This is one of the books, that is, at least in Germany, published with an awful cover. You really have to look behind that and be curious enough to start reading it. If you do, you will find a beautiful story about love, betrayal, blood, and loyalty. Good, I still don´t get it why the German edition has to have that awful cover, but I think that riddle will never be solved. It is as it is. You can see it at the end of this review. 

Red Queen*
by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen #1
Publisher Harper Teen on February 10, 2015
Genre Children 14+
Pages 400
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

Mare Barrow´s world is divided by blood – those with common, red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything und uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard – a growing Red rebellion – even as her heart turns her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal. 
The world, in which Mare lives in, is no good one. Parted in two different Blood types, the ones with the red blood (where Mare belongs to) and the ones with the silver blood, Mare is forced to live with the few things she and her family have. They have to obey the rules and laws made by the ruling class of the King, which is, of course, a silver one, and so Mare and her family have to do whatever they can to survive. No wonder, that Mare does everything to help her family and friends. But one day she has to defend her life and an unknown ability shows and forces her to live from now on with the royal family - ´cause her talent shows up in front of a huge audience and can´t be denied.

From the point of view from the main figure Mare, the reader gets involved in a well written but sometimes very brutal and bloody story. The author´s style is sensitive, sometimes melancholic, and a bit ironic. Victoria Aveyard uses a very figurative language but there is still enough space for the reader´s own imagination. But I admit, this novel will polarize its readers. You either love it or not. There is nothing in between. For all those, who love it after reading, I guess it is a wonderful addition to their shelves. Alone the thought of what could be if this novel would become reality is kind of frightening. But on the other hand, I guess we already have that kind of two blood society – thought it looks a bit different in real life.

Complete different characters are brought to life in this book. None of the figures is what they seem to be at first sight, and a lot of unexpected twists keep the reader close to them. Mare changes from the strong but credent girl she is into a person who has to face not only some very bitter moments but also has to learn some harsh lessons. Her trust in the wrong prince puts her in a deadly position and only her cleverness and ability to use lightning to her advantage can save her. Victoria Aveyard has a very unique way to show the transformation from Mare. I was really touched by it and couldn´t help but feel with her.   

This novel left me very still and very thoughtful. All those twists and turns, all those heartbreaking scenes and great characters – after I was done with it, I was like in a shock; a positive shock. This book wasn´t at all what I´ve expected (not after I´ve read the short information about it on the backside of the book) but it was for sure worth every minute I spent reading it. 

Happy reading

*I read the German edition by May 28, 2015, by Carlsen

Victoria Aveyard
Victoria Aveyard ©Stephanie Girard

Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She currently splits her time between the East and West coasts. As an author and screenwriter, she uses her career as an excuse to read too many books and watch too many movies.


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