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Red Queen (Red Queen, 1) Paperback – June 7, 2016
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The #1 New York Times bestselling series!
Red Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard, is a sweeping tale of power, intrigue, and betrayal, perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.
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.
Plus don't miss Realm Breaker! Irresistibly action-packed and full of lethal surprises, this stunning fantasy series from Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series, begins where hope is lost and asks: When the heroes have fallen, who will take up the sword?
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“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 Reviews
“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)
From the Back Cover
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but a twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers an ability she didn’t know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into 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, her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.
From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.
- Publisher : HarperTeen; Reprint edition (June 7, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 006231064X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062310644
- Reading age : 13 - 17 years
- Lexile measure : HL740L
- Grade level : 8 - 9
- Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.94 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2018
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I don’t like not finishing a book. It feels...wrong, but I could have stopped about 1/3 of the way through. I thought I had it all figured out, but sometimes an author will surprise you at the end with “I deliberately misled you! Don’t you feel gullible?” That was not the case here, and the junior high-esque sentence structure probably should have tipped me off to the lack of highly cerebral twists at the end. Yep, I feel gullible.
Tl;dr: I read this entire book. I want my money and my five hours back. There is no sex in this book, but don’t worry. You’ll still feel screwed afterwards.
All of the elements of the story that work are lifted with shocking lack of disguise from the Hunger Games. I liked the Hunger Games but I'm far from a superfan, and hadn't read it for YEARS, but immediately certain things in the book just made me roll my eyes. Trade in 'Seam' for 'Stilts', and take all of the character development components that work for the Hunger Games, and that is about the only redeeming feature of this work.
Plot holes you can drive a truck through? Yes. Condescending stuff about how the heroine (using that term loosely) bleeds inside, being just self absorbed and emo enough to make it 'young adult' fiction? Someone doesn't think much of their readers. Not to mention how clearly this person is angling to sell movie rights by incorporating what I can only describe as sound-bites of comedic relief into the action scenes, which a) don't really work, and b) just make the book worse.
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The plot itself, is predictable, slow moving and quite frankly boring, taking a good quarter of the book for anything to actually happen, and the middle of the book being entirely pointless. The characters on the other hand are even worse. The heroin, Mare, has such a hero complex it is actually painful to read. Not only does she elevate herself above the silvers based on her red blood (hypocritical as blood is the reason silvers elevate themselves in the society, and what causes Mare to hate them in the first place) but she also appears to think that the entire world revolves around her. I honestly have not detested a character this much for a very long time - it got to the point that within the second book I was agreeing with the opinions of the characters who are clearly meant to be enemies: Mare is nothing but a brat. The other main characters within this book, of Cal and Maven, are rather likeable in comparison; odd considering Maven reminded me slightly of a young Prince Joffrey from Game of Thrones. I truly wish there was more character development by both of these, other than the wholly predictable revelation of which brother is good and which is bad. Similarly the plot twist, of which the prior revel concerns, is utterly useless. It was obvious that a certain characters death was meant to be heartbreaking, but quite honestly I was more upset that the author didn't take the time to kill of Mare.
Overall, a good concept, but really not worth the read if you actually want to like any of the characters that you are reading about.
Review: The story is set in a fictional world, The Kingdom Of Norta where two types of people live,
People with Silver Blood (these people have special abilities like controlling water or metal etc) and People with Red Blood (these people have no special abilities and are treated as slaves by the silver blood).
The story revolves around 17 year old girl Mare Molly Barrow, a RED BLOOD, she hates how Silver Blood people treats the Red Blood people and she want this to be changed, she wants that the Red Blood and Silver Blood should be treated equally. But she does not know that she posses a deadly talent of her own that could change the entire situation. The Silver Blood people hides Mare from the Red Blood people by declaring her a long-lost Silver Princess. Now Mare has a chance to demolish the empire from within and to end this all but this is not so easy as her own life is at stake. At what lenght is Mare willing to go to end this.
Find out what happens when Mare Barrow enters the Game of Lies and Betrayal where "Anyone can Betray Anyone."
The Red Queen positions itself in quite a different groove. It is a story about Mare, who is a Red, and her struggles when she is elevated to the position of faux-Silver. In binary terms, a Red is someone without magical powers, a class of downtrodden by the magical Silvers. But Mare is actually magical herself – a quirk of genetics – and hence she is smothered as a faux-Silver to hide this anomaly. But Mare stays true to her red blood: cue rebellion, revolution, and all sorts of fun.
