Reviewsday: The Red Queen

Mare Barrow always thought her world was black and white. If you had Silver blood, you were part of the elite nobility, boasting special powers and the status that came with them. If you had Red blood, you were boring, ordinary – only good for completing the dirty work. But Mare is about to find out that she is a shade of grey: a Red with the powers of a Silver.

9781409155843After a stranger pulls strings and lands her a job at the palace, Mare is confused but thrilled. Having been responsible for the accident that crippled her sister and left her jobless, Mare will be able to help support her family legally; her days of pickpocketing are over. But during the Queens Trial, a talent show designed for all of the eligible bachelorettes to show off their abilities and vie for a spot as the Crown Prince’s wife, Mare not only discovers her powers but shows them off in front of the kingdoms finest. Suddenly, she is swept up in a crazy cover-up story: she is a long, lost daughter of a dearly departed war hero, raised in Red squalor but returned to Silver clutches at last. Better yet, she’s to marry the prince – not the Crown Prince, who Mare feels an instant connection to, but his younger brother.

Trapped in a comfortable prison and forced to learn court etiquette whilst all the other young ladies are honing their powers to deadly perfection, Mare’s despair and hatred grows. Only when approached by an underground rebel group does she realise just how much power she could hold in her position and when a surprise ally comes to the table, the possibilities seem endless.

Red Queen is an action packed, heart-pounding read. The book is rife with political intrigue and a catalogue of intense characters, each adding an extra layer to Mare’s story. As she struggles with her situation, the pressures of performing to the queen’s standard and protecting her heart from the wrong prince, Mare evolves from a simple bitter Red thief to a complex yet conflicted figurehead for a rebellion – think Katniss Everdeen with a dress and tiara. The only problem is that nothing is what it seems – enemies can turn out to be friends, friends hide their true faces and when all is said and done, everything Mare was so sure of will crumble at her feet around her.

~Karen @ Tweed Heads QBD