Power is a dangerous game.
Red Queen follows the story of Mare - she lives in a world divided by blood. There are the Silvers, whose blood makes them stronger than the Reds, and who rule this world. The Reds are the working class, subjugated by the Silvers, living in hovels and generally mistreated and despised.
Through a series of events, Mare is before the most popular and powerful Silvers. And she has a magic she shouldn’t have - she’s a Red, after all, and only Silvers have magic. Yet it’s undeniable. The king must somehow maintain the status quo, and claims Mare is a long-lost Silver daughter to a deceased general, and betroths her to his youngest son.
This is a YA fantasy with a dystopian feel, told from a first person POV. There were some tropes that are present in nearly every YA book ever written. A love triangle, a heroine who is more than she thinks she is, with odds stacked against her. Yet I found the politics to be quite enjoyable, with Mare having to catch up quickly to what comes naturally to Silvers, as they are born within the political intrigue and it comes second-nature to them. Mare must forge alliances, fight the conniving Queen, decide who she can trust, and take a stand on what she believes.
The characters are, for the most part, exactly what you would think they’d be in a YA book. Handsome, sigh-worthy princes. An evil “step mother” queen. A jealous rival. Yet I don’t mind these tropes, although the jealous rival was a bit overdone. Mare, as far as main characters go, was readily likable. As the story progresses, so does her character, and she’s finally put to the test in a climactic ending that does justice to the author’s talent for plot and storyline.
The best parts of the book were the action scenes and the politcal drama. It could have done with a bit less romance - but that’s preference. The side characters could also have been fleshed out more. Otherwise, this is an enjoyable read.
3.5 stars. Fans of YA fantasy will enjoy this, especially if you’re into the common tropes.