February 2, 2017

Red Queen and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

The third and final installment in Victoria Aveyard's dark young adult series, King's Cage, comes out on February 7th. Though I thought the series fell in quality in book two, I'm still interested in checking out King's Cage to see what happens. If you haven't read the series, it's not to late to check it out. In addition to the three major works, Aveyard also wrote a short novella titled Cruel Crown which functions as the series' prequel. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Have any of you? What did you think?

Red Queen (#1) 

Official Summary: 

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

My Review:

[3.5 stars] An interesting start to a book series. It's best described as sci-fi Hunger Games meets YA Game of Thrones (meaning, there will be blood, a lot of red and silver blood). I liked the concept and find myself drawn to stories of class conflict. This premise makes the need for rebellion make more sense, but I had mixed feelings about the main character. At times, Mare is a likable powerhouse, but at other times I didn't understand her way of thinking. I also kept stumbling on her name. Did anyone repeatedly think "bone marrow" every time they read "Mare Barrow"?

Glass Sword (#2)

Official Summary: 

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

My Review:

[2 stars] A big disappointment when compared to Red Queen. Though the first book certainly sets up the battle that will begin raging in book two, Glass Sword is hugely--and unnecessarily--violent in the extreme. Remember when I said the series was like a sci-fi blend of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones? This is where the GoT bloodshed really kicks in, which I do not enjoy. While Maven's evil side is startling, Mare seems equally cold-hearted which is confusing: the series no longer seems to have a hero and a villain, just two villains representing opposing groups.

King's Cage (#3)

Finally, here's Harper Teen's preview for book three:  

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down. 

What are your thoughts about the series?

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