Review: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard
HarperTeen
Available February 10, 2015

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

In a world where class means everything, seventeen year-old Mare and her family are Reds, lower class citizens forced to scratch out a living in the Stilts. They are ruled by Silvers, those with powerful gifts (think X-men but without costumes.) Tragedy forces Mare to venture into the world of Silvers to support her family as a servant in the castle. The last thing she expects to do is to masquerade as one of them. With threat of rebellion on the rise, Mare could be exactly what the kingdom needs to overthrow the Silver oppression and bring freedom and equality to her people. If anyone finds out who she truly is, she’ll lose everything.

From start to finish, the story unfolds with fast-paced action and high stakes. Some characters are a bit cliché – the dutiful prince, the bratty rich palace girl, etc – but most are charming and truly endearing. As a heroine, Mare was a little tough for me to love. She lives as a thief at the opening of the story, and blames her family’s troubles on the wealthy Silvers. Yet she steals from her fellow Reds. I felt like her reason for joining the rebellion really didn’t make that much sense. At one point she’s having a conversation with the leader of the rebellion and everyone knows the crown prince is nearby, alone and unguarded. Seems kidnapping or murdering that guy would have been a huge step for the rebellion. Yet they don’t even seem to think of that?

Despite little hiccups like that, the story does maintain a lot of intensity and has some well-planned, unexpected twists and heart-wrenching moments. The writing is excellent – more than a few times I found myself impressed by Aveyard’s clever narrative. Fans of Kiera Cass, Jennifer Nielsen, and Jennifer Anne Davis will enjoy the intrigue and light romance of this story.

Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Sexual Content
Brief kissing.

Spiritual Content
None.

Violence
Silvers will sometimes battle one another in an arena as a show of strength. Participants suffer injuries and sometimes death. Silvers and Reds alike are killed in rebel attacks or on the war front. Not a lot of description on those. A woman uses her ability to cause someone to kill another person with a sword.

Drug Content
None.

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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