backlist, book review, fantasy, Uncategorized, young adult

Book Review Backlist: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Yes, a second backlist TBR for reviews this week! I liked the feeling of clearing a TBR book so much earlier this week that I had to do it again. And in the meantime I nearly finished an ARC too, so another review is coming soon.

On Goodreads I gave this 3 stars. I’m still figuring out a blog rating system, but for now I think everyone is familiar with the GR system. Despite the 3 star rating, which does mean I liked it, I actually had a hard time rating this one. I will definitely read the rest of the series which leans it more to a 3.5. Ish. Something like that.

“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”

redqueenRed Queen is the story of a girl named Mare. She lives in a world where the haves and the have nots are literally different in terms of genetics and their very blood color.

The ‘haves’ are a race with silver blood. They value their strength and power, and their royalty ensures continued strength by matching their princes and princesses with the most talented and powerful eligible matches. Each silver has innate, magical powers, which vary by person and into many different forms which are at times elemental, and other times physical or mental. The hard part for the common people is figuring out what power each has, and how they can be harmed by that silver. They are taught to fear all silvers.

The ‘have nots’ are a race that look generally the same, but whose blood runs red and their very skin flushes. They are often conscripted into the armed forces to fight in silver wars, or they work in trade positions to serve the silvers.

Mare Barrow and her family have lived in the Stilts, a small village near Summerton where the royal family resides during the summer months. Mare is on the brink of conscription, having nearly reached her 18th birthday which will effectively end everything she knows about her life. She will have to leave her family behind, her friends, and her village. One night, while desperate to raise funds to escape conscription with some smuggling mercenaries known as the Scarlet Guard, Mare tries to pick the wrong pocket. Though the man let’s her go, and even rewards her with money out of pity, meeting this man changes the whole course of her life.

I LIKE MARE. I like her and her speak before thinking habit. She’s lived as tough a life as most reds, and as she is not destined for a career, her basic skills are in pick-pocketing. It’s the best she can do to support her family, and yet they are not really grateful for her efforts… not really, though they do use what she shares with them.

I like her family: her brothers that are already off at war, her sister Gisa who at the age of 14 is determined to succeed in her career and support her family, her father who is wheelchair bound and strong-headed.

I like Prince Cal. I love the dark and wicked royal family members. King Tiberias, Queen Elara, Prince Maven. I love their scheming and cruelty, their artifice and confidence and exhibition. I love the many different type of silvers and their sheer boredom with court life and their blessed existence. And I really enjoyed that while this is a story containing kings and queens, lords and ladies… it is still a world that contains modern and magical technology.

The book is very readable. It is a cozy and comfortable read.

I did, however, sorta feel like I’d read this before. Which is probably why it felt comfortable, familiar. So I liked it. It was worth the read to me, and I’m happy to move on to Glass Sword and King’s Cage, and I think there are a couple of novellas too. Is it mind-blowingly original? Eh. But if you love fantasy and need a quick read, I’d recommend it.

Red Queen
by Victoria Aveyard
Hardcover
Powells.com

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