From now until the end of your days, you must lie. Your life depends on it, little lightning girl.
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 when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own — 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 ad betrothes her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard — the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince — and Mare against her own heart.
- author: Victoria Aveyard
- year of publication: 2015
- series: RED QUEEN, book 1
- page count: 383
- genre: young adult, fantasy, dystopia
Alright, so I really didn’t know what to expect — every single one of my friends who has read this book hated it. Like, couldn’t-stop-talking-about-how-much-they-hated-it hated it. After reading this, I think they all either read an entirely different book than me or are just crazy, because I cannot express the amount of love I have for this book.
I should have known from the start that I would love it just by the synopsis. It checks all of my fantasy boxes — Thieves? Check. Mare is a pickpocket. Royalty? Check. She ends up at the palace betrothed to a prince. Magic? Check. Court politics? Check. Deception and betrayal? Check. Assassins? Check. The list goes on.
I purposely made the decision not to trust any of the characters as soon as she got to the palace. I’ve read books like this before, and as soon as I fall in love with a character, they either betray me or die. However, I should have just trusted my gut when it came to the characters, because all of my original opinions were correct.
I enjoyed Mare and the both of the princes pretty well, but I absolutely fell in love with three characters (as you can see, I failed my fall-in-love-with-no-one rule that I mentioned previously) — Shade, Lucas, and Julian. I loved Shade mainly because of his description in the beginning, but also because of the random little flashbacks we got of him. I was drawn to Lucas immediately and my love for Julian knows no bounds. This is probably because they fill my two favorite roles in court-related stories — the guard/manservant and the good teacher (because there are usually evil ones, too). Lemme just let you know now, if you want to trust a character in a political court novel, pick one of these guys. So reliable.
And, of course, I’m a sucker for beautifully-built fictional worlds. Her descriptions were so vivid that I truly felt like I was there. Overall, I really loved this book and cannot wait to continue with the series.