Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
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.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It started out with a female protagonist that I didn’t hate; which has been rare of late. Yes the female MC was a tad whiny but I could overlook that due to her age. I also liked the fact that the female protagonist wasn’t necessarily waiting to be rescued. She was proactive in her life; taking care of her family, by any means necessary. She wasn’t waiting for a “knight in shining armor to save the day” at least not in the beginning.
The middle of the book was very slow and difficult to get through. The female MC became the whiny waiting to be saved damsel in distress that I loathe. So it was very hard for me to get through the middle section of the book. There were times when I contemplated not finishing the book because it was going so slow and I began to hate the whininess of the female MC. I also didn’t particularly like any of the male characters. I’m intentionally being vague because if I use even character names I will give away the ending which I don’t want to do.
The end was as good as the beginning and it kinda redeemed itself for the slow middle. I did understand to a certain extant why it was necessary for the middle to occur. But I think it could have been done better. While I was glad I didn’t give up and pushed my way through, I shouldn’t have had to force myself to read nearly 150 pages before I once again began to like the book. I would still definitely recommend the book, but with the warning that the middle will test your will to live. It’s hard to imagine that the same person wrote the entire book.
The book is also definitely geared towards a younger audience as far as language, sex, violence, etc. The only male/female interaction is kissing but I still enjoyed it even though I have kids who are in their twenties.. A book doesn’t have to have gratuitous violence or language to be good. If you liked A Court of Thorns and Roses, then you’ll probably enjoy this book as well.