Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for Red Queen (from Goodreads):
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
There are two novellas: #0.1 Queen Song & #0.2 Steel Scars
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Dystopian, Magic
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: February 2015 – May 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook
Find out why I DNF’d the Glass Sword (Book 2) below:
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Lately I’ve been really into High Fantasy novels–if you look at my 5/5 star books for the year, most of them are high fantasy YA novels. I’m loving this blend of dystopian tones, magic, romance and political intrigue. They are everything I love in novels and I’m so stoked that current YA trends are churning out these amazing pieces of fiction.
So, I think it goes without saying, I was super excited to read the Red Queen. I was actually excited for it before I even picked up the other High Fantasy books I read this year and dutifully ignored other reviews so nothing would be spoiled. I was hoping this book would be what I wanted The Selection to be: a politically focused dystopian read with a heroine who is actually intelligent. And after I read The Winner’s Curse and Snow Like Ashes, I was really hoping Mare would be in league with these fantastic leading ladies!
The Concept / The World:
The entire Red Queen world is a combination of lots of other fantasy and dystopian worlds but at the same time, I found it to be very refreshing. It took elements from my favourite books and used them to their full advantage without going over the top or feeling unoriginal. So while some people will definitely see parallels, I never felt like I was reading a regurgitation of another book. The book does a great job of building and explaining the world at the start and throughout the novel so world-building fans will love it!
I usually don’t love magical elements in my stories but I really loved the way it works here. It was very Avatar: Legend of Korra to me with their powers and I had a lot of fun learning about all the different types of Silvers.
While this book started very slow to me, it really kept my attention and I always felt like it was building up to something. And boy was it building up to something! This story is great! It truly kept me on my toes and I never knew what was going to happen next!
This book had a great balance between action and politics; though the political aspects are the standout feature to me. I’m not sure how many people watch Game of Thrones but I adore the political games that are always afoot with those characters. And this book had the same deceptive games. I loved that it kept me thinking five moves ahead but I was always surprised but what happened next.
And the last 100 pages—simply amazing!
When I first started reading this book, I was really worried Mare would be like America from The Selection: a girl thrust into a situation she never imagined yet does nothing as everything happens around her to resolve the world. That frustrated me to no end with the Selection Trilogy so I was very relieved that that wasn’t the case with Mare.
Mare isn’t an instant kick-ass character though she is a interesting character–and I really loved that. She isn’t flawless and she really has to work for what she wants which made reading so captivating.
And the same can be said about the other characters. They really kept me on the edge of my seat and they all had great character development.
Don’t go into this book expecting some passionate romance. While it definitely is there and has an important role to play, it isn’t all consuming which was great. Even the romantic in me was satisfied by what we had here.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
Red Queen really set the stage for the rest of the series and I truly can’t wait to see what happens next!
–November 17, 2016– Book #2: Glass Sword
I really hummed and hawed over DNFing this one or not. Even ran a Twitter poll…most people said to DNF it.
I was SO BORED by this book!
I LOVED the Red Queen! I was a strong defender of it, telling everyone to not be so hard on it and all that. So Glass Sword was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016.
But this was dreadfully dry. Nothing seemed to be happen except the passing of time.
Understandably, everyone is a little beaten down. Mare especially. I really struggled with her character. Cal was so dull; and there was very little Maven.
This is the very definition of a Book 2 slump if you ask me. It’s just one of those bridging books that is a necessary evil to the series. Seems like something big happens at the end that I am curious about, but not curious enough to pick this one back up.
It’s been 8 months since I stopped in the middle of the novel and I haven’t regretted it yet.
Perhaps I’ll finish it another time but as of right now, this is a DNF’d series for me.
My Rating: DNF
Red Queen 5/5 | Glass Sword DNF
Even the slow start couldn’t deter me from loving this book! It’s perfect for readers who love political games with a dash of physical action. YA High Fantasy at its finest!
Obviously, my opinion has changed. Each book seems to have a slow start and really only climaxes at the end of the novel. Sorry, but I just need something that will keep my attention all the way through.
Read if You Like: characters with magical/supernatural powers, world-building, high fantasy
Avoid if You: dislike slow starting stories, want more romance
- The Selection by Kiera Cass (The Selection Series #1)
- Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch(Snow Like Ashes Trilogy #1)
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
- The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge Trilogy #1)