Red Queen (The Red Queen series book 1) by Victoria Aveyard (book review).

October 26, 2016 | By | Reply More

‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard is first book in ‘The Red Queen’ series. It is a fantasy novel set in the world hundreds of years from now after a nuclear holocaust. The world now has two distinct species of people, the Reds and the Silvers. The Reds are red-blooded humans like us whilst the Silvers are silver-blooded humans with super-powers.


The Silvers rule the world as the elite race and the Reds are treated as second class citizens, used for labour and conscripted to fight in wars. Every month, they are forced to attend gladiatorial fights between two Silvers which showcases the god-like powers of the Silvers. Their powers are varied, with each family having its own inherited power such as mind reading and control, element control, super-strength, healing and more.

Mare Barrow is a Red living near Summerton, the Silver Royal Courts summer residence with her mother, disabled father and apprenticed sister. Her three brothers have already been conscripted for the war against the neighbouring Lakelands as she, too, will be when she reaches her 18th birthday without gaining an apprenticeship. To save her friend, Kilorn, and herself from being conscripted, she makes a deal with the Scarlet Guard, a Red underground movement that smuggles people and things under the Silvers’ noses. When this deal falls through, Mare ends up getting a job as serving the Silver elite where, through an accident, she discovers her own super-human power.

The Silver Royal Family can’t let the world know that a Red girl has a power, so they hide her in plain sight as a long lost Silver princess. Mare is now forced to pretend to be a hated Silver to the world, with any slip-up resulting in her death. She has to survive the Silver court with few allies whilst being a secret Scarlet Guard informant.

‘Red Queen’ was fun and easy read. Mare is a strong and self-sufficient heroine for the most part, until she makes a few questionable decisions when she puts her trust in certain suspicious people very quickly. I think that actually applies for a lot of characters in the book, including the Scarlet Guard. The plans made by the rebel group don’t seem to be thought through very well considering how dangerous they are described to be. The plot twist at the end of the book would have been better had I not been questioning the characters’ decisions. Having said that, I am looking forward to finding out more about the Silvers and how Mare as a Red managed to gain powers.

Supreethi Selvam

October 2016

(pub: Orion, 2015. 400 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40915-072-5

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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