Red Queen, is a futuristic, dystopian sort of fantasy. The world has been plunged into either darkness or light, people segregated as rich or poor, and they bleed Red or Silver blood. The caste system is not only authoritative but imperious, sustained by a magic of supernatural origin, allowing the Silvers to rule as gods.
Mare Barrow, a thief and a Red, attempts to avoid conscription (the draft) into a war waged by the Silvers. Few Silvers fight in this war, inciting the development of a rebel faction, the Scarlet Guard. Instead of escaping, she's given a job working for the king and royals as a servant girl. Unexpectedly she finds herself in a dire situation where she invokes a power incongruous to Reds and impossible to Silvers. Because of this power, she's forced into Silver society with a name change, a title and betrothed to one of the princes. She finds herself an insurgent against the very ones she's forced to become.
Here's a tale I found sort of interesting. A girl, the equivalent of nothing turned royalty, with an underlying agenda. I enjoyed that Mare took on the opportunity to make a difference and was willing to put her life on the line. She wanted it for her family first, but also for everyone in the land, both Reds and Silvers. I think the story was creative in that fashion and it could have gone in a direction, making it different from all other anti-utopian tales. But it got lost.
I didn't see the betrayal coming from the one closest to her, but every other relationship between Mare and co-characters was bland. The triangle, what could have budded into romance, was weak and took away from the storyline because she wanted to play the "Love you"/"Hate you" game with not one prince but two!. I wound up feeling nothing for and of them and didn't care if they connected or not. I did sympathize for those who were collateral damage, but only because they carried colorful yet little weight. I'm thinking in the second book, Glass Sword (releases in February of 2016), Mare's original way of thinking will return. I believe she'll come back fighting for the people and letting the romance fall away. Maybe there can be a King and Queen of Norta, who rule for the people and not for love. It happens all the time in monarchy.
I really wanted to love this book. I didn't, but I definitely enjoyed the read. To me, there was a bit of redundancy, inconsistency as well as predictability, but it didn't take from the story. Mare is the girl I chose to hate but wanted to love and that's okay. Sadly, similar books have turned screenplays then mega movies that easily blot this one. In a world of Hunger Games, Divergents and instruments of mortal value, Red Queen should have been bigger and stronger.
Though slightly secondhand, it's a YA story that will go places because that's what the genre of readers want. If you're one of them, definitely check it out. Have a book and a great day! 📚
Rating: 👓👓👓/5 Specs
*Center of Gravity is next.
**Novel from my personal library/Amazon.com $9.42
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