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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

Reviewsday: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

I've been waiting with bated breath to read this book ever since the shock ending of Glass Sword! (For those who haven't read it, avert your eyes and finish it quickly so you know what's going on) I knew it would have to be amazing, thanks to the incredible plot set up by its predecessors, but what I didn't expect was how heavy and intense of a story line it would be.

Mare's captivity under Maven's tyrannous thumb was always going to be hard to read but I felt like it took me forever to get through this book because I had to take frequent breaks - there's a lot of strong emotions bubbling at the surface of this novel, for Mare, her friends and her foes and at times it just got to be too much. It was very cleverly written in that I wanted to keep turning pages to find out what was going to happen next but I personally felt there was little to no relief from the constant turmoil our brave hero experiences.

That being said, the plot overall was rich and engrossing. As well as combing through Mare's struggles as Maven's prisoner, we're given also given insight into the Scarlet Guard's activities during her captivity and boy, oh boy was that an interesting ride as well! If you haven't read this amazing novel yet, pick up a copy ASAP!

 

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