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QBD Reviews: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The people of Norta are divided by class, by ability, by blood – red or silver. Silvers are the elite ruling class, endowed with god-like powers. The Reds are commoners, powerless and destined to serve the Silvers. Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow is one such Red, living a bleak existence with her family in the Stilts. Mare hates the privileged Silvers, even as she finds herself with a job in the Silver Palace, surrounded by those she despises. Then, a shocking discovery – though she has Red blood, Mare has a spectacular Silver ability. Afraid of what Mare’s power might mean, the Silvers declare her a long-lost Silver princess, and arrange her marriage to the Prince. Mare knows one wrong move means death – but when a member of the resistance group the Red Guard approaches her for help, she cannot deny them. Mare must learn to control her new ability, and navigate a world of betrayal and lies, all the while supressing her growing feelings for an enemy.

Red Queen is a fresh and fun addition to the YA Fantasy genre. Mare is a great protagonist – fierce, flawed, brave, and angry with the injustices of her society. The Silver abilities are cool too, with everything from telekinesis to super speed. The Silver Princes, Cal and Maven, are both potential allies or enemies for Mare, and each of them have different motives.  It’s a fast-paced, entertaining read, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesDivergent, and Red Rising.

~Sarah, QBD Support Office

QBD Reviews: The Fate of the Tearling

Loyalties are tested, hearts are broken and a

Queen stands ready to sacrifice it all for her people.

tearling-fate-ofThe day the guards came and took her from her from her quiet cottage life was the day she was exposed to assassins, betrayal, magic and death.
The day she freed the Tearling from slavery to a neighboring kingdom was the day she doomed them with war.
The day she saved the Tearling from war was the day she doomed herself...

On her way to the enemy nation of Mortmesne, Kelsea comes to grips with the reality that she is at the whim of the Red Queen. The woman who enslaved the New world, one kingdom at a time, the woman who wields power such as no one has ever seen, and the woman who has made a pact with the dark.
Can Kelsea overcome the fear and uncertainty to escape from the feared dungeons of the Red Queen?

The Mace guards the Tearling against a revolt, the church at the heart of the problems. Slowly the corrupt are taking the city for their own and betrayal is happening at every turn. The Queen's Guard is all that is stopping complete chaos and the end of the Tearling way, but they will need much more than smarts and swords to save the Kingdom, they will need The Marked Queen, The Glynn Queen, The True Queen.

Wow. This truly is the end we all needed to this epic Trilogy.

The Fate of the Tearling was long awaited, I was practically on the edge of my seat the week before it came out! Erika Johansen transports me every time, whether it be my first reading or my fifth. The words blur and before me is the story playing out. One of the greatest things about this series are the characters. They are so believable. Kelsea is anyone I could meet, someone I went to school with, maybe someone I work with. She is an amazing, inspirational, ordinary person. She is shaped by the fate set out before her and because of this she became extraordinary. And it doesn't stop with Kelsea! Read on and find out about the Red Queen, the Mace, Penn and people from a distant past.

~ Hayley, QBD Hornsby

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