Red Queen Book Review

redqueenThis 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.

After finishing Throne of Glass, I was itching for some more young adult fantasy but didn’t have the sequel to placate me. So I did what anyone would do-start another fantasy series. While it was nearly impossible not to compare it to Throne of Glass while reading it since I read them back to back, I worked really hard to separate the two of them in my head.

Red Queen is a fantasy novel but it also has dystopic elements. The world is divided into Reds and Silvers, which is based on the color of their blood. It’s heavily implied that some sort of cataclysmic event occurred that caused the Silvers to arrive and become the dominating class. There is little history shared in the first book, just enough to get you by and have a basic understanding of what’s going on. In future books, I’d like to learn how exactly that went down. Also, more about the wars and the Silvers’ customs. It’s not that I felt the world building was lacking; it’s more that I want more.

The main issue I had with this book is I felt like there were a lot of different threads that all kinda came together but kinda didn’t. In between the war and conscription, Mare’s new life disguised as a Silver, the Scarlet Guard, and the weird love triangle, I felt like the book was pulling the reader in different directions and by the end of it, I’m not sure it was tied together. The characters overall were all right; I liked Mare well enough and liked that she had a family dynamic. I kept getting all the Silver houses confused but I also feel like the author did a good job of reminding you what their powers were and who was related.

I can really divide how I feel about this book into three parts. The first third, I really enjoyed. The second third, I wasn’t really liking the direction the book took. The final third, I ended up enjoying again. I really liked how Mare going to the Silvers unfolded and learning about their culture separate from the Reds. However, once Mare joined the Scarlet Guard and started working as a double agent, I didn’t like the direction I thought the story was going. Then after the big twist, I started to like it more but still wasn’t a super fan. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I’ll probably pick up the next one because I tend to read a few books in a series before deciding to put it down completely or finish it. Overall, I would recommend this book if you like fantasy or dystopian books, I would definitely give it a shot.

Bookstore Rec Blurb: “In Red Queen the world is divided by the color of your blood. Mare is both, and she must figure out what that means. Fast-paced with a touch of romance, this book will suck you in despite its holes.”

Have you read Red Queen? What did you think? Have you picked up the next book in the series? Let me know in the comments! 

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