You may or may not have noticed that I have been currently reading the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard for many weeks now. Let me explain why.
These books follow a young girl named Mare Barrow who is living in a world divided by the color of blood. There are the silver blooded folk, who wield powers that they use to keep the Reds in line. They see and paint themselves as gods. The red blooded folk are normal, no powers, and are oppressed by the Silvers who use them as sacrificial bodies in their war with other countries.
Mare comes from a poor family, as all Reds do, and she tries to help her family by stealing anything she can get her hands on. But, when her closest friend is conscripted into the army, which is almost equivalent to a death sentence, Mare gets desperate to help him. Many events find her in the presence of the Crowned Prince of her country, Tiberias Calore the Seventh or Cal as he prefers, but she doesn’t know who he is. Cal takes pity on her and gives her a job at the palace. It is during “Queen’s Trial”, or basically a show noble girls put on so the high Lords of the country can choose who is the best queen for the crown prince, that Mare discovers she has powers matching Silvers. This happens in the public eye so the King and Queen decide to claim her as Silver and hide her right under everyone’s nose as the second prince’s, Maven, betrothed.
Throughout these books, we follow Mare as she struggles with betrayal, trust, love, injustice and leading a rebellion of Reds vs Silvers.
Now, let me start by saying, the first book was actually pretty good. It was slow starting but had a crazy twist at the end. I picked up the second book expecting some crazy stuff to go down but every page of the second, third and fourth book was dry and fairly predictable. There was a chapter in one of those books where it was mid climactic battle, and I found myself dragging myself to get through it. The last book was WAY too long and took me almost a month to get through because I wasn’t very excited about it.
The characters were trying to be developed but it was honestly hard to root for anyone in this series. Cal was wishy-washy in all his decisions. Mare fell flat, she was single toned and when she finally developed out of her one tone, it was abrupt and difficult to swallow. There were some characters who were introduced too quickly later in the series and I found myself indifferent about their plots.
One thing I did enjoy, was that Aveyard painted a very clear picture of systemic oppression that is built to keep the masses down.
Overall, I did not enjoy this series and would not recommend picking it up. My sister and I started this series together and she quit in the first few chapters of book two. That was when I recruited another friend of mine to read it with me and she agreed that she only powered through because she was bored during quarantine.
I would say skip this series, not too much here to jump into.