One of my favourite things about this book is the environment in which it is set. Most of the time it feels like we’re walking through a classic fantasy environment – perhaps a touch more renaissance than usual, but still. At times though, we are sent spinning by the existence of TV screens, security cameras, and other modern devices. It’s a really cleverly woven environment, and when we approach the capital city, the imagining really steps another level. Some of the ideas are brilliant, and I enjoyed my time in this fantasy world greatly.
This is also a really well written book, with very few mistakes, a nice flow, and a certain ‘page-turner’ quality. It is written in fist-person (which is not my favourite), but it is done pretty well and I enjoyed the story nonetheless. Mare is an easy-to-get-on-with lead character, and she is supported by a great cast of other characters too. All in all, a really comfortable read.
But comfortable does not imply leisurely. Oh no. This is a well-paced novel with twists and turns coming in all the right places. The ending in particular is very nice, with a great warping of events, and some really emotive scenes. This is nicely setup for the rest of the series.
So, was there anything about this that I didn’t get on with? Well, the use of first-person was quite annoying (personally speaking). I think there are a few things about first person that are frustrating, the worst being that it is sometimes hard to catch where an inner-monologue ends and where speech starts. The other thing that first-person does is to lend itself to more substantial inner-dialogue, and this can get a bit cumbersome at times. Overall this book certainly works, but I would personally have preferred a different perspective.
In terms of story, there are probably only a couple of things that I didn’t get on with. There is one particular scene that sticks out, where Mare elopes with another key character in something of an ‘easy rider’ style. It was all a bit indulgent, and the slightly ‘50’s taste of the scene was just really out of place compared to the rest of the book. If they’d gone on horseback, maybe this would have settled nicer.
And finally, some of the revolutionary planning that is cooked up is wildly juvenile. The romantic in me would like to believe that the plan ever had a chance, but it’s one battle where the head doesn’t need to work very hard to quash the heart’s over-optimistic nature. To pin a plan of that size on an act which is so volatile is surely crazy, and that fact is catching. It didn’t ruin the story, but hey. Hopefully Mare learns from that fanciful mistake.
But overall this is a great book – well worth a read. It has all the right ingredients and is well executed, with flashes of beauty. This looks to be an extensive series, and you can be sure that I’ll be reading on!
I bought this book years ago and it took me 3 attempts before I got past the first 2 chapters. I think it’s slow to start in the first few chapters and then after that it is incredibly rushed.
We have a girl who is red, Mare, who hates the silvers the powerful ruling class who all have abilities, yet in the space of just a few chapters she is a servant to the silvers, then suddenly has powers and then is a princess and betrothed to a silver prince. And she just goes along with it all. Later on we’re told she’s doing it to spy on the silvers but I just didn’t buy it. Had she been threatened into staying at the palace, with her family being used to ensure her compliance then I could have believe it but I didn’t. We’re then told that Mare suddenly loves both Cal and Maven, the two silver princes with no real build up or emotion or explanation and somehow they both love her too despite the fact that they’ve barely had a conversation. I can understand a building connection between Mare and Maven as they are betrothed although I would have thought she would hate him for the position his family has put her in and it would have been better if they had built their trust slowly, however when it comes to his brother Cal, I don’t understand why he loves her after a very short conversation. He apparently loves Mare and will risk things for her because she’s apparently just so different to everyone else.
Mare as a lead character is just very difficult to like. She is willing to sacrifice others, is willing to kill and will let others die to save herself. She is a very selfish character whose moral compass seems to be massively skewed. A similar book of ‘The Selection’ shows America refusing to give a public propaganda speech, she condemns corporal punishment and the unfair treatment of prisoners, standing up to the king even at risk to herself. Mare just goes along with everything she’s told to, plotting the murder of others, sacrificing those who are different from her to further her own cause, even those who have been kind to her and even doing a televised propaganda speech. The differences are just very obvious and it shows that Mare is not a ‘good’ character.
I just found the plot went in too quickly with Mare finding herself in all these deadly and precarious situations and somehow very quickly at the very heart of a rebellion. Too much of the plot was just convenience and I think more needed to be done to develop the characters, their motivations and more importantly their relationships.
It’s a shame because the idea was good and there are certainly a lot of sequels so I guess a lot of people enjoyed it or maybe the series gets better but for a dystopian, young adult/ teen novel I have to say this is one of the weaker offerings that I have read. I would give it 2.5 stars.