Review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Published: 12th February 2015
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 400


This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…


Thank you to Orion for kindly sending me a review copy. This is the first book I read in 2015 and I’m glad I began the year with a book outside my comfort zone because I truly, truly enjoyed it.

Mare Barrow is almost eighteen which means she’ll be called up for the war despite being female and being a Red. She’s a pickpocketer and she certainly doesn’t miss a trick, especially when it comes to her best friend. Very early on in the plot, it is made clear that there is a big difference between the Reds and the Silvers: the poor vs. the very, very rich.

“Only Silvers fight in the arenas because only a silver can survive the arena.”

The opening chapter is a deal breaker when it comes to the books, whether the reader enjoys it or not, whether it ticks boxes or not. In regards to Red Queen, I was in the middle. For Young Adult Fantasy, it usually takes me a full narrative to win me over. I was intrigued by the blurb to say the least. But I was won over by Mare’s desire to do absolutely anything for her family and her best friend.

“I can just hear from humming in firm reminder: someone else is watching here.”

When Mare is summoned to serve the King, she is shocked to discover who the Prince is. For me, I really liked Mare and Cal for the word go! They seemed to click instantly and I just loved that. Their conversations and adventures were deep and I just fell into their world very easily.

“We won the battle but lost the war.”

Overall, I think this book is perfect for someone who truly loves fantasy. It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the flow of the plot but once I did. I found myself inside Victoria’s incredibly descriptive Fictional world. Mare’s personality really grew throughout Red Queen and at the end, she was so strong, powerful and determined to take on the next hurdle. I just hope the filmmakers do this story justice and don’t cast someone like Kristen Stewart as Mare!

Twitter: @VictoriaAveyard
Website: www.victoriaaveyard.com