Red Queen (Red Queen #1) – Book Review


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyardimage

Series: Red Queen

Genre: YA, Dystopia

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 338

Goodreads Summary

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…


Wow, well what can I say? What an amazing book! It had its flaws, of course it did, but it was a fantastic read, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Glass Sword. I didn’t really expect the book to be too great – usually overhyped books like Red Queen are made out to be ‘absolutely flawless’, so when you actually read it, your hopes kinda come crashing down. However, Red Queen picked my hopes up and brought it right back up high, because it really was very good.

I’ve said this a couple of times previously, but I really wasn’t that keen on the beginning of the book. It was really slow-going, and seemed annoyingly similar to The Hunger Games. I can see why some people, my friend included, stopped reading halfway through the book – because the starting just doesn’t hook you on! I’m gonna tell you right now that if you feel the temptation to stop reading Red Queen, do resist, as the book does not fail to impress.

“Anyone can betray anyone.”

Usually I’m not a big fan of love triangles, but the love triangle in Red Queen is amazing. I shipped both characters so hard! The only other time when I’ve loved a love triangle THIS much, was in The Infernal Devices, and who didn’t love that triangle?! I loved the Cal x Mare ship, but I think I’m leaning more towards the Maven x Mare ship. They’re just so perfect *squeals*! No matter what hardships they went through, no matter how much they hated each other (at points) and loved each other (at other points), I will probably always think Maven and Mare are meant to be. People who’ve read Red Queen are probably giving me a really judgemental look right now, wondering why on earth I ship Mare and Maven so hard, especially as —— —– ——- happens (SPOILERS πŸ˜€ – oh dear, I can’t seem to keep these spoilers in can I…)

“Make no mistake, my girl. You are playing the game as someone’s pawn.”

I’m going to talk about the plot twist at the end now, without giving away too much. As I’ve said in some previous reviews, I LOVE plot twists. I LIVE for plot twists. And the plot twist in Red Queen completely threw me off my track. I just wasn’t expecting it! Yeah, I guess that’s the point of plot twists, but the YA world is so full of poorly written plot twists, that it was nice to see a well-written one. It was so thought out, it was one of those plot twists that made you stop, put your book down and stare at the wall for 5 minutes. That makes me sound weird. Am I the only person who stares at walls to think about amazing books?

And oh my gosh, the characters! I loved Mare’s personality, she kinda had that Will Herondale style sarcasm and wit to her, which made me laugh out loud. She’s also such a strong female protagonist, which was great. Out of the two princes, I liked Maven best. Maven just comes across as such a caring friend to Mare, there by her side whenever she needs him (cough, cough – those who’ve read Red Queen will know why I’m having a cough attack 😏 – Although it’s true, he IS very caring to Mare). I wasn’t too sure about Cal, I don’t know, I just got so easily annoyed by his character. To me, personally, he came across as a really selfish, arrogant character, I much preferred Maven to him (*receives more judgemental looks from Red Queen readers, in the light of certain events occurring at the end of the book*). I think I’m giving away a tad too much…I hope I don’t give anything away to non Red Queen readers!

One problem I had was that in general, the book was so unoriginal. I’m not talking about all the little details like the characters and setting, which I loved, I’m talking about the generalised plot. A book about rebellions and justice, set in a dystopian world. Isn’t every YA Dystopia like that these days? I don’t know, I think it would just be quite refreshing if there was a dystopian novel that wasn’t always based around revolutions, there are so many other things you can write about, in a dystopian setting.

One more thing that slightly annoyed me was the fact that Mare could be a little bit selfish at times. It just really frustrated me, how she was willing to run away with Kilorn to avoid conscription. What about her family? Wouldn’t they be worried about her? Mare was also saved by others on countless occasions throughout the book, and she barely acknowledged it. Nonetheless, I still liked her character, and it’s good that Victoria Aveyard ensured her characters had flaws. At least it isn’t an unrealistically perfect protagonist.
All in all, I loved the book. It had a bit of a slow start, but picked up it’s pace as it progressed, and soon enough I just couldn’t put the book down. The blurb states that Red Queen is a perfect book for fans of Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Selection and Graceling. Although I haven’t read The Selection or Graceling, I agree that if you have read The Hunger Games or Divergent, then Red Queen is definitely a book for you.

I would rate this book 4 stars, simply because as amazing as it was, it did have it’s flaws. I rarely rate books 5 stars, I don’t believe in 5 star books, because every book has it’s flaws, there’s no ‘perfect’ book. Harry Potter, of course, is an exception to this life rule of mine.


Hope you enjoyed that review! Please do comment below to tell me what you thought of the book – were your views similar to mine? Also, if you’ve read Glass Sword, I’d love to find out what your views on that were – although please no spoilers! I’ll try and write a spoiler review/discussion on Red Queen, but it all really on how my revision goes.

– V


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