“Anyone can betray anyone.”
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is the first of four novels in a YA fantasy/dystopian series. It is set in a world divided into royalty and commoners without many people in between. The royal families have Silver blood and are blessed with powerful abilities. Some can read and destroy minds, some can crush you like a bug from across the room, some can set you on fire. They use their wealth and abilities to rule over the Red blooded commoners. I suppose the luckiest of the Reds get to be servants to the Silvers, but most of the Reds live in abject poverty until they are old enough to by conscripted into the service to fight the Silver’s wars. Needless to say, the Reds are expendable.
Then there is Mare Barrow. She is as Red as they come. Her father is missing a lung and a leg from the war, her brothers have been conscripted, and her sister is hurt trying to help Mare, and Mare herself helps support the family by being a thief. She is also approaching conscription age.
Through an interesting turn of events, Mare is taken in by The Silver royal family as a servant. It soon becomes apparent that Mare differs in one important way from her fellow Reds: she has an ability.
When her ability is discovered, she is taken in by the Queen who tells everyone that Mare is a Silver descendant from a thought to be dead Silver family. Mare is hidden in plain sight. After all, what will happen to the iron-fisted rule of the Silvers if Reds have abilities too?
I feel like the plot of Red Queen seems to hit close to home, with an ever growing divide of the powerful few ruling over the common many, albeit with a dash of X-Men. There are many plot twists that kept me turning the pages, and I like how many of the characters, both Red and Silver, are morally grey. After all, “Anyone can betray anyone.”
Now to start the next book, Glass Sword to see if the series holds up.
Happy reading y’all,