Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy
“Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?“
This is the second book in the Red Queen series. I was really stoked to read this book. I can still remember how excited I was when I ordered it and then when it finally came in I literally just carried it around my house with me for days. Victoria Aveyard does a hell of a job messing with our minds, just as she did in Red Queen. Between all the betrayal in the first book vs all the surprises in this one, I’m really not sure which book takes the cake. It’s a pretty close call. These books breed trust issues.
Chapter one picks up immediately where Red Queen ended. Mare and Cal just escaped the Bowl of Bones and are on the run with Farley and the rest of the Scarlet Guard. So tons of action right from the get go.
From here it’s a race to see who will reach the New Bloods first. Going off of a list that was given to Mare by Julian, her and Maven are determined to find as many names as they can on the list. Maven, because New Bloods are a threat to him and his new crown. Mare, because they would make powerful soldiers to help her cause. As New Bloods are twice as strong as Silvers. Together with Farley, Kilorn, Cal and Shade they begin a recruitment.
The process is a little bit slower than I would have liked. The pace of the plot doesn’t really take off at any certain point. It’s just a mixture of action, training, more action, more training. Still there are several moments where gasping is inexorable. Of course you have to read the book to find out which moments 😉
Mare is quite a character now. I see us having and love-hate relationship. It didn’t take very long for her to jump into the role of Lightning Girl. She gained a lot of confidence in her powers after the Bowl of Bones. Seeing herself as a leader of the new recruits and using her “Mareena” voice to take control of situations once in a while. She’s more selfish and manipulative than she realizes though. Very self righteous, very whiny and often her judgment is clouded.
“I know I’m more valuable than most, because of what I’ve done and what I can do. My name and face have as much power as my lightning, and that makes me important., It makes me a better prize.”
Her decisions are compromised by her emotions. Still reeling from the impact of Maven’s betrayal but unable to be truthful with everyone about him. She even goes so far as to go back on her word. Purely for the benefit of her and the Scarlet Guard. Betraying someone in the process. Granted she won’t be able to please every one, she seems to take it upon herself to solve the worlds problems. As though she can single-handedly lead the revolution that will surely happen. Her intentions may always be in the right place but her executions of them no longer reflect that. It’s almost painful to watch her character twist into someone she never wanted to be. I still haven’t decided if she’s a leader worth following. So far I’d say no.
Aveyard does a great as she continues to build the main characters. Some become a little softer around the edges. Others become a little harder. Cal! Cal is fantastic in this book! Both him and Mare are still dealing with Mavin’s betrayal, both are still haunted by the person they thought he was. To his credit Cal does a good job of helping a cause he was completely against. Ninety percent of the characters still don’t trust him, but who can blame them? Mare and Cal stand up for one another despite their efforts to keep their feelings from becoming a “distraction.” It almost works 🙂
This was a pretty good sequel. Not as great as I had anticipated I must admit. THAT ENDING THOUGH!!! WHY?? I can’t wait for the next book to be released. Victoria Aveyard is definitely one of my top favorite authors. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet or have been hesitating, I recommend picking it up today. You wont be disappointed.
A solid 3 out of 5 for me.