Red Queen starts as a typical dystopian novel, but all the twists and turns are like slipping on a banana in Mario Cart. I want to preface this review by stating the first part of this blog post will be the review, while the second part will be me reacting to the plot and will contain spoilers.
In a world where blood is a hierarchy, Mare Barrow is a rarity. Those born with silver blood are the elite because they have special powers such as controlling fire, minds, water, metal, etc. Those born with red blood live in poverty and must all head off to the army once they turn 18 unless they can find a job.
Mare Barrow is almost 18 and has accepted her fate to head off to war, like her brothers before her, when she learns that her childhood friend Kilorn has lost his apprenticeship. Mare will not let Kilorn die in a war for the Silver elite, so she comes up with a plan to sneak into the city where most Silvers live and pickpocket them. However, her plan is a total flop, and she goes on to wallow by an inn when she tries to pick the pocket of a rich Silver. The strange man instead gives her his coins and listens to Mare’s tale of woes. The next day Mare is given a job as a server in the castle, and the mystery man turns out to be no other than Prince Cal, the man who will take the throne someday.
While serving drinks at Queenstrial, a competition in which daughters of noble silvers show off their abilities in hopes of becoming Cal’s bride, Mare almost electrocutes herself in all the chaos only to discover electricity does not affect her because she can control lightening!
The royal family is shook af that Mare has the abilities of a Silver but the blood of a Red, so they find no other solution than to claim her as a long lost Silver noble and betrothed her to Prince Maven. Mare is living life deliciously at the palace, but she becomes homesick soon after, and Cal being nice, takes her back to visit her family. After learning some horrible news, Mare decides the Silvers are horrible and makes contact with the revolutionary group the Scarlet Guard.
Mare now has to be both a spy for the revolution and the perfect Silver Princess. Only Mare can’t seem to grasp the concept that everyone betrays everyone in the palace and ends up getting burned.
Red Queen is enticingly written, and I spent many nights falling asleep in the middle of the pages. I did not feel lost at all during this book, and I think the world-building was excellent. Mare isn’t an annoying character either, but she also doesn’t always make smart decisions. However, I can’t fault her for that because I love drama.
I am a big hater of love triangles, and if a book has one, I will put it down and dissociating from the story. So, when Mare finds herself having feelings for both Princes, I was not here for it. Love triangles involving two brothers aren’t for me. I have been through the awkward brother love triangle with the Vampire Diaries. However, Red Queen is written well, so I overlooked it.
Despite there being many scenes where violent actions take place, the author is not overly descriptive of the gore, which may be a plus for readers who hate gore. This book made me realize I don’t like gore descriptions, but I tolerate them in books and occasionally in Game of Thrones. Remember, that one-time when Jon Snow stabs someone through with a sword I was queasy!
The ending to Red Queen does not disappoint.
Now onto spoilers
I looked like a fool last night when I finished reading Red Queen. Like Mare, I was originally rooting for Cal and his beefy muscles, but the man is a coward and refuses to shake up the monarchy. I gave up on Cal soon after that, however, I wasn’t really convinced Mare was through with him yet.
Until he agrees with his father, to lower the conscription age fpr Reds sent off to war to 15 years old. That is when I lost hope for this man.
Mare’s trust in Maven made me trust him too and admire the young Prince who sympathized with the reds and was ready to start a revolution.
Me when Maven informs Mare that Cal will do anything for her because he’s in love with her and will always choose her over anything else.
They haven’t known each other that long what do you mean it’s love?!
I felt that Mare may have had feelings for Cal in the beginning, but they became eclipsed by her feelings for Maven once he starts showing her with his actions that he wanted change. At this point, Mare is for sure in love with Maven, and I am too!
Once I got to the point of the story in which Maven reveals himself to be his mother’s coconspirator, I was hoping he was just playing and was a double agent against his mom. I am truly a fool.
Sadly, Maven loves power more than anyone. Cal may have the muscles, but Maven had all the brains.
When Mare tells Maven she truly loved him, I was also in that cell, screaming me too! I thought the book would have ended with the Scarlet Guard saving both of these two dumbasses, but I didn’t count on Shade being alive!
I had my suspicions when Mare kept “dreaming” about Shade but I assumed the man was off healing, somewhere since he never bothered to pop in during the Scarlet Guard meetings to tell his sister, hey I lived. I have my eye on Shade and will not be surprised if he does something that Mare doesn’t agree with it in the next book.
Bye for now and until next time continue living in libros,