I’m writing this on my kindle so bear that in mind if there’s any errors, I’m rubbish at typing on this thing.
Mare Barrow is a red, the colour of her blood. This means she is weak, a labourer and another possible soldier in the Silvers war. The Silvers believe that they are superior to the Reds, the Silvers have powers and the Reds don’t. So when Mare Barrow, a servant in the palace, puts on an electricity show, she is forced to pretend to be a Silver, because Reds are supposed to be powerless. Mare Barrow is forced into a world completely unlike her own, she has to play the Queens game in order to save her own skin, and her family’s.
So Lauren read this book a little while ago and said it was one of the best high fantasy books she had ever read, then continued to bug me and so I requested it on NetGalley. So to say I went in with really high expectations is a huge understatment. I have to be honest, the beginning was fantastic, but the middle lost me a little bit which was sad because I really wanted to love this book because I had heard a million great things about it, and it really was verging on three star territory in the middle. However that ending pushed it up to four stars instantly (I’m pretty positive I would have gave it five star had the middle held my interest longer). So if you lose interest I would recommend to keep at it. The ending really made me feel betrayed, emotional and angry. I didn’t realise how emotionally invested I was in the characters, until that last 20%, especially Mare.
I heard many people compare it to Red Rising by Pierce Brown and basically say it is a carbon copy. While there were similarities, such as the colours being the system of oppression and that Mare is forced to go from a low born Red to a high born Silver, I personally think the similarities stop there. The circumstances in which they increase their social standing is different, and the plot itself has many differences. I believe that Red Queen should be judged on its own merits and many readers will enjoy this more if they don’t go into this constantly looking for the similarities between the two books.
I believe that Red Queen’s world building is brilliant and vivid and you really get a sense of how both sides live. I like how there were some technologies incorporated into the world, but there were still a high fantasy feel to it. It was done fantastically well. A big positive of Red Queen is the world building.
The characters were also great. I realy admired Mare Barrow and her strength and determination. There was also some great character development with Mare Barrow but also all the secondary characters. There is a love triangle, but there isn’t much focus on it, but there is also a huge twist. I can handle a love triangle when it is done right, which it definitely was done in this.
Overall a fantastic high fantasy, which should be on your to read list. It would have got five stars from me had it not lost me in the middle. But it is a action packed novel which you should check out.
MY RATING: ★★★★☆