Victoria Aveyard: Red Queen / Glass Sword (Review)

Victoria Aveyard's picture

Victoria Aveyard  is a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists.
Red Queen (2014)
(The first book in the Red Queen series)
book cover of Red Queen

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. There, before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess, and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard – a growing Red rebellion – even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays the only certainty is betrayal.

This sweeping story of palace intrigue, class hierarchy, and deception will keep readers hurtling along, desperate to find out Mare’s fate. Her honesty and determination, quick wit, and no-holds-barred attitude will surely make readers fall in love with her.

Glass Sword  (2016)
(The second book in the Red Queen series)
book cover of Glass Sword

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare’s blood is red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

This series intrigued me as do quite a few of the YA dystopian series, the concept of a servile race subjugated by one with greater abilities. The concept was very reminiscent of the recent series by .
Victoria Aveyard writes to excite in a very visual dramatic style, this series different from the explosive style of Pierce Brown is measured and for me seems driven around the dropping in of dramatic lines and cliff hanger moments as you would expect from a screenwriter. But it works, the cliff hanging moments drag you from chapter to chapter hunting for meaning to the reds and Mare’s existence and her blood mutation, fighting for salvation.
The Reds are caught up in a world owned by the 1%, very reminiscent of the real world, just with death and enhanced abilities rather than corporate greed, ultimately its all about power. This tale of power and destruction is told in a very personal emotive fashion, the havoc that the twisting world of power and decision making has on Mare is played out across the pages in every agonized decision, the torture between the personal  and the group
objective. Will she ever have a life, can she ever love? She has been tortured on a very emotional and physical level, can anyone come back from that?
As a reader of this type of dystopian series i have to say this is a great concept, yet i hope to see it more fully realised, there is so much spotlight on the people it lacks world building, the mentions of the other nations is too vague and unformed, this may be a device to allow the author freedom to move and expand her world as the writing flows, but for me makes the political landscape too vague.
Don’t let that put you off,this is a series with a huge amount of promise, and already delivers so much. Having read the first two books back to back its very easy to become engrossed in this world and the powers of its inhabitants. I’m very much looking forward to where this series goes next, its gone down a dark rabbit hole…. there may be some light, but its for the author to show the way.
Red Queen
0.5. Queen Song (2015)
1. Red Queen (2014)
1.5. Cruel Crown (2016)
1.5. Steel Scars (2016)
2. Glass Sword (2016)
Red Queen 2-Book Collection (omnibus) (2016)

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