Author: Victoria Aveyard
Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 40 minutes
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.
After finishing Realm Breaker, I finally circled back to start the Red Queen series. Although I have read tons of stories featuring similar concepts, this story still manages to captivate the reader. There are some elements of the Selection series along with Xmen. There is a wide world of magic among the Silvers, the Elite, and our main character, Mare, finds that she possesses the powers of a Silver, even though she is from the lower Red society. As I did the audiobook, I loved the narrator and I cannot wait to listen to her reading the rest of the series. The audiobook did give this story an extra layer of enjoyment and I will definitely continue the audio for the rest of the series.
Our story starts with Mare’s life in the small city of Summerton. She is nervous as her 18th birthday is only a few days away and that could mean being shipped off to the on-going war. Her and her friend, Kilorn pickpocket the Silvers to gather enough money for a potential escape, but everything changes when she pickpockets a boy named Cal. He lands her a job at the palace to serve King Tiberias. Cal turns out to be the Crown Prince and is betrothed to another Silver girl. After Mare’s lightening powers are discovered, the royals come up with a plan to use Mare as a pawn to be a Silver that came from the world of the Reds.
Mare is a Red playing the part of a Silver where she has to balance both worlds to survive. However, she needs to stay in line to survive while craving change for the world. There is a love triangle, possibly a square, as Mare is promised to Maven, the younger Prince, yet she has conflicting feelings for the older brother, Cal, who she met and bonded with while she was still a Red. There is also Mare’s childhood friend that could potentially be considered a love interest, but the main focus is on the Princes.
The Queenstrial was a very interesting take on the Selection process to impress the King and lead to the promise of a Prince. The two classes are essentially divided by those with powers, the Silvers, and those without, the Reds. The fact that Mare is a Red with Silver powers and has to masquerade as a Silver to save her family is going to be an interesting plot to see how it fully plays out. There are a lot of plot twists in this story where I cannot wait to see how the events at the end of this story will play out in the next. There is some exploration of politics, alliances, and a rebellion of a repressed class rising up against the upper class. There are a lot of chess pieces at play in this story as it is all games and deceit to come out on top.
Overall, the characters in this story were interesting and have a ton of potential. I did not fully connect with either Prince, but I think they both have great starts for characters. I am very curious to learn more about both of them as the series continues. Mare is another character where I did not fully connect to her, but I am curious to learn more and see how her role will change as events unfold. The novel has all the pieces set up for a great series where there is a lot of betrayal, games, romance, friendship, and war to come. Now, I need to start the next novel in the series and I hope it just continues to get better from here!