Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
In a world divided by blood – the powerful (and superpowered) Silverbloods on top, and the common Redbloods on the bottom – Mare Barrow struggles to get by living in her poor village. But when Mare discovers she has powers of her own, and so does the Silver King, Mare must play a dangerous game. The King wants to use her to quell the rebel Red Guard, but Mare sees it as an opportunity to help the rebellion. But when anyone can betray anyone, Mare isn’t sure who’s hearts she can trust, even her own.
Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen is a brilliant twist on the traditional fairytale where a poor girl is rescued by a prince and turned into a princess. Yes, Mare is ‘rescued’, turned into a lady, and betrothed to a prince, but she works from the inside to attempt to bring down the monarchy and to bring equality between the Reds and Silvers.
Mare is a strong willed protagonist, and even though she is effectively rescued from poverty at the beginning of the book, she is never passive, and her actions directly impact all of the events of the book. She walks the fine line of morality, and of doing bad things for the greater good, but you never question that her intentions are in the right place.
There is a love triangle in Red Queen, between Mare and the prince who rescues her, and the prince she ends up betrothed to. While love triangles are very overdone in young adult fiction, it serves to bring home the point that the heart doesn’t always know best, and that love can be dangerous when it comes to a political dance of power.
Aveyard has scored a three-book deal with Red Queen, so has a cliffhanger ending. It has also been optioned by Universal as a film. With a slew of books claiming to be the next Hunger Games or Divergent, it is a pleasure to have discovered one that not only has the potential to appeal to the same passionate fan base, but is unique enough to one day have other books be called the “next Red Queen“.
TITLE: Red Queen
AUTHOR(S): Victoria Aveyard