This review is spoiler free.
“How does it feel?” […] “How does it feel to be used, Mare Barrow?”
Series: Red Queen
Published: 2015, by Orion.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Fiction, Magic
Contains: Violence, Anger, Blood/Gore, Death, Suicide, Torture, Murder
‘Red Queen’ explores a world where the poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like abilities. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her Red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
I first read this book when I initially started my blog, and I rated it quite lowly. However, after year long breaks, I decided to return to the world of Reds and Silvers and really make a final decision on this world and its inhabitants. Needless to say, my opinion has changed completely.
Mare is by no means a perfect protagonist, in all honesty, she’s hardly likeable. She’s selfish, whiny and at times insufferable, however, she develops beautifully into the person she needs to be in this novel. She rises, and it was brilliant to watch her transform before your eyes.
Cal is another interesting character, being Mare’s complete opposite and transforming into a soldier as a future King. He was immediately likeable, being brave, strong and admirable. However, that’s not to say that he doesn’t make bad decisions. All characters do in this novel, which is what makes it so fascinating.
Maven was a surprise, being hidden in his brother’s shadow until he rises alongside Mare. He was the most surprising, and one who was incredibly fun to watch transform.
This novel is by no means perfect, in fact there’s a lot of issues I had with it, however, I’m going to rate this book purely on enjoyment. The world isn’t explained and feels incomplete and the protagonist is insufferable. Regardless of that, the writing style is fast paced and engaging, the loose ends tie together nicely and the action scenes are entertaining. It’s a fun story, and one I’d love to continue in the future.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed this read. It was imperfect, but engaging and I really needed a book like this to pull me out of my reading slump. It was in the right place at the right time.