The final novel in the Red Queen series, War Storm, comes out next month in May. I read the first novel and LOVED it, but got stuck in reading the rest when I hit a huge reading slump so I figured I should reread this one before moving on to Glass Sword!
Please keep in mind that Flashback Friday reviews are based on reread books. They most likely will contain spoilers as the books have already been released for some time. This is your only warning if you want to avoid spoilers for these books.
Young Adult, Fantasy
PART OF A SERIES?:
1st novel in the Red Queen series
February 10th, 2010
YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT your local bookstore or the following links:
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
I’m currently really close to finishing Glass Sword, the sequel to this novel, for the first time so I’m going to do the best that I can to write about rereading the first novel without blending the two together since I’ve read them back to back. I don’t think there’s too much worry though because I have Red Queen before and I still love it the second time as much as I loved it the first time.
I know its weird to talk about the ending first but the ending is what I remember most from my first time reading it because it just shocked me so much. I read a lot, and I truly mean a lot and I really did NOT see this ending coming at all, which is just a testament to Victoria’s fantastic storytelling. I remember reading it and just thinking, oh god, how on earth did this happen? Maven is so good at the deception so when he switches…it literally just blew my mind. Reading it this time around, knowing that Maven is going to switch on both Mare and Cal, still made it amazing because I was trying to spot different clues or moments that you could maybe see this deception coming and nope, I still couldn’t see it. It was still such a surprising and emotionally charged ending and god, I still loved it so much and it made me remember why I need to catch up on this series (and I’m loving the sequel so far).
I love all the characters. From Mare to Maven to Cal and Kilorn and Gisa and the queen and king, all of the characters are so well written and well thought out. Some of the characters appear very shortly, like Gisa and Mare’s parents, and some we get to know so well (or so we think) like the princes and the queen, Julian and Lucas. They all leap off the page, they’re all so memorable and you love the good characters and you love to hate the bad characters and a lot of those characters are a little bit of both.
I also super love that there are these powers in there. It feels sort of X-Men. I love characters that have powers, even more so when they have a variety of different powers. Fire and lightning and mind control and all these others that I can’t even list right now because there are so many. The idea that the Silvers are better because they have these powers are so interesting, considering stories like XMen where these different people are shunned. Its also interesting that it is connected to their blood. Silver blood is so interesting and I want to know more about that and what causes their powers and what causes the mutation that gives some Reds, like Mare powers. I’m hoping we find out more in the future because it’ll be so interesting to know and I have a feeling its going to be something of a revelation.
There’s also something very dark, emotional, and romantic in this story. There’s never a totally happy moment for the characters. Time spent with Maven is filled with stress and confusion, worry about their involvement in the Scarlet Guard and time spent with Cal is also confusing and guilty because Mare is technically engaged to Maven. Everyone has an agenda, everyone thinks they’re right and its hard to keep up with. Mare is torn between her family and the princes and the secret she holds as a Red with an ability and her desire to help the Reds and the Scarlet Guard. Its so fast paced and its so dark and I love every moment of it. Even when she’s pretending to be Mareena and trying to fit in at court, trying to form a friendship with Maven, I’m hooked. I’m torn the entire book with what I want for her and, like I said, I never saw the ending that came. Maven betraying everyone, his mother forcing Cal to kill their father, all of that…god it blew my mind and it still does. Its the last book that just left me feeling like someone threw the hardback into my stomach and just knocked the wind out of me.
I’m excited to see how the rest of the series goes from here. Like I said, I’m nearly done with the second book and I have the third book waiting for me to devour as well. I’m just hoping I don’t finish TOO soon before the release of the fourth book because I really do hate waiting…
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