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Red Queen Hardcover – February 10, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,449 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Red Queen Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow lives in a world where one's lot in life is determined by the color of one's blood. She was born a Red and has to make a living by pickpocketing and trying to dodge "the conscription" and being sent off to fight an ongoing war. Mare's resigned herself to the fact that she'll always serve the Silver, a genetically gifted group of people with supernatural abilities. A chance encounter with the prince causes Mare to suddenly find herself at the royal palace as a servant, where she discovers in front of everyone that she also has a unique gift. She is Red and Silver, and could be just the spark the Reds need to rise up against the oppressive Silvers. The king and queen quickly cover up Mare's anomaly by presenting her to the rest of the Silvers as a long-lost princess and betroth her to their second-born son. Now Mare is torn between playing the part of a Silver, and helping out the Scarlet Guard rebellion. The story has touches of the usual dystopian suspects. However, it's formulaic elements are far outweighed by the breakneck pace and engaging characters. There's a bit of teen romance, but luckily the characters are self-aware enough to realize its frivolity among the story's more important plot points. A solid debut from Aveyard and a welcome addition to the plethora of speculative teen lit.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH


“A sizzling, imaginative thriller, where romance and revolution collide, where power and justice duel. It’s exhilarating. Compelling. Action-packed. Unputdownable.” (USA Today)

“Aveyard weaves a compelling new world of action-packed surprises... inventive, character-driven.” (Kirkus)

“A volatile world with a dynamic heroine.” (Booklist)

“Breakneck pace and engaging characters.” (School Library Journal)

“ [Aveyard] sets her audience up for a gaspworthy twist that reconfigures nearly every character’s role and leaves Mare with no one to trust but herself... This blend of fantasy and dystopia will be an unexpected and worthy addition to many genre fans’ reading list.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Fascinating world building... Readers will be intrigued by a world that reflects today’s troubling issues concerning ethnic inequality, unfair distribution of wealth, pollution, warfare, political corruption, and the frightening power of the media.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

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Product Details

  • Series: Red Queen (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st edition (February 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062310631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062310637
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,449 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Mare Barrow is a Red. In Norta, this means that she's a normal human being, poor, and needs to scrape a living for herself and her family through thieving and general servitude. Reds are seen as the lowest of the low by Silvers, who have magical abilities that are highly esteeemed in the country. Mare and her family and friends despise Silvers, who treat Reds like dirt and have Reds fight an unending war with a neighboring country for them.

When circumstances for Mare send her right into the path of royals, she ends up discovering that she has magic abilities - and thus, is made a noble who is set to marry the second of two princes so that the reigning royal family can keep an eye on her. Meanwhile, an uprising is gathering through the country, and Mare has to figure out who she is and where her loyalties lie.

This one was hard to review because on one hand, I found the story very compelling, but on the other hand, there were lots of little things that I just couldn't get into. I've broken them down below.

Things That Frustrated Me:

The heroine: my biggest frustration with this book was the lack of character development in Mare. I didn't feel like I went on a journey with her as a character at all - she was kind of sassy and funny, and she clearly had some cool abilities...but that was it for me. I didn't feel like I knew her at all by the end of the book because she was the same person the entire way through. That was hard for me to connect with.

The romance: There were (count 'em) THREE love interests for Mare in this book. None of them really go anywhere big, but it just felt like every friggin guy in the book was into her.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read this book last year, as soon as it popped up on Edelweiss, and honestly, it was one of the best books I've read in 2014. As I sit here today, trying to wrap my mind around its sheer awesomeness and put together a somewhat coherent review, I get ridiculously excited all over again, just thinking about the plot, the complex word-building, the insane plot twists and just how visually stunning and breathtakingly magnificent the whole story was. I really, truly loved Red Queen!

I've been putting off writing my review. I didn't trust myself not go on an embarrassingly childish rave fest. And here I am, nearly half a year later, still under Red Queen's magical spell. What can you do? Some books are just THAT awesome.

The one at the center of it all is Mare Barrow, an unimportant little Red. Mare lives in a world divided by blood, in which the Silver-blooded Royals hold all the power (both literally and metaphorically speaking) and the Red-bloods are nothing more than poor, lowly servants. The Silvers have supernatural powers, the Reds do not. At least that's how it's always been and what the Silvers want everyone to believe. When Mare discovers she has an ability of her own, her entire world gets flipped upside down. She finds herself thrown in the middle of intrigue-fueled Silver court, forced to play the role of a long lost Silver princess and betrothed to Silver King's song. With the Scarlet Guard becoming more and more aggressive, the full-on rebellion is fast approaching. The fate of the entire kingdom depends on the choices she'll make. And one bad decision can lead to a massacre...

Red Queen is a fast paced, breathless kind of read. A true edge-of-your-seat story. Intrigue filled, action packed, twisty and highly dramatic, it's a real page turner.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
“It's our nature. We destroy. It's the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.”

Diving straight in, the first 60-70% of this book drove me completely nuts. It was slow and full of inconsistencies and eye-roll worthy ideas. I don’t have a clear picture of the world because it was never really described. The people travel in boats, transport, airships, and the prince even “invented” the motorcycle, but is it modern? Steampunkish? Do they run on gas? Electricity? Guess I’ll have to ask a tech from the tech city. Yes, there’s a city FULL of techies. You would think they could control the world, but they seem content to work until they die in an overly polluted city even though they could probably invent weapons that could rival the powers of the Silver-bloods. You know, since they have tvs, security cameras (thousands of them, apparently), and, get this, FORCE FIELDS.

I wish I had make-up like Mare’s. In order to hide that she’s a Red-blood, she has to wear make-up that makes her skin lighter to match the Silver’s. Apparently it lasts all day and is sweat/water-proof. The author really missed an opportunity for an “uh-oh, almost got caught” moment with the rain.

The Silver-blooded powers seem to be unlimited. We keep being told that they are limited, but we are never shown-especially with the queen. They also only show the super-powered Silvers and not the Silvers with smaller powers. Maybe that’s being saved for another book, but it wouldn’t have hurt to see it while it was being mentioned.

What aggravated me the most is the key point to the story, what is supposed to hold the story together, doesn’t make a lick of sense.
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