Imua 'Iolani

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Honolulu, Hawai'i

imua@iolani.org

Red Queen Book Review

February 14, 2019

     Trust no one. When Mare Barrow suddenly finds herself in a world where lies become truths in the blink of an eye and problems cannot be solved with a well aimed punch, she must adapt quickly, or die.

     With lies woven into the plot of the award-winning novel, “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard,  manipulation of the mind is expected. At least, of the Silvers. They are born with silver blood, inheriting other-worldly powers from their parents. Silvers rule the kingdom of Norta, displaying their strength and cunning in battles, and establishing their dominance over the Reds. Reds are powerless, born with red blood in their veins, and are slaves to the Silvers.

     Mare Barrow and her family are Reds, born with blood as red as an apple. They live in poverty, barely earning enough money to keep the lights in their house running. The family is surviving only because of the money that Gisa Barros, Mare’s younger sister, earns as an apprentice seamstress. living in poverty, surviving with the money that Gisa Barrow, Mare’s younger sister, earns as an apprentice seamstress. When Mare needs money, and a lot of it, her sister offers to sneak her into the palace of the Silvers. However, after a horrible accident, Gisa’s sewing hand is mangled, cutting off the family’s money supply. As a result, Mare searches for work, earning a mysterious job in the Hall of the Sun to serve the king.

     She arrives on the busiest day of the year, Queenstrial. Hundreds of High Silver families are offering their daughters to the prince in hope of their child becoming the next queen. The girls compete in an arena, displaying their strength and power. When the final competitor arises, she boasts her power over metal by pulling an entire section of the arena out of its holdings. Mare finds herself falling through the air, straight into the crackling electric field protecting spectators from the competitors. She falls through the air, expecting to die, but doesn’t. Why didn’t she die? What will happen to her now? Read “Red Queen” to find out!

     I thought that this fantasy novel reflects many interesting elements. The author included themes of betrayal, love, and sacrifice. However, what makes it even more outstanding is the way that Aveyard manages uses vivid language to make readers feel as though they are in the moment, experiencing everything with the character, and effectively drawing the reader into the plot.

     Aveyard gives the reader an intricate description of the way the eyes my favorite character looked. His name is Tiberius the Seventh, also known as Cal, and is the crown prince of Norta.

     “Deeply sad in the red-gold pools of his eyes, a little boy lost, looking for someone to save him” I thought that the way Aveyard manages to convey his emotion while illustrating a picture in the reader’s mind was amazing. Cal wants to change the way that Silvers treat the Reds, but simply isn’t willing to risk the safety of his country for it. He struggles internally between doing the right thing or what his father would want him to do on a day to day basis.

     “Red Queen” is a book for people who enjoy fictional stories in which the underdog comes out on top, surviving against all odds. This novel is the first of its series. It is followed by Glass Sword, King’s Cage, and War Storm. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a story that will keep you on your toes, never knowing what will come next.

     This novel has won several awards including Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut and Goodreads Author. It was also recognized on the #1 New York Times bestselling series as well as BuzzFeed’s 16 of the Best YA Books of 2015. Many people have enjoyed this series. If this sounds like the book for you, don’t forget to check it out the next time you go to the library!

 

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