On My Bookshelf: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

May 02, 2016

If you liked The Hunger Games, you'll love The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, a mix of fantasy and dystopian young adult literature. Despite all of the odds being stacked against her, the main character is fearless even before she discovers her superhuman powers. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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.
If you liked The Hunger Games, you'll love The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, a mix of fantasy and dystopian young adult literature. Despite all of the odds being stacked against her, the main character is fearless even before she discovers her superhuman powers. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Why I liked it: The Red Queen reminded me of The Hunger Games (without seeming like a repeat of the plot) and Mare, the main character, was similar to Katniss in many ways (without seeming like an identical character. Mare does what she can to support her family and has a younger "good" sister who Mare wants to protect. Like Katniss, she is different from other people on her world. Her difference, however, is partly due to her supernatural powers, she can harness and generate electricity; she is a mix of both "Silver" (upperclass) and "Red" (lower class).

Only Silvers are supposed to have powers like fire, water, strength and mind control, while Reds must either work or be conscripted into the army. Mare's father served until he was injured, her three older brothers are currently serving, and Mare and her best friend Kilorn are destined to be conscripted when Mare meets the mysterious Cal one night at a tavern. After unsuccessfully trying to pick his pocket, Cal helps to get her a job at the Palace, which is when Mare finds out that Cal is actually a prince, next in line for the throne. It is at the Palace that Mare discovers her powers and takes on the role of a long lost Silver princess. Quickly betrothed to Cal's younger brother Maven, Mare becomes involved in a dangerous plot to overthrow the Silvers' powerful rule. Throughout the novel, Mare never knows who can be trusted and who cannot. Some of her gambles pay off, while others end disastrously. I;m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Classroom application:
This novel would definitely be one to add to your middle school or high school classroom library and would be equally appealing to both male and female students. If you have students that couldn't get enough of The Hunger Games, hand them this book to get them started on another great series. The novel could be used as a choice in studying the genre of fantasy or in a comparison of dystopian worlds.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The Red Queen for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:



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2 comments

  1. I love this book! I bought it on a whim for my sister in law (she's a senior in high school for Christmas. Two weeks later, she lent to me and I also devoured it. I book talked it to my students and they lined up for it. My classes (and myself!) are eagerly waiting for me to buy the sequel. One of my students just finished the sequel (she convinced her mother to buy it) and said it was equally as amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this book! I bought it on a whim for my sister in law (she's a senior in high school for Christmas. Two weeks later, she lent to me and I also devoured it. I book talked it to my students and they lined up for it. My classes (and myself!) are eagerly waiting for me to buy the sequel. One of my students just finished the sequel (she convinced her mother to buy it) and said it was equally as amazing.

    ReplyDelete