Victoria Aveyard‘s Red Queen is the manifestation of my childhood query, “Why wouldn’t the X-Men rule the world?” In her terrific debut novel the premise is almost that simple – people with silver blood are born with inherent and supernatural gifts. Those born with red bl
ood have no gifts and as such are destined to a life serving the Silvers. The main character, Mare Barrows, is a Red who steals to support her family while she counts down the moments until her mandatory conscription into the army. A twist of fate exposes that she has supernatural abilities. But, she is a Red, how is this possible?!
Beyond the premise, the pace of the book is fast but not fervent and the characters are well formed and given good motivations for their actions. Still, I saw so many mixed or negative reviews on this book that it sat on my shelf for (embarrassingly) at least two years. I am so glad I cracked into it because I really enjoyed the story. There were one or two times that I wanted a wrinkle ironed out or a scene slowed down a bit but the book was fun a
nd interesting. I am already looking forward to see how the storyline progresses in subsequent books (my thanks to Ali at the terrific I Wuv Books for letting me know this is not a trilogy and a fourth book is set to come out in 2018).
Mare is a great character. I relished her dedication to her family and friends. However, she is also a seventeen-year old who does not always make the right choices and occasionally trusts the wrong person. I enjoyed that she was strong and spirited but, like so many of us in our teenage years, was not omnipotent or perfect. A naturally flawed heroine makes for a fantastic story – especially in the fantasy realm. Here is to hoping that she grows in wisdom in subsequent books without loosing that fierce spirit!