Hello all! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! I have loved scrolling through Instagram the last couple of days, seeing how all of you are diving into your Christmas books 🙂 I will have a Christmas book haul up hopefully in a week or so, once I make it to Barnes and Noble to use some of my lovely gift cards.
In the mean time, I would like to bring you my thoughts on my most recent read, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This book is just so many things in so many ways, and I’m not sure that I can do it put into words just how brilliant it is. In fact, I have tried several times to sum up the plot in my own words, and I have been unsuccessful. So, what I have decided to do is share the summary from the cover of the book, and then share a little tiny snippet of my thoughts while trying very hard to not include any spoilers.
“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 and betroths her to one of this 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, putting prince against prince – and Mare against her own heart.”
The first thought that I have to share is something that greatly frustrated me about this book. It was the fact that woven into this story are several very recognizable plotlines from endlessly popular YA books. At the beginning of the story, a ‘Queenstrial’ is held to determine which Silver girl is most worthy to marry the crown prince. The Selection, anyone? But, this turned out to be somewhat of a minor plotline in the book, so I moved on. But then there is a small snippet of the story where the Red rebels decide that Mare would make a wonderful symbol of the rebellion, using her Silver-given nickname (that she previously despised); ‘the little lightning girl’. I’m sorry, but Mockingjay? Familiar much? But, that little rebellion plot line thing didn’t exactly pan out as planned, so I got over it. But. Then…. we have the whole thing about Mare being a Red but having abilities she shouldn’t have unless she was a Silver. And there is a point about halfway through the book where she realizes that maybe this is an actual thing, and maybe she isn’t the only Red who should be a Silver. But, no matter how many there are, this thing that she is is very dangerous and rebellious and bad. “Tris, you’re Divergent…”. I think that was the part that got to me the most. But, the brilliant everything that followed it made up for all of that.
The world building and character development were stunning in this novel. The world of Red Queen is so unique and it just comes to life through Victoria Aveyard’s writing. The Stilts, the Kingdom, every location that we visited through the story was beautifully crafted. And the world building was only topped by the character development.
Oh goodness, every character in this story was simply amazing. Every connection that Mare formed to a character, I formed the same connection. She felt the feels, and I felt the feels. All the feels. If Mare was attached to a character, I was attached to them. If she hated someone, I hated them. And I have to just say this now – you never realize how close a bond you have with a character until you realize that they aren’t who they claimed to be all along.
And on that note – if you need a reason at all to read this book, read it for the last 50 pages. Until that point I was like “oh, yes, this is a good book.” And then all at once I was just like “UM THIS IS world shattering and life changing AND WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT FOR GLASS SWORD??”
So, read the book. It is up there with the top two or three books I have read this year for sure. I highly recommend it. 5/5 stars for sure.