Publisher's Note:  

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

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 and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs 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.

Red Queen

by Victoria Aveyard

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Overall Review:  

Red Queen is everything a young adult novel should be: exciting, intense, action-packed, and unique, while at the same time offering life lessons and relationship dilemmas. Victoria Aveyard has managed to infuse the first of this dystopian fantasy series with something new to the genre. And it's quite refreshing to (mostly) get through a book of this nature without a love triangle for a change. 

Mare is a strong, determined heroine who is not afraid to admit it when she doesn't know what she's doing. When she finds herself out of her element, she knows it. The reader is left wanting to know more about the future development of her abilities, and the second installment can't come soon enough.

The writing is beautiful, but moves along at a good pace to keep the reader's interest. The dialogue is realistic, and every bit of Aveyard's world is believable. Readers who love action will be thoroughly entertained, but those who enjoy romance will enjoy this story just as much. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 7 mild obscenities; 5 derogatory names.

Violence/Gore:  Characters use magical powers to choke, control minds, drown, batter with flying objects, control movements, inflict pain, shatter glass, throw bodies into walls, and freeze blood; a character returns from combat with severe injuries, no detail; the dangers of war are discussed in minor detail (explosions, etc.); two characters fight in an arena with some gore and one death; a character punches a wall and sustains minor injuries with some blood; a character is scratched by flying glass; a character is pushed and held to the ground, no injuries; a character's hand is broken when it is deliberately stomped on; birds are killed when they fly into an electric shield; a character is chased and shot at; in a dreamlike state, a character experiences battlefield violence and gore with some blood; a list is read detailing causes of military deaths (such as blood loss) with no additional detail; in a training situation, characters battle violently with some injuries that are magically healed on the spot; secondhand account of punishment by cutting the tongue out; in an extended ambush scene (5 pgs), characters are shot and killed by explosions with some blood--victims are laid out on the floor and viewed with no detail; characters are imprisoned, beaten and tortured with minor details; a character is shot and instantly healed with magical powers; a character claims to have tortured others; sounds of cracking whips and screaming are heard; a character is dragged by the hair; a character takes a suicide pill and dies; property is destroyed by explosions with no known injuries; a character is killed by a sword with some blood; a story of death by poisonous snake is related with some detail; a character is killed by firing squad and the body is dragged away; in an extended scene (10 pgs), characters fight in an arena--several characters are injured and killed with some detail including severe burns, cuts, and one impaling.

Content note: While this book does have quite a bit of violence, the author does an excellent job of taking the detail to the point of excitement without gratuitous gore. 

Sex/Nudity:  Characters hug briefly; characters kiss briefly (twice).

Mature Subject Matter:  

War, betrayal, political intrigue, death of family members.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  


Reviewed By Leslie
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