elite Silvers exploit the Reds, sending them to the front line in the North and using them as their servants in their lavish residences.
Mare is a Red, and every day she becomes closer to being conscripted on her seventeenth birthday. After a chance encounter, she finds herself serving the King in his summer residence. One day, however, something happens to Mare that makes her question her identity – she appears to have Silver abilities but Red blood, so the royal family decide to declare her as a long-lost princess, to prevent any questions being asked. Mare is thrust in to the Silver world, engaged to a Silver prince. She now has the chance to take down the oppressive system that has caused her family and community so much pain and suffering. This won’t be easy; she must dodge the jealousy, lies and rivalries of the royal courts to try to bring justice to her people.
Red Queen held my attention from the very beginning; the first chapter was excellently executed by Aveyard. There wasn’t an overload of information about the new world the reader finds themselves in, yet the first scene shows us something important about the Red/Silver division.
Mare shares quite a few qualities with other female protagonists in fantasy novels: she’s confident, witty, strong-minded, and most importantly, she’s not perfect, which I think is really important, and makes her a believable character. I think some of the supporting characters could have been slightly more developed, but hopefully that is something that will be seen in the novels to come. The major twist to the novel comes right at the end, and to be honest, I was a bit confused. I won’t say any more to avoid giving it away, but I hope the meaning is delved into more in Glass Sword, the second novel in the series – it all felt a bit sudden. From what I have heard, the series maintains momentum as it progresses, and the reviews are positive. The story arc so far reminds me very much of Hunger Games, and from the synopsis of the next book, it looks like it will continue like that, at least for a short while.
So, Red Queen is a very promising start to the series, and with the foundations set for an exciting ride in the next books, I really hope they deliver, and look forward to getting stuck into them.