*This review does contain some spoilers!*
“Anyone can betray anyone.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: This 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.
Feelings: This is the second time I’ve read this book. I decided to take the time to re-read it because I wanted to read the sequel, Glass Sword. I read so many books that I have a hard time remembering what happened in the previous book when a new addition to a series comes out. I remember when Red Queen was first released and reviewers had time to read it, there were a lot of mixed feelings. Some people thought it was different and exciting, while others found it to be redundant, a reminder of many other popular fantasy stories. And while I agree, it does have notes of other books, I still think it’s unique enough to stand on its own.
Issues: Maybe it’s just me, but I thought there was something off about Maven from the get-go. His mother can READ. MINDS. and he was just going to join the resistance and think she’d never find out? What the…how does that work? He just kind of blew it off like we’ll just distract her and she’ll totally miss the whole my-son-is-betraying-me thing. No. That doesn’t make any sense.
Through no set of eyes could Cal have been seen as bad or evil spirited. Something happened about halfway through and suddenly Mare was seeing him as the bad guy. He was genuinely kind to her…I didn’t get any scrap of evil from him. That just seemed convenient so that she could turn to Maven.
Despite its predictability and questionable motivations…these moments didn’t really distract me from the overall course of the book. I was still engaged and itching to continue the story, wondering how it would all turn out. These were not the types of issues that make me throw the book across the room.
Characters: Mare…Mare…Mare. She’s either gullible or blind. At the beginning, she seemed really strong-willed and sure of herself, then she just easily went along with the royal family’s scheme after they discovered her ability. I expect her to throw a fit or try and sneak out, but she just did what they told her to do.
She really trusted that Maven’s turn towards rebellion was real and I just don’t see how she couldn’t have been more skeptical. I get that she needed someone like him on her side, but MAVEN? (This is like how everyone loved Peeta and I was like SERIOUSLY? HIM?) I have a love-hate relationship with the mass amounts of trust issues between these characters and about 149 others.
Cal is great. He read as genuine and real, struggling with his future crown and the responsibilities that come with that hardware. He just felt like a very realistic character and I was able to connect with him. I’m curious to see what direction he goes in after how this book ended!
Final thoughts: I have high hopes for Glass Sword. I have some questions that I need it to answer in order for this series to end well with me. I really want to see this world developed more. What lies beyond this one city? What other abilities are out there? What’s going to happen to people like Mare and her brother?
Pick this up if you liked:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (one of my FAVES)
Goodreads rating: 4.10/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.3/5
My rating: 4.25/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn