Release Date: February 10, 2015
ARC via Edelweiss
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the King’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
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.
My ThoughtsWell I have not read Graceling or The Selection ( blasphemy I know) so I can't tell you anything about that but, what I can tell you is that Victoria Aveyard has started off the year with a rock solid fantasy debut. Go #FearlessFifteeners! She has created a fantastic story about prejudice due to color of blood and doing whatever it takes to survive the cards your dealt. The best part of the whole shebang is "anyone can betray anyone" and do they ever!
I knew I was in like with this book from the second I saw that gorgeous cover! Then, I heard it was about a court divided by the color of blood and my hopes skyrocketed. I am happy to announce they were met and exceeded ten fold. This plot driven story is so rich in it's creation that it is hard not to fall in love. The silvers are a race of humans, whom after the the fall of the world as we know it, evolved and gained certain abilities. Here is a list just to name a few (or all)...
Whispers- mind control
Nymphs - Water manipulation
Swifts - super fast
Shadow bender - manipulate light
Singers - can make the person bend to their will with eye contact and voice
Animos - controls animals
Magnetron - controls metal
Burners - fire manipulator
Oblivion - Blow things up with a touch
Telkies - Telekinetic
Strong Arms - self explanatory
Stone skin - skin that becomes hard as rock
Windweavers - self explanatory
Eyes- can see immediate future
Silencer - ability to shut off abilities in other Silvers
They get there name from their trademark silver blood. They are viewed as Gods among men and of course are just as heartless and cruel.
Mare barrow is a Red from a poor town called the Stilts. She does what she can to get by, mostly stealing and picking pockets. When her best friend Kilborn gets conscripted in a Silver war that the Reds are forced to fight, Mare hatches a hair brain scheme to smuggle them both out of the country but things go horribly awry. After a chance encounter , Mare finds herself wh a job as a servant in none other than the Silver Royals summer home. It is there, as she plummets to her death that she realizes she is in way over her head. Instead of becoming a Mare-pizza, she discovers she has abilities that rival the Silvers powers and the whole court has witnessed it. This makes it impossible for her to be disposed of by the king and queen. Mare must hide in plain sight as she is forced to masquerade as a long lost Silver princess until the queen no doubt arranges an accident to silence her story forever. When a revolutionary named Farley shows up Mare knows that this could be her only chance to change the world for her people or for her family at the very least. As I said before, anyone can betray anyone and Mare has now become the pawn in dangerous game that she doesn't even realize she is playing.
I really loved Mare's character. She was bold and no matter what alway had a sense of pride about her, like when she wouldn't kneel before the king. She has a quick tongue and doesn't let anyone push her around regardless of the color of their blood. I also became really enamored with the Silver Princes, Cal & Maven. Cal, the future king who teaches Mare and how dance and saved her life more than once and his little brother Maven, who always seems to be stuck in his older brothers shadow. I really felt both of their plights, to a point anyway. I truly believed that all the players felt that the path they had forged would make the country a better place and end this war that has spilled so much red and silver blood. I also was fascinated with the power that the Silvers held. It reminded me of a strange hybrid between The Hunger Games (the capital vs. the districts as the red vs. the silvers) and X-Men (super crazy awesome powers).
As I read more and more fantasy novels, I have the ability to vaguely see where the plot is leading me however, with Red Queen, I was kept blind until the precise moment of reckoning. I also had thought the big reveal at the end would happen but, was lead to toss my predictions away. Way to cover your tracks Mrs. Aveyard. If you love epic fantasy with some crazy super powers on the side then, this book is definitely for you. It has enough angst, betrayal, and survival at all costs to sate even the most inscrutable fantasy lovers palate.