“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”
Mare lives in a world that is both familiar and entirely foreign; modern and yet ancient. Society is split into two groups, based upon the color of one’s blood: the Reds, who are the common people, and the Silvers, the nobility set apart not only by their silver blood, but by their super-human powers. The Silvers live extravagant lives, with modern amenities such as electricity, cars and television. Reds are servants, almost enslaved, and expendable. Any Red without a job or an apprenticeship is automatically conscripted into the military and sent off to war, a war that has been waging for nearly 100 years with no resolution in sight.
This is the world of Red Queen, a debut novel by Victoria Aveyard. The author has created an interesting alternate universe with elements of ancient Rome and the Western world of the 21st century, and with magic.
Silvers have different powers; some are telepathic, some exhibit superhuman strength; some can read minds. This gives Silvers the right to rule over Reds. But as with any downtrodden group, there are rebels who plot uprisings and revolution. Mare stumbles onto the Scarlet Guards, who smuggle people out of the village and away from the country of Norta to freedom. Knowing this group of rebels is extremely dangerous, especially when she finds herself in the King’s court. Mare must hide her knowledge in order to save her life, and the lives of her family.
But the cause of freedom is a good cause, and life is dangerous in Norta—and so Mare begins playing a very dangerous game, living in the Silver King’s court, and yet giving aid to the Scarlet Guards.
If you enjoyed the Hunger Games, you will want to check out Red Queen. It is projected to be a trilogy, and should satisfy anyone who has finished Hunger Games and the Divergent books and is looking for another fantasy/dystopian world novel.
While there are a few rough spots, for a first novel and the first novel in a series, I thought it held together well.